View Full Version : Moms Keeping Fit on the Go

08-26-2004, 09:27 PM

From holding children to holding down a job, no one experiences the stresses caused by constrained time and energy like a modern mother.

And, as if caring for family isnít burden (and joy) enough, youíre also supposed to eat properly and stay in shape. Right?

Itís a difficult expectation to meet, but one diet and fitness pros say is essential to the wellbeing of mothers everywhere. We collated their ideas into the following tips for busy Super Moms.

Keep it simple. Thatís the first piece of advice from nutritionist Lynn Grieger, also a columnist at and the mother of two teenaged boys.

Try to cook at least dinner at home, Grieger says, and prepare just one meal Ė it will save you time and calories.

"It doesnít have to be a big production," she insists. "Cook a simple, balanced meal and make it a rule in the house that this is dinner and everyoneís expected to eat it."


Be aware of quantity
Your metabolism doesnít run with the same crazy energy as that of kids. Limit your carbohydrates to condiment size and fill up on fiber-rich green vegetables instead.

Eat breakfast
"Ensure you eat the greatest amount of protein and carbs in the morning so you burn them off the rest of the day," advises Ann Louise Gittleman, author of The Fat Flush Plan.

Donít eat your kidsí food
Children of pre-school age frequently eat only part of their meal. Resist the temptation to eat their leftovers, especially on top of your own serving.

Donít skip meals
Youíre more likely to overeat and/or go through a drive-thru when hunger strikes.

Pack healthy snacks
Grab high-protein snacks or a whey protein drink as you race through your day. "Itís a pick-me-up or, in a snap, itís a [meal] replacement," says Gittleman.

Incorporating your children into your exercise routine and being aware of opportunities to exercise around their schedule are the keys to staying fit as a mom.

"Some high schools allow you to workout in the weight room while the kids are doing their activities," suggests personal trainer Michelle Streif, Nebraska state director for the National Strength and Conditioning Association. "Itís better than being stressed out in traffic."

Be inventive
Small children fit into strollers, backpacks and baby joggers. Older children can join you in aerobics, spinning, and other group workouts at the local gym.

Hire a personal trainer
Develop a repertoire of at-home workouts based on different durations and intensities. You can choose the right workout depending on your mood and time limit.

Learn isometrics
"There are exercises for your abs and glutes that you can do while driving," Streif swears.

Group up
Form a babysitting co-operative with other mothers for support and motivation.

Donít let dad off the hook
Enlist the help of your spouse. If you have one, use him, even if itís just for half an hour a couple of times a week.

Make "mom time"
It goes against the self-sacrificing nature of motherhood, but Streif says you should still give yourself the gift of at least two sessions of private time you can count on for exercise every week.

"It involves planning, which is really hard to do," she says. "But do it, even if it means hiring a babysitter."

Bottom line: Youíre important, too.

Susan Woodward is a native Australian who traded netball and surfing for Bikram yoga and snowboarding when she moved to the United States 10 years ago. She has written extensively for MSN, WebMD and the Los Angeles Times.