Who's taking care of mom?
Make yourself a priority to be a better caregiver.
Raquel Rivas Published: 6/21/2018
Any mom can attest to the fact that taking care of their children is such a frenzied task that your own self-care became an afterthought.
There is no better time than now to bring focus to your well-being and recommit to wellness goals you might have set earlier in the year. It’s never too late to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Stick to the plan
The kids are occupied in school or camp, and you’re ready to shed some pounds or just feel healthier. But after a couple months of infrequent exercise, where do you start?
“The most important thing when starting a journey to get into better shape is planning ahead and staying organized,” said Diana Rosito, a wellness coach at Baptist North Y Healthy Living Center. “It’s so important to have a plan because, at some point, you’ll have to adjust to new schedules even during the school year. With a firm – yet flexible – plan in place, it’s easier to adapt to unforeseen schedule changes.”
Prior to her work as a wellness coach with Baptist Health, Rosito studied health education, nutrition and dietetics. But, perhaps more importantly, she has personal experience with this topic: she’s a mother to a two-year-old.
“Finding a plan that works for you and sticking to it creates consistency, which helps you stay on track even when things get hectic,” Rosito said. “I had to learn that for myself. I can’t work out in the evening because I’m ready to be home with my husband and little one. So getting up a little early and squeezing in a workout helps create the consistency I need.”
Of course, your schedule can be as regimented as boot camp, but it means nothing if you’re struggling to find the willpower to exercise. That’s where a gym partner comes in handy.
“Find a workout buddy, someone who can go to the gym with you. Or even just someone you can go walking with in the evening,” Rosito explained. “It creates accountability and even gives you someone to talk to.”
If the gym isn’t your thing or it doesn’t fit into your schedule, don’t give up! There are countless workout plans available online that can get your blood pumping at home. Even as little as five to 10 minutes of exercise every day goes a long way towards reaching your goals.
You are what you eat
Routine exercise is only one piece of the fitness puzzle. Pair your vigorous workouts with a healthy and nutritious meal plan to start melting pounds.
“For moms wanting to get back into shape, nutrition and physical activity go hand-in-hand,” Rosito explained. “Weekly meal prep is also an option that gives you more time during the week you’d otherwise spend cooking. Take in a lot of healthy proteins, whole grains like those found in brown rice, and fruits and vegetables. Drink a lot of water so you stay hydrated.”
Energy is fleeting enough as it is for moms. Eating the right foods and drinking lots of water gives your body the fuel it needs to recover not just from a tough workout, but from the rigorous demands of being a mother.
Rosito notes that it’s also important to not be too strict, either. A weight loss plan without a little room for fun and flexibility is one that’s destined to fail.
Above all else, whether you’re a new mom with a newborn who isn’t quite ready for school or a seasoned veteran who’s mastered the family time/school year balance, keep your goals realistic. Stressing yourself out over lofty fitness goals only ensures that you’re less likely to attain them.
“I’m such a firm believer that anything is possible. If you have a goal you want to reach, it’s possible,” Rosito said. “No matter how hectic things get, no matter how many kids you have, you can always make it work.”
A good way to help yourself stick with your plan is to find a wellness coach. Here’s how to take advantage of free wellness coaching:
There are five Baptist Y Healthy Living Centers throughout Jacksonville, located within a local YMCA (see list below). The Baptist Y Healthy Living Centers are a partnership between Baptist Health and YMCA of Florida’s First Coast to provide free health screenings and health programs to all in the community. You don’t have to be a YMCA member to have a free health screening or participate in programs.
You can schedule an appointment with a wellness coach to determine your baseline health including blood pressure, glucose, lipid panel and body composition analysis. You also get free wellness coaching. Visit the closest Y Healthy Living Center or baptistjax.com/hlc.
- Mandarin-Williams Family YMCA
- Ponte Vedra YMCA
- Riverside-Winston Family YMCA
- Northside- Johnson Family YMCA
- Baptist North-YMCA at Baptist North
Top tips for moms from a wellness coach (and a mom)
- Put physical activity on your “to do” list – 30 minutes is all you need.
- Include your kids in all the fun, if they are old enough.
- Join a gym with childcare available (the YMCAs have childcare for up to 2 hours).
- Improvise! If you miss your gym time, there are plenty of free exercise videos online.
- Enjoy healthy, well-balanced meals to keep you energized.
- Drink up! Get your H2O throughout the entire day.
- Most importantly, make yourself a priority!