How This Mom of 4 Balances Exercise and Motherhood
Rachel is a mother of four, and like many moms, her days are so hectic with appointments and activities that she says sometimes she feels like a taxi service. But Rachel still finds the time to exercise regularly, and uses Mio SLICE to track her health and fitness. For this special Mother’s Day post, we asked Rachel how she got back into fitness after having 4 kids in just over 4 years…and what advice she can give other moms who want to start exercising again.
Being a Mom, your life must be busy. What’s your current day–to–day routine?
Well we get up and have breakfast, and with 4 kids that takes a little while. Then we’re out the door to school for 8:30am. I then go to work, with auditions and meetings during the day, as well as all the “mom” stuff that needs to be done, and then I’m back to pick them up at 3:30pm. So it’s a little crazy.
Sounds like a busy start to the day. Does it end there?
It never ends…they have a slew of activities in the afternoon until around 5 or 6pm every day. My kids are pretty active and are involved in programs nearly 7 days a week, so it’s a lot of running around.
How do you fit exercise into your schedule?
Because the kids are now in school it gives me a bit more flexibility to exercise when I have time during the day. But I also make exercise a priority.
With 4 kids in your life, how do you make exercise one of your priorities?
That’s a question I get all the time. When my kids were little, like most moms, I didn’t have any “me” time. While I tried to exercise during pregnancies, I couldn’t do what I did before I was pregnant, so I stopped exercising for about four years. Around my 30th birthday I decided I needed to take a hold of my life, take a hold of that responsibility as a parent, to show my kids what it is to be healthy. That’s why exercise is one of my priorities. So now I exercise up to 6 days a week.
Have your workouts changed from before you were a Mom to now?
Absolutely. Before I was a mom I ran, a lot. I was a competitive track runner. I didn’t lift weights at all, and I rarely went to the gym. But when my youngest was about a year old I joined a gym, because after the pregnancies I couldn’t run as much or as well as before. My body had changed. And that’s when I first started incorporating weights into my workouts. That’s what worked for me, but it’s about finding something that works for you.
I still have to be careful with any weight I’m lifting. Carrying children takes a toll on your back, so I’m careful, but I’m also in much better shape now than before I became a mom. And honestly, a big part of that has been the motivation of teaching my kids the importance of health and enjoying what you set out to achieve.
Let’s talk about Mio SLICE featuring the PAI metric. What do you like most about SLICE and PAI?
The flexibility and simplicity. I love how the PAI system is so easy to understand and I can apply it to my daily exercise. I have one score to aim for over 7 days, and I know that score is scientifically-proven to make me healthier, which means more time with my kids.
I don’t need to fidget with a bunch of buttons or be concerned with different screens and options because SLICE and PAI does all the calculating for me. It’s user friendly and very easy to understand. For example, if I don’t exercise on one day because one of my kids is sick or something else comes up—which of course does happen—I know I can make that day up when I can, and still contribute to my overall PAI points.
My husband is jealous because he doesn’t have one yet, but since I started using it he keeps asking me “so what’s your PAI?”
How else have you tracked your exercise in the past?
To be honest I didn’t really track my fitness. I just worked out and that was it. I didn’t really know if the amount of exercise I was doing was contributing to my overall health. It was guesswork. But now with Mio SLICE I can actually see when I’ve worked hard, or not as hard, and the results that have come from each workout.
I also love that fact that it has a Sleep Monitor so I can see how much sleep I’m getting, which again as a mom is very important. It’s a bonus that has helped me really think about how I’m functioning on a day-to-day basis.
I’m always looking for something that is both convenient and meaningful to me and my lifestyle, because more often than not, my time is not my own.
What can you say to other Moms to help them get motivated to exercise with a busy schedule?
It’s a challenge, but if we didn’t like challenges we wouldn’t be moms. You have to want it enough to make that time. You can say to yourself “okay I need to do this and do that” and then all of a sudden there’s no time for you, but you have to give yourself the time—whether it’s 20 minutes or 45 minutes. Whether it’s in the morning before the kids are up or at night when they go to bed, it has to suit you.
Everybody’s ability to find their motivation is different. I think some moms being able to get motivated enough to go for a walk around the track, that’s amazing, that works for them. Some moms want to go on a mountain bike ride… some moms want to go on a hike or run trails with their dog. And that works for them. You have to find something that gets you exercising, gets you healthy, gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy doing.
Far too often we put ourselves last, and at the end of the day we have to fill our cup too to be able to fill everybody else’s. So if you can make that time, try to use it just for yourself.
Categories: Diet, Nutrition & Health, Fitness Tips & Motivation, Mio Experts & Athletes, Other, PAI