When was the last time you had a whole glass of water? Did you finish the animal crackers from yesterday’s lunch box and call it breakfast? And the only running you did today is chase your bare bummed potty training toddler through the house? No judgement, I am right there with you.
We love our little ones soooo much and will do everything in our power to make sure they are healthy and happy. Would you treat yourself better if you believed that one of the best things you can do for them is take care of yourself? Well it is true and many experts have been telling us this for many years. “…but only by taking care of yourself can you give your baby the best possible care” – BabyCenter medical advisor Diane Sanford, PhD, and Anne Dunnewold, PhD.
I know it is not easy, especially if you have more than one cub. There are only 24 hours in a day and after looking after everyone else, there is little time or energy for exercise, good nutrition, or rest.
Whenever moms ask me what they can do now to improve their health and weight right now, I give them these 5 suggestions.
- Drink more water
- Eat breakfast
- Eat More Veggies
- Move more
- Laugh More
Drink more water – Moms are chronically dehydrated. We just don’t get enough water. So how much is enough? It used to be a one size fits all approach of eight 8oz glasses but now experts are saying that it depends on your size, activity and even environment. Trent Nessler, Director for Baptist Sports Medicine in Tennessee echoes the new standard in water intake which is half your body weight in ounces. So if you are 150lbs, then drink 75oz. If you are in a warmer climate, you need more water. Why drink water? The reasons are many. Not only will water help you feel and look better, it will help boost your metabolism. Here are additional benefits:
- Suppresses appetite
- Reduces bad cholesterol
- Tones muscles
- Necessary for proper digestion
- Helps the liver function properly
- Soothes digestion problems
- Reduceswater retention
- Helps confusion between hunger and thirst
- Moistens skin and keeps it supple (helps you look great)
- Washes toxins out the body
Eat Breakfast – who has time to eat breakfast? You do! Eating a good breakfast jump starts your metabolism. Skipping out on your morning meal also means losing out on that extra boost of energy and mental alertness that a balanced breakfast provides. Being overly tired and low in energy increases chances of overeating and eating the wrong foods at the next meal. Some of my favorite quick breakfast items include: green shake, oatmeal with fruit & nuts, sprouted bread toast with peanut butter & small fruit. Skinnymom.com list 50 fast and easy breakfast ideas here: http://www.skinnymom.com/50-fast-and-easy-breakfast-ideas/.
3 ways to fit breakfast in are: 1) Get up 10 minutes early (moms can do wonders with an extra 10 minutes), 2) items like healthy homemade baked goods, egg cups and healthy quesadillas can be made the night before, 3) stock your home, car and work with quick grab items like mini bags of nuts, cut veggies, fruit and organic baby food pouches. The pouches are portable, easy to store, usually lower in sugar and salt and packed with nutrients. You and your little one can enjoy them.
Eat more veggies – I am surprised by the little amount of veggies moms eat especially since we encourage our kids to eat more vegetables. Veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals without the heavy calories and sugar. They are also rich in fiber which helps regulate blood sugar and help the digestive system function properly. It helps lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes and other major illnesses.
Eat the rainbow but green vegetables are best. Without complicating things, the best way to incorporate more veggies is to eat vegetables with every meal. Try to make 1/3 of your plate vegetables. Please do not fry them or dip them in unhealthy sauces!!
If you are not able to get your recommended amount of veggies, you can explore vegetable supplements such as Juice Plus. I found that Juice Plus helps ensure that I am getting the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits. You can learn more about Juice Plus here: http://www.juiceplus.com/+lo26503
Move more – Log in some active minutes doing activities that raise your heart rate such as walking, running, playing tennis, yoga, bike riding with the family, etc… Start with 180 minutes of activity a week which is 60 minutes 3 days a week or 30 minutes 6 days a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise burns calories which helps weight loss and weight control, combats health conditions & diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, puts some spark in your sex life and can be fun.
One activity that is very easy to incorporate is walking. Try to take 10,000 steps a day. There are tracking devices you can use to keep track of your steps. Many Smart Phones have “Steps Trackers” built right in so you don’t need an additional device if you have your phone. You can walk your neighborhood, the park, and beach/lake. If the weather is not cooperating, you can visit your local mall. Most malls open their doors at 8am but the stores do not open until 10 or 11am which gives you plenty of time to walk in the comforts of an air-conditioned, smooth floor with lots of window shopping without the crowd. Some malls even have walking and exercise programs going on before opening hours. Baby Boot camp is one of those programs (www.Babybootcamp.com)
Laugh more = Have fun – Try to find an activity that you enjoy. If you do not enjoy going to the gym, getting a gym membership may not be successful for you. So find your passion!. Studies show that you are more likely to stick with something you enjoy. Do you like to dance? Try a dance class or Zumba. Do you like to be outside? Try an outdoor activity such as walking, biking or hiking. Do you like to be around other moms like I do? Try a program like Baby Boot Camp (www.Babybootcamp.com). Not only can you work out and have fun but you will enjoy the community of like-minded moms and kids. The best part is you can bring your little one with you so you do not have to find child care.
These are 5 things moms can do today to improve their health and weight!
About Linda Okwor
Owner of Baby Boot Camp Los Angeles South Bay, Author, Certified Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Pre/Post Natal Fitness & Nutrition, Corporate Wellness
Linda is the owner and instructor at Baby Boot Camp Los Angeles South Bay. A friend recommended Baby Boot Camp when Linda was looking for a fitness program to join with her baby daughter. She immediately fell in love with the program. Within 2 weeks, she was in the process of starting her own classes.
She is a nationally certified fitness & nutrition specialist, life coach and author with over 15 years of experience. She has helped many people achieve success, and live a healthy, balanced and lean lifestyle. She has a BS from the University of MN, an MBA, was a successful athlete, pro cheerleader and international fitness competitor.
Linda has been featured in Oxygen magazine, ESPN, ABC 7 and The Doctors.
Certifications include WITS, ISSA, Precision Nutrition, Equinox Fitness Institute, Les Mills, Pre/Post Natal Fitness & Nutrition, and more.
Linda lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
- Los Angeles South Bay: https://babybootcamp-losangelesplayadelreysouthbay.frontdeskhq.com
- National: http://babybootcamp.com/
If you are looking for Baby Boot Camp classes in other locations, please visit: http://babybootcamp.com/find-a-class.aspx