By Bethany Learn

Gym memberships get benched when budgets get tight, and that’s when people find themselves trying to get fit at home. When my 2 year-old son dumped dish soap in my workout shoes, though, it really put a cramp in my home fitness that day! This is the little lover who fell asleep behind a the rocking chair instead of in his bed! He’s five now… and yes, I miss those days!

Getting in shape on the home-front is harder than it seems. Parents have a LOT of small moving hurdles to overcome. Sometimes we fall exhausted into bed, wondering where the day went. Here’s a cute pic of my nap-fighting son who fell asleep behind a chair. This photo may not speak to you of home fitness, but it does to me …

I was recently asked to talk on GetFitNow Radio about ways to workout at home, but I made it sound so easy! I’m not using my kids as an excuse, but even as a fitness business owner, there are days I fall into bed having not had a spare moment to even think about going for a quick walk! I’m sure you can relate? This is why I preach alignment and integration: Moms may not have a dedicated 30 minutes – let alone an hour {if you do, we cannot be friends} – to “workout” at home or go to the gym, but they can fit little movements and better postures in anywhere anytime!

To prove my point and show I’m real, here are 3 quick, funny {now-that-I-look-back-on-them} events created by small urchins that kept me too distracted or exhausted to get a workout back when they were smaller:

Excerpt from journal 11/14 My terrific two year-old son filled two pairs of my shoes with dish soap today. Not all at once. Two separate incidents. Don’t worry, he didn’t drink the soap. Just filled my shoes with it. Maybe he did it because I always tell him not to play with shoes because they are dirty. I think he meant to wash them. The dish soap is up even higher now.

Excerpt from journal 10/14 Both the kids have colds. I am covered in snot. My couch is covered in slug trails (snot). My whole house is covered in – you guessed it – snot! I’m not feeling so hot, either. I’d like to take a nap, but that’s not going to happen. I hear someone crying…

Excerpt from journal 08/05 Celebrated the baby’s birthday today. I am bushed! Woke up, made coffee, made special breakfast, picked up cake at Costco, called invitees to confirm RSVP’s, babysat last minute for a friend, cleaned up a few potty-training messes, did two loads of laundry … 27 people came! I think labor was easier!

… I forgave myself a workout on those days. It does no good to beat myself up for things undone at the end of the day. I’m happy to get five days of movement each week, but I have to constantly remind myself that if all I have is 20 minutes to ride my recumbent bike, then 20 minutes is enough! We fit in fitness when we can, wherever we can, wearing whatever we can. Just the other day I rode in my pajamas!

Now to balance those 3 days of chaos that I recorded {and that I’m sure a few of you are whispering an AMEN to} here are 3 tips to help you squeeze fitness into a busy day:

1. Practice good alignment The way you carry your bones, the way you move, the way you sit and stand dictates so much about how much muscle you use, how many calories you burn, and even how you digest your food. Walking like a queen takes more muscle and core strength than slumping around the house. As Kelly Dean of The Tummy Team says, keep yourself “Long, Lean and Lifted.” We have a routine on Fit2B that teaches this called Align it Flat… yes, your alignment affects your belly shape, too!

2. Squat and squat more Don’t save squatting for the gym or using the loo. Rather, instead of bending over all the time, trying squatting to get down and get things. Squatting works your whole core, plus your legs and lady bits. That’s right! Several squats WITH GOOD FORM in a row to pick up all those stray legos and socks is enough to activate many dormant muscles and elevate your heart rate. Doing 3 sets of 15 squats at the gym with a 45 lb bar VERSUS squatting 49 times to pick up toys while carrying a toddler… what’s the diff?

3. Call for help! Asking a neighbor to watch the babes while you head out for a quick walk 3 times a week is great accountability. You tell them when to come over, they commit it, you commit to it, it becomes part of your routine. Also, having a friend to walk with and share your journey provides great help to keep going with a fitness plan. It’s as simple as texting a girlfriend with “Hey U want 2 walk 2day?” And don’t forget that your partner is there to parent with you. Who says you can’t skip out the door for 45 minutes right after dinner? Let the other person parent and pick up toys for an hour without you leaning over their shoulder. You get the gift of being alone with your kids most of the time, so why not have them “help” you for an hour and give them that gift in return?