Many individuals who used to go to the gym or attend exercise classes struggled to maintain their workout routines during the lockdowns. To make matters worse, the disruption that the pandemic has wrought on day-to-day life has made it extra challenging for people to return to an active lifestyle.
Given that people are moving less, staying at home, and eating more, it’s not surprising that weight gain is now more prevalent, especially among women. Perhaps your fitness routine has been interrupted by gym closures or work-from-home arrangements, or maybe the stress of the COVID-19 restrictions reduced your motivation to keep exercising.
Whatever your reason may be for being out of shape, it’s best to try re-incorporating physical activity into your daily routine to stay fit and healthy, especially during these trying times. Do it to regain your lovely curves and, more importantly, to improve and maintain your overall well-being.
Are you having trouble getting back on track? Read on. This piece will offer six ways to help you achieve your fitness goals. We’ve also included several styling tips such as investing in shaping tights and other types of shape wear. All these should help you burn off or conceal the extra quarantine weight and transform you into a fabulous-looking mom in an instant.
How to Start Getting Back in Shape
As a busy mom with lots of responsibilities at work and at home, it’s tempting to forego exercise, especially in these unprecedented times. Perhaps you only skipped your workout for a day or two. Before you knew it, three days turned into four, and so on, until it had been weeks since you last worked out. If you’re struggling to get your exercise game on, here are several strategies to get back in shape:
Set Small, Realistic Goals
One of the most effective ways to keep yourself motivated during your fitness journey is by starting small. For instance, instead of aiming to run on the treadmill for an hour on your first day, plan to do 15 minutes for three days a week instead. Then, gradually increase the duration of your workouts or add new exercises to your routine as you get used to being physically active again. Also, be realistic. Schedule your workout on days or times when you have less on your plate so that your workout routine becomes more enjoyable and less overwhelming.
Getting back in shape takes time. That’s why you need to be patient with yourself and your progress. Don’t expect that your body will immediately adjust to the physical demands of your fitness routine, especially if you’ve been inactive for some time. You may not realize it, but even a week of inactivity can reduce your physical performance. That said, fight the temptation to do too much too fast as it could lead to injury and feelings of frustration. Just do the work, and results will follow eventually.
Think Outside the Box
To help you stay the course, you may need to redefine what working out means to you. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to attend exercise classes, jog every morning, or ride your stationary bike for a set, uninterrupted time every day. Rather than stressing about how you can squeeze an hour or two of exercise time into your already packed schedule, find ways to stay active throughout the day. Perhaps you can march in place while watching television, play tag with your kids, or go for walks after dinner. Essentially, make it your daily mission to keep moving, no matter what form the physical activity may take.
Find an Accountability Partner
If you tend to perform well when somebody keeps track of what you’re doing, you may benefit from having an accountability partner. It can even be fun if your designated accountability buddy shares a workout with you via an online video. That said, this kind of arrangement isn’t required. Simply put, what you need is someone you can trust to help you follow through with your plans.
Perhaps you can send them a picture after completing a workout session, or maybe your accountability partner can call you before bed to check on your progress. Whatever monitoring strategy you agree on, be sure to find an accountability partner who’s deeply invested in your success.
Take your workout sessions outdoors whenever possible to get some much-needed sunlight and fresh air. You can go to the park, hike, or even do an hour of yoga in your backyard. Introducing variations in your exercise routine can make it more fun and engaging. More importantly, you can experience tons of mental health benefits when you spend time in a natural environment. Working out surrounded by nature can relieve stress and anxiety, lift your mood, and improve concentration. You will undoubtedly feel energized and motivated after exercising outside.
Be Kind to Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a session. Failing to stick to your schedule doesn’t mean you’re lazy or a failure. Let go of your perceived shortcomings and start again. You may also want to practice positive self-talk to put you in the right mindset. Remind yourself of the reasons why you’re working out again and continue cheering for yourself even if you encounter setbacks.
Styling Tips to Look Fit and Fabulous
Even if you’re still far from achieving your fitness goals, you don’t have to limit your wardrobe choices to oversized dresses and shirts. With the right combination of clothes and a few clever tricks, you can look fit, fabulous, and confident no matter what tasks you need to accomplish each day. Here are a few dress-slim tips that you may want to try:
Invest In High-quality Shapewear
Looking good in any outfit starts by wearing the right undergarments. After all, it’s not exactly visually appealing if you have some fleshy bits and bumps peeking out from the waistband of your underwear. To create a smoother and lovelier silhouette, try investing in seamless slimming briefs, camisoles, shaping tights, and full-body undergarments.
Opt for Flattering Necklines
Always go for dresses and tops that flatter your figure, such as those that come with a V-neck. This type of neckline slims down your face, broadens the shoulder, and stretches the neck. A boat neck is another neckline option as it offers the same shoulder-widening and neck-extending advantages.
Try Monochromatic Dressing
To create a more cohesive and slimming appearance, try wearing tops and bottoms that come in a single color, particularly dark ones. Make the overall look more stylish by playing with different textures or shades. For example, you can pair your navy-blue silk top with dark wash blue jeans. Slip into a pair of black or dark blue ballet flats to wrap up a fashionable yet comfortable ensemble.
Wear Body-friendly Dresses
When choosing dresses, opt for beltless or no-waist designs, such as empire, trapeze, or wrap. You may also select pieces with busy patterns and prints as they can disguise tummy bulges and elevate your style.
Upgrade Your Casual Outfit with a Blazer
A blazer is a staple not only for elevating your ensemble but also for covering flabby arms. For casual events or meeting friends for coffee, try putting on an open blazer over a V-neck shirt and high-rise dark skinny jeans. Complete the look with a pair of black pumps to create an illusion of longer, slimmer legs.
Hopefully, the strategies mentioned above will motivate you to restart your exercise routine and keep the habit moving forward. In case you miss a few workout days, forgive yourself and start again. You may also want to dress more mindfully so that you always look your best. Remember that when you look good, you also feel good. Your mindset changes, allowing you to face daily challenges with optimism and hope. And don’t forget: you’ve got this!