A Busy Mom’s Practical Guide to Strength Training

Maggie Batten – Fit Mom to Four Children

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, designated in 1983 by the President’s Council on Fitness to promote healthy lifestyles among all Americans and improve our quality of life.[1] The World Health Organization recommends that the average person get 2.5 hours of moderate or 1.5 hours of intense exercise every week, but with gyms and recreation facilities closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many Americans might be puzzled as to how to maintain their health and fitness.

One of the best activities that we can do for our bodies is strength training. Lifting weights in essential in combating lower abdominal fat, reducing cancer risks, strengthening mental health, and boosting brain health, among many other benefits.2 In addition to strength training, aerobic exercise is also important as it improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps to regulate blood sugar, reduces asthma symptoms and chronic pain, as well as aids in sleep.

Maggie Batten and her family

So how can we work, care for our kids and their schoolwork, cook, clean, and stay motivated? Maggie Batten is a brand ambassador, completed certifications in spin instruction and fitness, and mom to four kids (two of which are under two!). She knows the struggle all too well! Here are her tips to keep you motivated and on track:

  1. Be prepared. I try to prepare my meals in advance. Obviously, I don’t prepare everything and I am flexible for “life.” I try to have my breakfast and lunches ready so I can just grab them and go. Having kids makes it harder to make sure you are getting your proper nutrition, so by preparing, it is like my magic key to being healthy.
  2. Be ok with putting yourself first. This took me awhile to learn. The laundry, house cleaning, dishes, yard work, emails, etc….it can all wait. When my two babies napped I would try to get everything in and have no time for me. I’ve started using that small amount of time to do things for myself. That right now is working out for me and our schedules.
  3. Don’t mind the people that don’t understand your fitness or health journey. It’s not about anyone else but you. It’s a lifestyle and not everyone gets it. Keep doing it! There are so many wonderful friendships I’ve made on social media through fitness. Seek out positive vibes.
  4. Be patient. I’ve been through four pregnancies, three surgeries, depression, and a lot of hardships. I know our bodies can be amazing, stubborn, and very difficult. It is also very capable. Give yourself time. Change will happen. Maybe change takes longer than you want, but you will get there!
  5. Take progress pictures. I know not everyone does this but I think it’s a good idea to do it. No matter what your fitness goals are I recommend taking pictures of your starting point for yourself to look back on. You will be amazed as you go along in your journey to health.
Maggie Batten

Some states are slowly starting to open back up from quarantine, but things are definitely not how they were, and more than likely, may never be the same. So here are my tips for working out from home during quarantine:

  1. Find a program. My favorite app right now is the Tone It Up app. I love the quick workouts, recipes, and how each day it is different. I love variety and each day is new and different! In the past I used a DVD program through a popular fitness company and used that as my guide. Once I completed it a few times, I was able to skip watching the videos and follow the written plan with the workout schedule. There are also a myriad of gyms and fitness companies offering free workouts online and on social media while the quarantine is happening. In addition to these free programs, there are a lot of popular fitness DVDs available online, too.
  2. Don’t skip more than three days in a row. I personally have noticed that if I skip one or two days in a row, it’s ok! However, if I skip three days in a row, I am likely to fall of the proverbial wagon. I aim to only skip one day, every couple of days, or workout 5 days in a row with one rest day. 
  3. Involve your children! Do a push-up challenge with the whole family, see who can curl canned goods the most, compete in a plank challenge, do standing calf-raises to music, ride bikes as a family, go on a walk/run. Be creative and find new ways to workout together and make it fun!
I competed ONCE, a long time ago…back in my heyday! Terrified, but proud that I got up on that stage!

Whatever you do, make it enjoyable! You are more prone to stick to a program that you like, so make it fun, change it up and include the family.

What are you doing to stay active during these uncertain times? Share below! I love reading your comments and can always use more ideas!! And don’t forget to subscribe!

Make sure to visit Maggie Batten on Instagram:

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[1] https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/national-physical-fitness-and-sports-month

[2] https://www.yahoo.com/news/11-benefits-strength-training-nothing-muscle-size-142928464.html

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