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:

You might also like:


[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


A Note on Mother’s Day

Today is a day we celebrate the mothers in our lives. For some, this day is filled with joy and laughter and love, and for others, its full of mixed emotions, sadness, grief, loss, and sorrow.

Today, I feel both.

I lost my mother when I was 13 years old. She stuggled with a lot of emotional scars and substance abuse. Ultimately it took her life and took her from me.

For years I struggled with her loss. It took ten years to finally release a lot of sorrow and emotions that were wrapped up in the loss of my mother. Now, I am able to think of her without crying and filled with pleasant memories, instead of the last moment I had with her, which was seeing her on life-support.

Losing my mother was incredibly difficult and no one can ever replace your mom. However, God has blessed me with so many amazing, caring, loving moms in my life since.

These two mommas have been instrumental in my life.

My grandmother has been there for me for so many difficult and challenging events and relationships throughout my life. She always points me to God. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or down, she is quick to give me scripture and guide me through life’s challenging times. She planted a seed in me when I was a teen that started to bloom, and later as an adult, I accepted Christ. She never gave up on me. She just continued to love me and pour the love of Christ over me. What a blessing she has been!

My mother-in-love is so incredible. She loves us so well and showers love on our boys so much! She goes out of her way to visit, send cards, gifts, and selflessley cares for others. My husband was so lucky to have such a marvelous Christian women to raise him. I am so blessed to have a mom in my life that loves me like her own and welcomed me with open arms. She is a mother-in-law that many could only wish for. Thank you, Mom, for being a remarkable mom and grandmother!

In addition to these two amazing women, my great-grandmother was also someone I admired and loved dearly. When my mom lost our apartment, my great-grandmother opened her doors to us and cared for me like I was her own daughter. Even when I got older, I would drive to her apartment and stay the weekend with her. She was so much fun and I loved her dearly.

Now as a mother, I think back to when my children were born and the immense never-ending love you immediately have for your child. I love my boys with everything I have and I am so grateful that God blessed us with these two crazy boys. They are full of life, love, and curiosity. I am blessed to be their mom.

This day bring a lot of joy. But again, a lot of sorrow. My heart aches for the women who desperately want to be a mother. For those that have lost children. To those who have miscarried. To those who have lost their own mothers.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (ESV)

Wherever you are today, however you are feeling, be it happiness or sorrow, joy or grief, remember that you are loved. You are a daughter to the Most High. He loves you so much!

May this day be a blessing to you, may you notice the remarkable gift that the Lord has given us this day. Be inspired. Be grateful. Find the joy in the day. The sun, the warmth, flowers, all the little moments. Feel blessed and loved, because God made this day for you. May we rejoice and be glad in it!

Love you all! Happy Mother’s Day!