Four tips for balancing your fitness and family life

The pandemic has not been easy for mums. Finding the time to focus on yourself whilst taking care of children can be a tricky juggling act. That’s why it is so important to create a routine that promotes a healthy body and mind. A workout gets your brain and body fired up; ready to take on any challenge the day may hold.

Read on for some great tips on staying fit during lockdown, as well as some activewear inspo from the debut Denise Lewis Edit, available to order online from Next – one of the resident retailers at Cabot Circus in Bristol Shopping Quarter.

Curated for women on the go and never sacrificing style or comfort, this collection is perfect for home workouts or running after the kids.

Tip One: Plan your workouts around your children

Time and motivation are the two main obstacles standing in your way when you want to work out. The key is to block out some time in your calendar every day for physical activity.

If you have a meeting in your calendar, you show up – a workout is no different! Whether it’s yoga at 8am or a run at lunch time, if you schedule it into your day, you’ll be motivated to show up.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Organise activities for your children to do whilst you exercise. Let them watch a film, do some drawing or ask your partner to take them on a walk so that you can have some ‘me’ time!

Another aspect that can motivate you to exercise is having some comfy and fashionable activewear that you are excited to put on in the morning. Denise Lewis’ Next active range contains versatile pieces, including technical leggings and crop tops – which are super easy to throw on at a moment’s notice. Engineered for ‘the gym of life’, the collection caters for mums on the go who are used to scheduling workouts in-between taking care of children.

Olympian Denise stresses the importance of good workout clothes:

“What I love about activewear is that it’s easy. It doesn’t matter what time of the day I put it on. It’s simple. I can go to the gym, I can pick up the kids from school. It’s just comfortable and I feel good in it.”

Tip Two: Find the perfect online fitness class

Just because we’re under lockdown right now doesn’t mean exercising has to take a backseat. Gyms may be closed, but so many sites are offering online classes via digital platforms so it’s worth having a look at what your usual leisure centre is offering. Many influencers are also carrying out classes like pilates and yoga via Instagram.

We’d recommend mixing up your workouts to fit your schedule and keep things interesting. Having more variety in what you’re doing will make the whole workout process even more enjoyable! For example, you could work out with your children as part of their PE lesson and then do a yoga class once they’ve gone to sleep.

Whatever workout you decide to do, our top tip is to have a comfortable and robust pair of trainers fit for all activities. Denise Lewis’ collection has a great pair of technical trainers which are lightweight yet supportive:

“These trainers are great for running or high impact activity. They’re really comfy and supportive – my feet don’t slip inside and they really grip the ground!”

Tip Three: Get out of the house with your kids

With lockdown upon us, it’s important to still get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Use your lunch break as an excuse to take the kids out in the buggy – this is a workout in itself, particularly if you choose a route with an incline!

Alternatively, if you’ve escaped childcare duties, try listening to music and going on a solo walk for some much needed fresh air. In these cold winter months, make sure to wrap up warm. Denise is a huge fan of this comfy zip up hoody from the collection:

“I just love this zip up hoody, it’s such a strong piece. It’s perfect to throw on whether you’re coming from the gym and heading out to go shopping or picking up the kids, it’s just easy. The attention to detail is fabulous, a little bit edgy – I like!”

Tip Four: Don’t get stressed about it

Exercise is not something to get stressed about. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to find time for a workout thanks to poorly kids or an impromptu client call. Never compare yourself to other mums and just do what makes you feel good.

With four children under the age of 19, Denise is no stranger to the demands of a busy lifestyle. The key for her is to keep a positive mindset and not to put too much pressure on herself:

“I’m not even sure how I juggle being a mum of four kids. You’ve just gotta have a positive mindset and be really clear with what you want to get out of the day but know that you can’t fit everything in. Don’t beat yourself up!”

Fitting fitness into your schedule is tough, but it can be done! The most important thing is to do what makes you happy and healthy. To explore more of the Denise Lewis edit, shop the collection on the Next website now