Exercise Advice from The Workout Mama

February 23, 2015

This post is a guest blog from Tamara Buschel, aka The Workout Mama. She is a wonderful friend of mine and was a huge encouragement to me when I decided to enter the blogging world. She is married to Josh, a firefighter, and mama to Caden and Maisie. Josh and Tamara are amazing parents, and it’s such a treat getting to watch their children grow as their nurse practitioner! Tamara writes about down-to-earth, easy ways to live a healthy, active lifestyle, so you should follow her on Facebook (and her Pinterest is really awesome too!). 

Exercise Tips from The Workout MamaTell us a little bit about your experience overcoming Guillain-Barre Disease. How did this make you so passionate about exercising?

Growing up I was never the athletic girl. I really didn’t start getting into fitness until college. When I started exercising I was very strict with it. I had to work out for a certain amount of time or I felt like it didn’t count. My family would not want to go hiking with me because I made it stressful for them and not an enjoyable experience. I never had an eating disorder but I will say that my view on exercise at that time was disordered.

After I graduated college I became very sick with a neurological disorder that left me paralyzed from the next down. You can read all about that experience in my Girl Behind the Blog series (Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6).

Not being able to move my body was a life changing experience. I am daily grateful for the ability to wakeup and get out of bed in the morning. I now exercise for overall health and mobility as opposed to going for a run for 60 minutes just to be able to say I went for a run.

Learning how to exercise with purpose, eating food that will nourish my body, and not taking anything for granted were all things I would not have fully appreciated or even understood had I not been sick. I always say getting sick was one of the worst and best things that could have happened to me.

Honest question: I struggle with being sporadic with my exercise. Last week I did a 30 minute exercise class that rendered me barely able to get up and down the stairs (or toilet for that matter… TMI I know) for the following 3 days. Then I didn’t want to go back ever again this week. How do you stay consistent with your exercise?

I try to keep my exercise routine functional and flexible. Having two kids has forced me to adapt the way I train and also arrange my day. When your days are busy and not necessarily predicable you need to give yourself a little grace. Some days I wake up early and exercise, sometimes I do it when the kids are awake, or I will squeeze in a workout while my husband and I are watching a tv show together after the kids are in bed.

Buschel Family

The best advice I can offer is to have some sort of plan. For the last few months I have not set foot in the gym and all my workouts have been at home with minimal equipment. Right now in my life this is what works best for me and my family.

It is so easy to come up with excuses as to why we didn’t or couldn’t workout. If your main reason for exercising is to look good come swimsuit season you will most likely not succeed with staying consistent with exercising. On the other hand, if you instead are exercising to maintain your health and keep your body working to the best of it’s ability you will be more likely to stick with it.

Do you exercise with your adorable kids? What are your favorite exercise routines that include your children?

Josh and Caden Flipping Tires

Yes. Both Josh and I workout with our kids. We have used Caden, our 2 year old, as a weight for squats and lunges. Now that he is getting older he likes to participate in the workouts with us. He does sprints, tire flips, and planks. It is so cute! He even has his own set of 1 pound weights.

Step Ups

Our 7 month old, Maisie (pronounced May-zee), either naps while we workout or she is on her activity mat watching. Once she starts crawling she will go into her pack n play.

Tell us a little bit about why you became a yoga instructor. I know yoga is good for stretching, but do you find it really helps build strength and endurance?

As I was recovering from Guillain-Barre I went to physical therapy and started using yoga to help regain my balance, coordination, and strength. Believing that God had a plan to use my illness and recovery I completed my yoga teacher training in July of 2009 and have been teaching ever since and each day I rediscover what my body is capable of doing.


There are so many different styles of yoga. I am all about variety. I don’t think that it is a great idea to ever do only one type of physical activity. Repetitive movements overtime can lead to injury and muscular imbalances. Flexibility, strength training, and cardio are all components to well rounded fitness.

To answer the last part of your question, certain types of yoga classes can improve your physical strength but it is so important to incorporate strength training and cardio into your routine.

Thank you so much for having me on Kid Nurse. Our entire family absolutely adores you and we are so thankful to have you look after our babies.

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