How Carrie Underwood Manages to Stay Fit On the Road As a Mom of Two
The singer shares her refreshingly balanced view on fitness and her no-fail tricks and tools for getting a hotel workout in anywhere.
Between headlining a massive national tour, being a successful entrepreneur (have you seen her activewear line CALIA?), and hosting a cool 9+ million Instagram followers who watch her every move, there's little about Carrie Underwood's life that feels basic. But when it comes to fitness, it's actually no-nonsense workouts that keep the performer grounded and fit, especially when she's juggling arena performances and home life with her sons (4-year-old, Isaiah and 9-month-old, Jacob) and husband Mike Fisher.
"We all have enough to worry about and enough to do in our lives," says Underwood. "I believe in keeping things as simple as possible—from workouts to skin care. The fewer things I have to think about and worry about, the better. If it's too complicated, I'm not going to do it." (Related: Carrie Underwoods Shares What Gives Her Extra Workout Motivation In the Gym)
Here's how Underwood gets her sweat on no matter what city she's in, how motherhood has influenced her current approach, and her current fitness goal.
How Her Fitness Routine Changes with the Seasons
"I want to listen to my body and do what I'm in the mood for. On different days, that means different things. I'm a bit of a seasonal workout person. If you think about it, in the winter, we're all bundled up, and we all want to be warm, comfortable, there are a lot of holidays. So, I'll lift more and do less cardio then and make use of all those extra holiday food calories and build some muscle. In the summer, I want to feel lighter. I want to run and sweat, so I use the temperature and that feeling to lean up a bit and do more outdoor cardio things."
How She Always Manages to Fit In a Workout
"I've become an expert at working out with nothing! I'm great at putting things together, and thinking: 'What do I have around me that I can use?' Maybe it's three steps—I can use that! Or I have a chair I can do dips on. Obviously, if you work with your bodyweight, you can do push-ups anywhere. You can do sit-ups anywhere. You can be in your hotel room, and you don't have to leave. You just have to think outside the box, and get creative."
The Fitness Equipment She Brings Everywhere
"I like traveling with a few things that are easy to pack. So, you can get an ab wheel you can put in your bag, and it doesn't weigh a lot or take up a lot of space. It can be painful, but you don't have to do many of them to feel it the next day. I like keeping it simple. I'll also use [resistance] bands and jump ropes that you can pack and take anywhere with you and easily come up with a workout."
(P.S. You can grab all these items and more cheap workout equipment right on Amazon.)
Her Must-Have Activewear for Fall & Winter
"I like materials that move with me and stay where they're supposed to stay. Some of my favorites are the pieces that are soft and are just meant to be worn day to day. I do love the Energize Printed 7/8 Leggings (Buy It, $65, caliastudio.com). They're super comfortable and also work great in the gym and anywhere else. We have this cool Cracked Marble pattern out right now."
Her Latest (Badass) Fitness Goal
"I want to be stronger. If I feel good in my clothes, and I'm starting to see some muscles, it just makes me want to keep going. I enjoy how I feel when running up a flight of stairs or picking up my kids or carrying things is easy. I like seeing muscles and feeling progress, so I'm always looking to lift more or do more reps." (Can you say: 'Non-scale victories'?)
How She Involves Her Oldest Son
"Isaiah loves to work out. When I go running, if he comes with me, he only stays out there like five minutes anyway, and then he's like, 'I'm done with this!' Sometimes I'll say, like, 'Alright buddy, do some push-ups for me!' He thinks it's fun." (You need to see these photos of them working out together.)
"I do think its important to set that example for your children. I want Isaiah and Jacob to live long, happy healthy lives. I let him know that's why we work out. My own mom would be like, 'I need to lose weight,' and I feel like it's really easy for women to put themselves down in front of their kids. We all do it. We all analyze and we don't even realize we're doing it. We should shift our focus and our words." (Related: The Important Reason I'm Raising My Daughter to Be an Athlete That Has Nothing to Do with Fitness)
How She Learned to Be Kind to Herself
"[After I was pregnant] with Isaiah, I was able to get back to the gym right away, and it was exciting and fun, and I felt strong quickly. After Jacob, it was a different ballgame. My body had a different experience with pregnancy, in general. I was down on myself and putting myself down and wondering, 'why isn't this the same as it was a few years?'
Shifting my focus was the most important thing, saying, 'OK, this was a different pregnancy. Not everything going to be perfect and the same all the time.' That's just the challenge of getting older. Things are going to be different in 10 years than they are now, and I'll have to evaluate where I'm at in the moment and make the best of it: to accept my body and all the amazing things it can do, and cut myself some slack. Once I started doing that, I started to feel like myself again. I'm still striving and pushing. It's a life-long process. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.
My advice for other moms? Don't work out to lose weight. Treat your body right in order to be healthy. When people talk about deprivation diets and all the things they can't have, that messes with your mind. You don't want to be like, 'I can't do this, I can't eat that.' Focusing on all the good, healthy, yummy things you can have and can do, it's so much healthier than thinking about workouts as a punishment."