As moms know, this amazing thing called “life” tends to always get in the way of our best laid plans.
As a single mom of 3 & 5 year old boys, I get it as well as anyone. My friends at LoziLu were expecting this blog post about two weeks ago, but “life” in the form of an evil stomach virus that ripped through my family, extra shifts that needed to be covered at work, and a plane trip across the country to run a half marathon, just to name a few, got in the way. Heck, in the time it took me to write the above few lines, I’ve had to leave the computer about to break up a fight, kiss a boo-boo, fill a sippy cup, confiscate the digital camera from sticky little fingers, and put on an episode of the “Cat in the Hat”. It’s a miracle if I can spit out a coherent thought onto the screen without the screech of “mommmyyyyyyy!” accidentally sneaking in.
Yes ladies, the chaos known as motherhood is all about rolling with the punches, choosing your battles, pushing the not so important tasks to the side, and making sure at the end of the day, everyone is happy and healthy.
And this health and happiness includes you, Mom.
As a personal trainer and wellness coach, I hear it out of the mouths of mothers almost daily. “I don’t/didn’t have the time to workout.” And as a runner, I often hear other mothers say they would LOVE to train for their first 5k or participate in something like the LoziLu series, but feel guilty for wanting to take the time away from their family. Call me crazy, but I don’t believe either of those situations are ACTUALLY true… if we would just step back and look.
So I’m here today to tell you that not only SHOULD you take the time, but you NEED to make the time to fit exercise into your life, and no matter what your situation is, I’m almost certain you CAN do it. In this series, I’ll tell you why, I’ll tell you how, and I will tell you that YOU ARE WORTH IT! (you are!)
So today, let’s start with the WHY you need to make the time:
1) Happy mom = happy family. That’s no secret, ask any child old enough to understand or any husband who knows what’s good for them, and they will agree. Regular exercise is associated with improved mental well-being , and lower incidences of depression. And you don’t need to be an experienced runner to get that infamous “runner’s high”… just one bout of exercise will release a whole bunch of hormones like endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine, which all work together to naturally boost your mood. One bout of exercise will also decrease stress hormones such as cortisol. And then there is the obvious…regular exercise gives us confidence. Be it because we feel strong and amazing, or because we fit into the skinny jeans instead of the mom jeans. Whatever way you slice it, exercise makes you HAPPY.
2) You have an audience. Our children watch every move we make, take in every word we say, and soak it all up like a giant sponge. Any mom who has had their innocent, sweet 2 year old spit out curse word for the first time at the most inappropriate moment and/or location knows what I’m talking about. But on a more serious note: obesity, and specifically childhood obesity, are at all time, dangerous highs. Don’t just tell your kids to eat healthy and exercise…SHOW THEM. Lead by positive example. Kids who see their parents willingly engage in exercise (instead of grumble about the gym and instead turn to fad, dangerous diets) are more likely to follow in their footsteps and willingly lead healthy lifestyles themselves. They are more likely to see physical activity as a FUN, instead of a dreaded chore.
Further, what could possible be a more positive influence than a mom who can do something as amazing as set her mind to a goal, train for that goal, and accomplish the goal? Strong, positive moms are where it’s at! Stand at the finish line to any race and take in the proud, cheering children and families wildly waving signs saying things like “my mom rocks!!” and you will understand what I’m saying.
3) Because you want to enjoy life. Carry your exhausted baby upstairs without losing your breath. Jump up off the floor with super speed to grab your toddler before he grabs the dog’s tail. Chase after your kids when they are learning to ride a bike. Be able to help coach the soccer team. See your kids go to the prom. Graduate. Get married. Throw your grandbabies in the air. Chase after them when they are learning to ride a bike. You get the idea. Motherhood tends to go like this: the second we find out we are pregnant with our child we automatically put ourselves at the very bottom of the priority list. It’s a natural reaction to care for our precious babies, it’s what mothers do. But if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? And if you don’t take care of yourself, and then you can’t take care of your babies…who is going to do it? I hate to sound so morbid, but taking care of YOURSELF now is an investment in your future. Regular exercise prevents a slew of diseases and disorders, including heart disease (the #1 killer of women in our country!), cancers, osteoporosis, type II diabetes, the list goes on and on. But beyond that, regular exercise increases productivity and the QUALITY of our lives. Give life your best “you”!
4) YOU ARE WORTH IT!! Have I mentioned that yet? You are. And not only to yourself, but to that beautiful family of yours (see #1, #2 & #3 above). Women, moms especially, are super heros without capes. Yes, YOU are amazing in all that you already do, and you can achieve A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G you set your mind to. Don’t ever forget that!
So I hope by now you’ve started to realize that you indeed DO deserve to do this for yourself, whether it be establishing regular exercise into your life, or deciding to train for one of the awesome LoziLu courses. Sit down and re-evaluate your priority list. Where can you squeeze a little “me” time into your day, now that you know how important it really is? Tune in for my next post in which I’ll share tips to fitting regular physical activity into your crazy, daily-mom life (or even get the family involved!)
“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu