As moms we are busy. Really busy. Whether we are staying at home, working part-time, working full-time or running a Fortune 500 company, we are busy. The demands of life, of kids, of spouses, of our duties inevitably creeps in. What is your coping mechanism? Is it benefiting you? Is it contributing to the wellness of your family? Is it positive? I’m sure you’re thinking because I am all about fitness, I am going to say that exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Well, ding-ding-ding, you’re right. But not for the reasons you’re thinking. It is not so that you can have a killer body, 6-pack abs or biceps that put men to shame; rather I believe in the importance of overall well-being. I have said it before and I will proclaim this fact to the end. Exercise has saved my life. Throughout the struggles that I have faced, I have continued to stay active. Not for vanity, but for sanity. It is something that has remained constant, something that I can rely on. Even if it is the simplest of workout, I have a sense of accomplishment and pride once it is completed. It makes me feel better. It makes me a better person. It makes me a better mom. It simply makes me better.
I encourage every mom to carve out some time, as often as they can, for fitness. And this is geared for all moms. Stay-at-home and working moms alike. Finding the time, everyday if possible, to be active can set one up for success and fulfillment in all areas of life. Here’s why:
1.) Endorphins. Endorphins. Endorphins. When one exercises, the body releases a beautiful chemical called endorphins. Endorphins interact with receptors in the brain, reducing the perception of pain. It also sets off a positive feeling within the body, often compared to the effects of morphine. This creates a positive and energetic outlook on life. From which, all of us can benefit. Do you have to exercise intensely to benefit? Nope. Moderate exercise will do. Go for a walk. Dance in the living room. Go for a bike rides with your kids. A small amount of effort can be rewarded by a great benefit.
2.) Me time. Every mom needs a little “me time”. With the demands, both physical and mental that are accompanied by motherhood, we need some space and we need some time to ourselves. Sure, you could spend that time relaxing, but I think it’s best if that time is spent in activity. (Remember those endorphins?) The sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that you spent time bettering yourself, is priceless. Which leads me to…
3.) Endorphins + Me time= Happy Mama= Happy Family. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. As a mom you are a pillar for your kids. Your attitude often leads the family’s overall attitude. What if your happiness spread? What if your happiness helped you shake off a bad day? What if you remain centered, even if your kids are bouncing off the walls? The effort is worth it. I promise.
4.) It becomes social. As women, we need each other. We need someone to talk to with whom we can relate. Fitness can help you not only meet your fitness needs, but a lot of your social needs as well. If you are a stay-at-home mom, I encourage you to join a gym with childcare. You will likely meet other moms in the same boat you’re in. Social jackpot. If you are a working mom who has to work out before or after work hours, you too will find women in the same boat. It could be a great encouragement. If the gym isn’t for you, maybe you can form a walking or running group, or join a fitness club or a bootcamp. The options are limitless.
5.) Positive improvements. Fitness and exercise can often lead to improvements that stem through your whole life. Exercise can lead to a healthier lifestyle, which can lead to dietary changes, which leads to physical changes, which leads to a higher self esteem and sense of self-worth, which leads to being more present in your life, which leads your children by a positive example, which allows them to pursue a healthier lifestyle… The choices you make today can truly affect the richness of the lives of those you love the most.
I hope you are encouraged to get up and move today. Do what you can. Start where are and go from there. You will reap the benefits of your efforts.