So many places to start here so let us just pick a few and jump right in! “I am a mom; I don’t have time to exercise anymore. I can’t fit in everything I have to do all day let alone find the time to go to the gym and train.” Bull. That is my answer and it is time as women and mothers we leave that mentality behind. We should accept that it is perfectly okay to take care of ourselves mentally and physically. Taking care of ourselves is a priority, reaching our own physical goals and mentally having the outlet of physical exercise provides are all things we should be doing even as “moms”.
As mothers, we have the role of being caregivers for everyone else and at the same time trying to balance all that comes with life. The constant rushing that starts the second our feet hit the floor till the second we rest our heads at night only to think of the list that starts all over again the next morning. Making sure our children’s emotional needs and physical needs are constantly being met daily as well a spouse and or partner, friends, family and even co-workers can be exhausting enough. So where is the time for us? The answer is you have to make time. Just as you block off times for those important school functions or physical activities that your children participate in. This time, even just an hour, is imperative and should be made a priority. Running ourselves down physically and not making the time for exercise is only setting us up for a poor future in the long run. Research shows exercise reduces the risk of dementia by improving cognitive function, boosting mind function and energy. Exercise decreases our risk of osteoporosis, preventing muscle loss, which is huge for women. The cardiovascular benefits as well should be a key motivating factor to make the necessary time to exercise, with 1 in 4 women dying from heart disease alone. Our children don’t need us just in the short term but the long term and our lifestyle choices are what affects the outcome of that. The “mom” guilt can feel overwhelming as society has made us to feel this way but there is nothing wrong with looking at your future and blocking time to take care of yourself. There is nothing selfish about wanting to see your children grow and maybe even one day your grandchildren grow up healthy and happy. Remember your habits your children are watching and taking notes on.
Watching and helping our children reach their goals is an awesome feeling as a parent but just because we are “moms” doesn’t mean we can’t have goals of our own. Childbirth can change our bodies and mentally that that can take a toll. I hear moms all the time say, “I wish I could look like that.” Or even, “I remember how my body looked before I had my child/children.” While it is true that our bodies may never go back to the way they once were we can get pretty close. What it takes is less complaining and self-pity and more action. That action of working just as hard as you do at everything else and investing back into yourself. It is your life as well and why not be as comfortable as you can be in your own skin? Why not feel and be strong physically? Let go of all the excuses that you are giving yourself and understand it takes action and commitment on your part but you can reach those physical goals you envision in your mind. Make a plan, join a gym, hire a trainer and get started. No more excuses. It is just that simple to start and don’t stop to you reach your goals.
Exercise provides a huge mental outlet that is essential to having that release we seem to never have time for. The constant stress we are under can at times become overwhelming. Physical activity is shown to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, “working out can definitely help you relax and make you feel better, keeping anxiety and depression from coming back.” When you exercise, neurotransmitters and endorphins that ease depression are released. We as moms need this, making us better at being able to enjoy those moments no matter how crazy or hectic life can feel at times. It provides us that release to be better mothers, friends and partners. With the busy lives we all seem to lead now days, who wouldn’t want the mental benefits that come from that break we so desperately need?
So as you see, letting go of all the excuses and making time to exercise even as a “mom” actually can benefit us tremendously. Prioritizing exercise is something that you must do and gaining the physical and mental rewards that come with it are all enough reasons to throw the excuses out of the window. Block it off on your calendar just as you would any other appointment. This is an appointment with yourself you can’t afford to miss. So what are you waiting for? Get motivated, get serious and GET STARTED! NO EXCUSES!