Recently, one of the readers suggested me to write something about why and how moms should include exercise in their routine. Since this topic was in my mind and now coming from a reader, it was a good reason to start thinking about it. I am not a fitness guru or a yoga expert. I am also a mom just like you who is trying to find a balance between her other activities, commitments and staying fit. For this post, I took inputs from other moms and then drafted this piece based on the common issues they face. I asked them 3 questions – 1. How will you define fitness? 2. Do you had/have a regular exercising routine? 3.If not then what are the things that are stopping you from following it? I found more or less the same issues that are stopping them from following the routine. And that’s how I got my todays’ post idea – “Let’s Get Some Exercise Mamma.”🙂
One thing that was clear in all their answers was they have the same definition for fitness. Fitness is staying fit, eating right and exercising regularly. It is important to stay happy and confident. Since they are also mothers, so they have the same restrictions – like kids unpredictable schedule, tiredness because of busy routine, too much of work and lack of focus. To some extent, we all would agree that after we take up mommy role, many things goes on the back burner. One of them is exercising. But the fact is, this is the time when we need to follow it more sincerely. It’s not just about losing the baby weight but there are several other reasons like it tones our muscles, increase flexibility, act as stress reliever, boost up our morale, help in staying happy.
I am going to focus on what comes in our way of following an exercising routine. Let me walk you through the reasons I can think of… So are you ready? Grab your yoga pants, water bottle, and earbuds and get ready to sweat!
- I am so tired: We all know being a mom means long hours, busy days and sleepless nights. Yes, we get tired. But that should not be the reason for not doing exercise. We think exercise will make us even more tired. But it won’t. No need to do a rigorous workout. Take a walk outside. The morning breeze will gives you a spark. Go slow.
- I don’t have time: In 24 hours, is it that difficult to find 30 minutes (ok 15 minutes) for yourself? I agree all days are not the same. Many times it happens with me too. I feel I have so many things to do, how can I spend 30 minutes for exercise. In such cases, I cut it down to 15 minutes. Instead of 20 repetitions, I do just 10. We have to figure it out. Make a routine habit even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day. Believe me very soon, you will start looking forward for these 30 minutes.
- Mornings are too busy: Mornings are busy for almost everyone. If morning hours do not suit your schedule, you can do exercise after you finish your morning chores. In a way its better as you don’t have any thoughts running in the background. After my daughter was born, I used to do exercise in between 2-3pm. Odd hours right? But that used to work for me.
- I need a motivation: Agreed. We all need someone to push us . And I have seen many people want a buddy for their exercising routine. No problem. It’s always fun to have a partner in your fitness journey. Somehow, this doesn’t work for me a lot. I usually walk alone, exercise alone. That way I am in-charge of my own time. I don’t have to wait for someone.
- My schedule is unpredictable: After we have kids, our schedule changes. Not little but a lot. But that shouldn’t make us quiting things that we used to do during our pre-kids stage. You are setting an awesome example in front of them by staying fit. I often hear my daughter saying to her friends, you know my mom..she can touch her feet even without bending her knees..:)
- Regular chores are as good as any workout, why do I need anything extra: Really? Are we being honest to ourselves? In USA, we do not have the help of cleaning lady coming every day or for other house related help. Here we have to do everything on our own. It does requires energy but is considering it as exercise correct? First of all our mind is not free. Exercise doesn’t mean finishing 30 minutes of some physical training. We should enjoy it.
All these above points are only possible when we follow the last point:
- Accepting No Excuses: The best way to get started is to refuse to accept any excuses for why you can’t exercise. Giving yourself reasons to stop is an easy way to fail. I am quoting the words of one of the moms I talked. She says, “Time management and determination is must. Without these two, we cannot be disciplined in any activity.”
Alright, so are you charged up yet? Little bit? Good. Now let me walk you through my exercise routine.
Once my daughter is off to school and if my little one is up (which is yes on most of the days), I play with him for an hour to hour and half. Then he gets busy with is things and I start doing the meal preparation. You can read about how I do the prep work here. In an hour or so, I am mostly done with everything. Then I give my little one his breakfast followed with shower. He usually takes nap after shower. And that’s the time I do my exercise (20-30 minutes). I mostly do deep stretching. I have been doing stretching from last couple of years. As we all know with young kids, we have to be flexible with our routine so I do not depend on my morning walk or going to gym. Doing this at home works best for me. I take my little one for evening walk everyday but that I do not count in my exercise. So by doing my exercise in the morning, I feel satisfied of keeping up with my commitment. Then I take shower and get to my writing work. If I am lucky and my kiddo is sleeping then I finish writing my post otherwise it goes in draft. Once my daughter come back from school, I get busy with her.
So, don’t wait mamma..
Get active, mamma. Get active for yourself for your kids and for the healthy habits you want to instill in your lives. Your kids are important and they’re watching everything you do.
I have tried my best to do justice with my friend mamma’s request of writing on this topic.
Disclaimer: These are purely my thoughts. Before starting any exercise or fitness program, please consult your doctor.