I live in Washington where its raining what sometimes feels like 364 days out of the year. Combine that with the total body exhaustion of raising two under the age of two, just thinking of getting myself out of bed early enough to workout before the kids wake up can make my head want to spin.
I do it any way, and I’ll tell you why: It makes me feel good.
Sure, I could sleep in for another hour and skip my workout hoping that extra time will leave me feeling more rested. But I’ve done that before and it doesn’t. I’ve discovered that as moms, we will always be tired. So I peel myself from my warm soft bed, tie my sneakers and force myself out the front door into, you guessed it… in the rain, the cold, the fog… the not my bed. I love it. I love knowing what exercising does not just for my body, but also my mind. Moving, sweating, getting my heart rate up and taking a bit of time out of a day thats cram packed for others makes me smile. I am doing something for me, and this something for me happens to make me a better mom when I come home.
It’s amazing what a little bit of exercise does for my over all well being. Sure a runner who logs in double digits in miles each week will look great when they hit the beach, but want to know something else amazing? That runner experiences a totally euphoric feeling at the end of their run. It sets off their day on an incredibly positive and refreshing start. It can even combat the stresses they’ve been experiencing. Runner’s high is natural and the most powerful part is that it’s 100% a derivative of what you are doing for yourself.
The beauty of exercise, to me, is that it makes you healthy. Whole body healthy. Thats right, ladies… this includes your head. When I come home from a workout, whether it be spinning, running, or strength – I am more patient, plugged in and happier. Exercising makes me a better mom and it helps me sift, funnel and filter my emotions. The fresh air, change of scenery, pumping blood and connection with like minded people is irreplaceable.
I joined Stroller Strides six weeks postpartum with my first, baby blues ridden, tired and incredibly overwhelemed. I showed up because I said I would, but I came back because it made me smile. You truly cannot beat the benefits of social exercise on total mind and body wellness.
As MOMs we are often last on the list of care. We sacrifice and put everyone before ourselves. I challenge you to bump yourself to the top this month. Put yourself first for one hour each day. Take a walk, join a fitness class, head out on a jog – either way move. Move for yourself, for your mind and for your kids. Realize that being total body healthy benefits everyone in your home. Not only will you set an amazing example for your children, but you are also showing them love. If you can love yourself, you can love others. It’s a beautiful circle to create.
For information on ways you can get active on your own or with your children, check out ActiveWoMOM. You can contact Kristin directly and she is happy to help you on your new journey. She is a Certified Pre & Postnatal fitness instructor and teaches group fitness classes for MOMs at Stroller Strides Kirkland/Bothell and Evergreen Hospital. She has a BA in Journalism and Electronic Media, but most importantly a Master’s in patience as she is currently raising two under the age of two… and loving almost every minute of it.