Mommies Need Exercise Too

One of the most important things to good health is exercise, yet it can be one of the most difficult things to get when you have small children. Let’s face it, caring for small children literally takes all your time.

From the time your child is born, the first thing to go out the window is time for yourself – showers, meals, doing your nails, haircuts, makeup, exercise, relaxing – all of it goes on the back burner as your priorities turn to diaper changes, never-ending loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning, and so on.

Before I had kids, I religiously exercised 6 days a week for at least 1 hour. I never missed it unless I was sick. Then when I got pregnant, I wasn’t sure what kind of exercise I could still do. I really should have researched it but I didn’t, so because I hardly exercised, I gained a lot of weight.

Fast forward past 3 pregnancies – each time I got a little more exercise but it was up and down, mainly because finding time to fit it in was so hard. I also never got back down to my original pre-pregnancy weight (maybe no one ever does, I don’t know). Then for a few months last year, I just stopped, and it took seeing some pics of me in a swimsuit (that was so hard to get into but had fit well earlier) to realise that I needed to do something drastic and exercise daily no matter what.

In January I started my new exercise plan: Get up at 6 and exercise from 6:30 to 7:30, before the kids get up. It wasn’t easy and it took me two months to get into the groove, but I can say that I am feeling much better now. Since the beginning of March, I got back into the 6 days a week routine and I know it is doing me some good. Fitting it in was the hard part.

Some days I’m tired; I don’t want to get up so early. I know my kids will sleep late so I want to sleep, but I also know that once the day starts, I won’t stop for exercise and I have to have it. So I force myself to get up. Once I’m up and out there, I feel good. I put some music on and go out onto our large balcony and enjoy the early morning fresh air and do my dance/aerobics combo. I also use 2 lb. hand weights for my arms.

I’ve promised myself that I will never again let anything, barring emergencies, get in the way of my exercise time. I need it, and not just for my health. It is a sanity saver too. That time is my time, time when I can focus on my body and what it needs.

So if you aren’t already in the exercise habit, I highly recommend that you start. Here are a few tips. Oh, and if you have just had a baby or it has been a long time, you may want to get your doctor’s ok before you begin.

1: Commit to exercising. You have to make the decision that you will do it no matter what.
2: Find the time in your day that is right for you. 
3: Pick what kind of exercise you want to do. Choose something that you enjoy because then you are more likely to keep at it.
4: Start slow and build up. Give your muscles time to get used to it and you will have less pain after each session.
5: Set reachable goals for yourself. Instead of saying “I have to lose 20 lb.” and trying to do it fast, set a goal of one or two pounds a week, or set a monthly goal.
6: Reward yourself when you reach your goal. I like earrings, bead jewelry, and shoes. (Just don’t use food.)

Do you exercise already? If so, what do you do and how do you fit it in? If not, what is your plan for starting?

And here is an interesting link I found. Since I had 3 caesareans, this kind of info is meaningful to me, and I hope it can help someone else too.
http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/dara-duff-bergeron-sweaty-mummy/exercise-options-for-c-section-mommies

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1 Comment

  1. Yes, we do. I haven't worked out since my marathon ordeal. It's been two weeks and I can feel it in both my mental health and my physical health."The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself." http://www.themommypsychologist.com

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