Did you hear that right?
I have just said mums never need to exercise again! But do I mean it? Yes of course I do. You can stop doing any exercise ever again BUT and the big BUT is how is this going to impact YOUR health?
As we know exercising is amazing for everyone but I know so many mums just never get around to exercising. Exercising is not just about losing the baby weight or to get back into those skinny jeans. Exercise is so crucial to the wellbeing of us mums. Both mentally and physically.
As a mum to two girls, I know how difficult it can be to even think about exercising when you are super busy. You might have a business to run or you have to go to work, the washing to do, the shopping, school runs, helping with homework, tidying up, looking after the dog, designated taxi driver, the list is endless so how on earth can you even think about adding some exercise into your already busy day?
Exercising will help you in so many areas...here are just a few
1. Stress, stress, stress
As a mum, I know I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the amount of things that I actually need to do in a day and holding it all together can sometimes seem like too much. When I am stressed I find that I can snap at the smallest of things. When I am feeling this, my go to way to feel better is to do a workout. Take my word for it, exercising is an amazing way to reduce stress and get rid of any anger or pent up feelings without screaming at your children, hubby, partner or friends
2. Knowing Your Body
When you first start exercising and whether it is a Zumba class or a HIIT workout, going for a little jog or doing a home workout, this is a brilliant way to start actually seeing your body. Understanding what your body can actually do for you, being aware of your body, any health issues or joint pain that you may have. Adding exercise to your day will help you appreciate how strong your body is or is not working. Getting support from a fitness professional who can educate you as to how you strengthen your body is highly recommended.
3. Really low moods and postpartum blues
Low moods and depression is an absolute b****, I experienced both during and after the birth of both of my daughters. It had a huge impact on not only me but my husband and family. Not wanting to leave the house or even get dressed happened on a daily basis. I would hide how I was feeling as I didn't want people to know that I wasn't strong enough to cope. I basically just about managed to get through every day. Taking that step to start exercising was huge for me but after starting it, this had a major impact on not only my body but my moods. Exercise will get your endorphins/feel good hormones going and make you feel great and able to take on the world try it I promise you feel amazing afterwards!
4. Get rid of the Everyone Else Always Comes First Syndrome
I had this for a long time. I always used to put my kids and my husband first before I did anything for me. The result being I never had time to do anything for me and as a result my health suffered. I never had time for me to even relax or take a bath in peace. I always felt guilty at even the thought of putting myself first. This lasted for quite a few years and it has only been in the last few years that I managed to get rid of this syndrome. As mums we often ignore our own needs and never take care of ourselves. If we are not fit and well how can we look after our family properly. Don't see exercise as a punishment. See exercise as a reward for all of the great work you are doing as a mum!
5. Give you a F****** amazing body!
Do I think this about my body all of the time? Most definitely not! But what I can do is switch my mindset when I am telling myself that I don't like what I see. I recognise when my own negative voice comes out about me and then I flip it. Exercising then helps re-enforce that my body can do amazing things. Ok, I may not look like Elle McPhearson (showing my age now but I don't know the names of the younger models these days) but one thing I do know is that exercising and keeping fit allows me to do so many things with my family including being able to run, swim, cycle, dance, go mountain climbing and have activity based holidays with my daughters and husband. Exercising regularly will keep you fit and allow you to do so much more with your family and it will most certainly boost your confidence about your body.
6. You will be teaching your children the value of exercise?
Letting your children see you exercise regularly demonstrates a healthy lifestyle and shows that caring for yourself is important. I see so many children spending all of their time on the latest gadgets rather than getting out and getting active and a lot of this is down to habits brought in through the family. If mum, dad or guardians spend a lot of time sitting in front of the TV then it is likely that is what the kids will do. If you are active and your kids see it then they are highly likely to become more active. Obesity is growing in children and adults and teaching our children to care for themselves will also help them with their health in the future.
7. Help you sleep!
As mums, we can regularly be deprived of sleep as we are caring for our family which is why even the thought of exercising is laughable. BUT and another big BUT is coming, exercise will help you sleep better and as a result you are less likely to want those sugary snacks the following day to keep you going, which will mean you feel better, more alive and have more energy. Also, when you are constantly tired and as mums I think most days you can feel like you are constantly tired but realising this and breaking the cycle is key to getting you feeling great again. Look to achieve a minimum of 7-8 hours sleep every night. You will be surprised at how much better you feel.
8. I'm sorry but I don't have any time whatsoever to exercise
Stop thinking this as I promise you, you do! You can make time! Even if it is only 10 mins. You decide what is a priority and you can change the running order. It is just finding a solution that will fit into your lifestyle together with some planning. Treating your exercise like a meeting with your boss that you can't get out of will help you build it into your day. If you can't find someone to watch the kids so you can get out of the house then do a home workout when the kids go to bed, instead of watching that soap on TV or do a home workout before they get up in the morning. You really can fit exercise into your day, it is just about finding the solutions that will work for you.
9. I feel I will look stupid!
The thought of exercising, especially having to step foot into a gym or fitness class can make anyone feel stressed and instead head to the biscuit tin but did you know that no one really cares what you look like because it is likely that they are feeling self-conscious about themselves and if you go somewhere that they are all judging you then it is time to go to a different gym or class. What you need to remember is everyone you see exercising wants to feel fit, happy and health too. Regardless of where you are on your journey everyone has to start somewhere. The other option is to workout in your home if you really don't want to step foot into a gym and getting the support from a coach who can guide you and support you will help you to build your confidence.
10. Actually, I really just don't like exercising and have no motivation to do it!
This statement does worry me a little as it means that you don't actually see keeping your own body that you live in 24/7 fit and healthy as enough motivation to keep going. If you feel this way you are not alone, so I would recommend that to get your motivation mojo back ask a friend to join you in your choice of exercise or your partner. Working out with a buddy will help keep you and your buddy accountable. If that isn't an option, then you always have the option of getting yourself a coach who will keep you accountable to your goals. This is a great for those struggling with their mojo! Coaches that are not related to you will help you find your mojo. Also, sometimes we just lose our way. It happens! The main thing is to realise it and get back on the right track!
11. Exercise will help you lose 3 stones in two weeks. Did you know that?
Of course this is a lie, this quick weight loss goal is something that we all need to change in our heads. You need to be realistic. If you have gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, (I gained 5 stones so know exactly how it feels) or just gradually gained weight over a period of months or years then you are going to need to give yourself time to get back into shape and not set yourself these unrealistic goals that you will not achieve. Doing this means you are more likely to give up after a week. You can exercise and have fun at the same time you know! We do it with our clients all of the time at classes. Let go of the worries and enjoy your fitness journey.
12. You can eat whatever you want when you exercise which is great!
Well, maybe not! Healthy eating and exercise goes hand in hand and understanding how to feel better in your body and achieve your fitness and nutrition goals is key. There are so many conflicting programmes out there telling you to eat this, or eat that. If you don't know, don't guess. Ask for help and get support. The more you understand the easier it will be to make those healthy choices.
Life is too short to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Take control of your life, build your mummy confidence as you are totally amazing, reduce those stress levels and love your life, never ever exercising again should not be an option for you. Exercising should become a lifestyle choice and from one mummy to another you can do it! Don't feel guilty about giving yourself an hour off a day or even 30 mins. You deserve it and you need it! As mums we are in it for the long haul and we need to ensure we can last the journey in one piece :-D
If you are feeling overwhelmed, you don't know where to start, what to do, how to fit it in then please get in touch. Regardless of where you are based in the UK, I can advise on the best way to get you feeling amazing again.
We are all Superwomen, but even Superwoman needs some downtime for herself!
Much love to all you amazing mummies out there!