If getting in shape is on your list of to-do’s, but you’re having trouble getting started, you’re not alone. For a busy mom, jump-starting an exercise routine can be daunting no matter how motivated you are. For many finding time to exercise is a challenge…especially when you find yourself on a treadmill only to be thinking of the dogs that need a bath, college applications for the kids, the closet that needs to be organized and wondering what you will make for dinner. Believe me, I have been there. I could find 20 other things that NEEDED me. I sold me short for years with that mentality. The truth was I just didn’t like exercise much. I tried to like it….I wanted to like it, but my mind would wander and I just wasn’t engaged. Why did some people say they loved to exercise? What was wrong with them…or was it me??
My mom had encouraged me to try Pilates on the reformer and I put it off for a number of years until I finally decided to try it in November 2008. The one on one instruction was a little awkward, but before I knew it an hour had passed and the workout was over. As I walked to my car I realized that I hadn’t thought about my kid’s SAT scores, my dog’s ear infection or the dirty windows at home. Could it be that I focused on myself for 60 minutes? After 3 classes I started feeling like I NEEDED this Pilates thing. Not only was I moving and feeling the results, but the connection of mind and body FORCED me to focus on myself if just for a few minutes each day. Before I knew it I was taking classes every day….getting my fix! Could it be I liked to exercise? YES!!!
Over the next year instructors encouraged me to add indoor cycling to my exercise routine….I laughed at them. Who wants to be in a room with a bunch of people riding bikes, being screamed at, sweaty and hot…GOING NOWHERE?? NOT ME! I shrugged them off until a my hair dresser invited me to try. I went to my first class and was HOOKED! The calorie burn and the camaraderie of others in the class was addicting. Before I knew it I had purchased cycling shoes and was actually standing in a line at a local gym an hour or more before a class to sign up for a cycling class. Who is this woman and what had she done with the old me? Before the year would end I lost 30 pounds and had such clarity I hardly knew myself anymore. I slept like a baby and had tons of energy. Not only had I found my fitness journey road, but I had voice on my personal fitness journey…I was in control of it and had a destiny.
Finding time can be the greatest challenge: How do you squeeze exercise in around doctor appointments, birthday parties, and work demands? When you do find yourself with free time, you’re likely to have a long list of tasks competing for your attention — making it hard to leave them behind to go to the gym or to even go for a walk. Scheduling time is essential. A studio or gym that requires a reservation keeps you accountable, but of course the good that you reap from exercise will be what keeps you going back again and again. Physical fitness is good for you. Exercise has been linked to everything from cancer and diabetes prevention to improved energy and mood. Moms need regular exercise as much as anyone else — maybe even more, given the challenges of being a parent.
If you’re a new mom, getting in shape will help you regain a sense of control over your body and your life. For experienced moms, exercise can provide an outlet from the ongoing pressures of parenthood.
Exercise gives us a sense of accomplishment that no child, no husband, no chore completion can give…taking time for you is one of the most important lessons I have learned on my journey. I fall short some times, but I get back on the road and take each day as a chance to re-invent myself and be a better me than I was yesterday….it truly is all about the journey. I encourage you to start yours today. If the kids are going back to school soon, then this is a great time to get into a routine. Make a commitment to you today!