Happy Friday! We’re having a great day over here, and ya know why?! It’s because I got an awesome workout in this morning and I feel amazing!
It’s so true that you can’t be a great mommy to your kids if you aren’t being good to yourself. I definitely have a better day overall if I have a good workout.
I’ve discovered a lot about myself and fitness lately, and I’ve realized that it’s a lot like motherhood – a rollercoaster ride.
It feels like right when I think I’m getting into a good routine, something in my life changes and I decide to go a different route. Just like right when I think one of my kids is sleeping so great at night, they decide to go through a regression! I know I have been promoting exercising at home lately, and I still do it when I have a chance, but right now I feel like getting out of the house and to the gym is what works for my family.
Maybe it’s the nice weather, maybe it’s the social interaction, maybe it’s leaving my kids for an hour for time to myself, who knows! But I am really enjoying our new membership to our local YMCA. If you’ve been following me, you know that I completed two rounds of Beachbody’s Core de Force and absolutely loved it. I have always been a fan of cardio and kickboxing routines, and this was definitely for me. I would strongly recommend this program and many other of the Beachbody programs too. Through the last few months, I was able to lose about 15 pounds of baby weight and have never felt more energized. Weird, with the little sleep I’m getting! I have reached a point in working out at home that isn’t for me right now, and I am happy with my decision to leave coaching for the time being. If I am not 100% committed, how can I sell it to other people?!
For as long as I can remember, exercise has made me happy. My preferred mode of exercise has changed based on where I live, work, and what life has thrown in my direction, but one thing is clear – any kind of exercise makes me happy.
So if you take anything away from this post, it should be – DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.
In every aspect of life!
So many people have said to me in the past, “I feel like I can’t stick with my exercise routine.” This is true especially when the excitment of New Year resolutions wears off. Well, if there’s one piece of advice I can give as someone who has never stopped exercising in one way or another (even through two pregnancies in a row!), I will say this: you do NOT need to be consistent in what routine or type of exercise you follow. You just need to be consistent in your decision to keep moving! I’ve said time and time again, even a 20 minute walk or 10 minutes of lunges holding baby makes so much of a difference.
Through all of this reflection and discovery, I have realized that I definitely do not fit into a mold when it comes to exercise; and I’m totally OK with that! In fact, many fitness experts would argue that switching things up when exercising is the best thing for the longterm effects on your body and joints. I actually feel the same way about my parenting style – I do not fit into any mold or specific type of parenting style. Balance is the key to life, and being happy is a HUGE part of your balance.
Did you wonder when I did all of this thinking? It’s often impossible to think at home with my two beautiful babies making noise and demanding my attention, but it is possible to think during spin class!
It’s probably been over two years since I’ve gone to spinning and I realized this morning how much I’ve missed it! Here’s some awesome info on group cycling, or spinning, if you’re interested. It’s one of the most intense, powerful workouts I’ve ever done, and definitely one of my favorites. More than anything though, I love how the hour class flies by! For me, there’s nothing better than the dim lights, the great instructor guiding you through class, and the music blaring. As we cycle to the beat of the music, up and down “hills” and through interval training, I feel home. I am definitely going to make spinning a part of my weekly routine at the gym. It doesn’t hurt that my kids love the childcare and it makes me feel happy to have an hour to myself a few times a week too.
BE CREATIVE, AND HAVE FUN!
Another thing that I enjoy is taking things from the exercise classes I attend and bringing them home for an extra workout. For example, you can implement some of the things taught in a step and sculpt class using stairs, the couch, a chair, or even a plastic storage bin. Here’s a great article on strength training that uses a step. If you don’t have one (which most of us don’t), use a chair to complete another great strength training workout here.
The point is, exercise shouldn’t be a chore. You don’t need to have a long chunk of time or a lot of equipment, but you do need to be in the right mindset. If running outside works for you, do it! If you’d rather do a group fitness class, do it! If working out in your living room is the best option for you, do it!
While I was happily cycling this morning, the words of one of the songs really resonated in me. Coldplay sang, “Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.” Doesn’t that sometimes describe how it feels to work out?! It also often describes motherhood too. I feel like in my own little corner of the Internet, I can be honest with you guys and tell you that nothing about exercise as a mom is easy. It’s hard to motivate yourself on little sleep. It’s hard to keep going, make healthy food choices, and accept that you probably wont get a shower after your workout! I often feel guilty when I’m not paying attention to my kids ALL the time, but as time goes on, I realize that they need the independence and social play as well.
In the end, I am a happier mom because I got my workout in AND I got to enjoy the day with my babies. We even got some playtime in at the library :). It’s so nice to be able to go out and about more that Ella is a little older. If working out makes you happy, make time for it.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and my body from the last few months post-pregnancy (I haven’t seen this body in a looong time), and I’ve discovered that variety is the spice of life for me. You may be a runner, or a weight-lifter, or maybe yoga is your thing. Me – I like it all! Whatever you do, make sure you are happy. A happy mama = happy kids :). And this mama is just happy it’s Friday!