Dishes, laundry, spills, and bills. As a busy mom, itʼll always be easy to make the argument that you donʼt have time for the gym. And no one would argue with you! Moms have one of the hardest, most thankless jobs around, but one that comes with great reward when our little ones are happy and content. It shouldnʼt be a surprise that there is a direct correlation between happy kids, and moms who make exercise a priority in their lives. Here are 10 beneﬁts of exercise that might just persuade you to take another look at ﬁnding some time to sweat.
1. More energy: This makes #1 because itʼs something all mommies need. Whether your brood consists of one or many, it can be exhausting keeping up with the varying needs of your loved ones. It takes as little as 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise, a few days a week, to increase energy and boost stamina.
2. Monkey see monkey do: Regular exercise promotes self-esteem, positive body image, discipline, and patience. Whether they like it or not, our children are learning by mimicking our behaviors, and the more they see mom taking care of herself, the better the chance theyʼll make the same choices. Kids can ﬁght it all they want (and they will), but one day theyʼll wake up and have turned into their parents! Best to take as much trauma as possible out of that equation, and project a future “them” they can be proud of. Start while they are young, be loud and proud about how important ﬁtness is to you, and theyʼll never even question that exercise should be an integral part of their lives.
3. Better sleep quality: Itʼs fairly common knowledge that a good, solid workout will help you sleep better at night. Thatʼs great, but what does it mean for your parenting skills? Higher quality shut-eye leads to quick thinking, faster reﬂexes, and improved memory. A little sweat goes a long way, paying dividends in efﬁcient problem solving, safer driving, and fewer trips back to the grocery store for forgotten items.
4. Jump start your immune system: We love to hug and kiss our children. In the course of a good snuggle, however, the opportunity for germ transfer is prime. Regular exercise boosts your immune system, giving you an edge in fending off the latest sickness to threaten your home. Hopefully you didnʼt skip #3 though, because sleep is the immune systemʼs wingman. Skimp on your sleep, and your constitution will pay the price.
5. Relieve stress: thereʼs a reason they call it “runnerʼs high,” and not “diaper changing high.” Exercise releases endorphins reducing anxiety, promoting psychological well being, and generally keeping the crazy at bay. Mom tends to be the glue that holds a family together, and if she falls apart, the household is sure to follow suit. Itʼs been said, “if mama ainʼt happy, ainʼt nobody happy,” so next time youʼre thinking of skipping the gym, remember that people are counting on you.
6. Fend off memory loss: letʼs not just survive those early years, letʼs remember them! Getting your body moving on a regular basis not only improves learning and memory, it may fend off Alzheimer's. Plan on being present, both physically and mentally, for all the major family milestones.
7. Better looking skin: for mom this means less time trying to cover up unsightly blemishes, which translates to what every kid wants, more play time. And for the mommies with girls, this means learning right from the start that happiness is derived from within, and not the makeup counter at Macyʼs.
8. Improve your core strength: Have you ever tried to hold several bags of groceries in one arm, grab your munchkin from the car seat with the other, and slam the car door shut with your hip, all simultaneously? Not an easy task, but itʼs complicated acrobatic feats like this that the average mother faces every day! Exercise that includes balance and reactive training can improve multitasking abilities for the busy mom, meaning more efﬁciency in household chores, and more time leftover for fun.
9. Stronger bones: women are especially prone to Osteoporosis. Studies have shown that strength training promotes increased bone density, and reduces the risk of Osteoporosis. Lift weights, run, or even catch a yoga class to greatly reduce the risk that a broken hip could leave your children as a caretaker, long before they are ready.
10. Longevity: The longer you live, the more quality time youʼll enjoy spending with the ones you love. Life is unpredictable, and although we canʼt control every variable, there are some potential hazards we can avoid. Shut down the most common life-threatening diseases, simply by hitting the gym regularly. Diabetes, heart disease and stroke can be prevented, and in some cases reversed, with the help of a consistent exercise regimen.
Despite all the easy excuses, itʼs worth looking over that busy schedule one more time. Rearrange or reschedule, but do whatever it takes to carve out few minutes each day, and demand the time to exercise your heart, ﬂush out your lungs, and maybe even become the mom you always hoped youʼd be.