We all know how important exercise is for us. We know that it is important in order to be healthy mentally and physically. But why is exercise so crucial for Mothers in particular? Here are some great examples of how exercise can benefit Mums.
1. It reduces stress
We know that life can sometimes (ALOT of the time!) be challenging for a Mother. Looking after a child is not a walk in the park, and combined with other things on the “to do” list, it can be stressful. When you physically exercise your brain produces endorphins which are like little feel good neurotransmitters. When you begin to shed your daily worries and tensions through exercise you will find that you gain a new level of optimism and energy.
2. Keep in tune with your body
When you begin to exercise, you learn things about your body that you may not have noticed before – These can be good or bad. It is always good to stay in sink with yourself so you are aware of any issues that may arise.
3. You get a break!
Everyone needs a break from time to time and as a Mother, you know how important and precious it is to be able to get some “me time”. It could be participating in a zumba class, doing yoga or going for a walk. It doesn’t matter what you do, that time away from your children (and your house and spouse!) is golden. Taking time out for yourself to do some exercise is so beneficial, both mentally and physically and it is a great opportunity to let someone else do a bit of work for a change. I know your tired and you probably just want to sit down and have a cuppa in front of your favourite tv program instead but try and refrain from this and get outside instead. Stepping out of the house and getting some fresh air is great for you.
4. It helps with Postpartum depression
Anyone who has had postpartum depression or just the blues after having a baby knows just how tough this can be. When you are feeling really low, a lot of the time you feel like you don’t have the energy to do anything, let alone exercise! However, if you choose to battle through the depression, exercise will have a surprising impact on you. The endorphins will increase your positivity and you will have time to work on your stress.
5. Put yourself first!
As a Mum, it is SO easy to put everyone and everything first before yourself. If you are one of these people, this needs to change. You must remember to care for yourself. If you are not happy, this transcends onto other people. Exercise will make you feel good about yourself. It will give you a boost in energy and this will help you when you need to run after the little ones!
6. It boosts your self esteem
As I mentioned in most of the points above, exercise makes you feel good. It doesn’t just make you think more positively, but it also helps boost your self esteem. If you are trying to loose some pregnancy weight, get exercising. As soon as you start to see your body change, or you lose a few kilos and gain extra energy, you will begin to feel great about yourself. When you are feeling wonderful physically, this has a huge impact mentally.
7. Be an example
By you exercising, you are setting a wonderful example to your child/children. Even if they are small, you start a routine, so that they learn over time that Mummy exercises. You are demonstrating not only the importance of a healthy lifestyle but also showing others that caring for yourself is very important. If you don’t care for yourself, how do you expect your children to care for themselves?
8. You will sleep better
Being a Mother, you know that sleep in the early days is a privilege which is often denied! The main cause is because of the baby waking but it is also very common for Mothers to lack a good sleep due to stress and worry. Exercise will help you have a better nights sleep so you are better rested for the day ahead.
These points outline the basic benefits that exercise has on you, but now it is your choice wether or not to get up and exercise. You can come up with any excuse not to do it: tired, no time, no motivation, no one to watch the kids etc…. but you can work around all of these points if you want to.
Remember that if you are tired, exercise will increase your energy levels. If you feel you don’t have time, make time. Get up 30 mins earlier in the morning and go for a walk. If you are struggling with motivation, grab a partner to join in and give you a gentle push. If you don’t have any help with the kids, jump around in the living room whilst they are napping!
Be realistic with what you can and can’t do but don’t forget to look after yourself and add in a little bit of exercise to your daily routine. It will really make a positive difference.