Ways to Exercise as a Busy Mom – Exorcising your belief that you can’t Exercise
February 2, 2018
As I sit here with an injured back – you would think that I would hold off this article on exercising. But all I can think about now are ways to exercise with this back injury, and to make it stronger.
Before my babies, I injured my back badly enough that I was couch-ridden for almost a week. And since then, I would have back spasms twice a year.
Having children did not help.
“I cannot be an bent-over, old woman when I have a baby,” I told my chiropractor. “What can I do?? I’m only 22 years old!”
Over the years, it has gotten better and better as I exercise. What would have put me on the couch for a week are mere strains now, and I can still walk around and move. And it may only happen 1 time a year now.
Exercising has made that possible.
Maybe you don’t have an injury. But I have reached out to a number of Moms in all stages of life to share why they exercise, and how they have seen it benefit their children.
It Boosts Energy
“I can’t work out. I don’t have time for that between picking up the children, nursing, cleaning, and cooking. There’s no way. I’m too tired.” A study done by the University of Georgia, published by the New York Times says,
“Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out — especially when we are already feeling fatigued,” said researcher Tim Puetz, in a news release. Dr. Puetz recently completed his doctorate at the university and is the lead author of the study. “However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy — particularly in sedentary individuals.”
Exercising has proven to boost energy. Even a small 10-15 minute one. Or a quick walk around the block!
Do it for You - Jennifer's Story
I had an infant who wanted to nurse every 2 hours. Oh yeah, working out, I would have laughed you out of here. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” And I really did not think I did. Fast forward to this past August. I found something I could do for ME.
I became a runner. I started small, just a mile. BUT as I mentioned, I’m a stay at home mom, so where was my son? With me.
That’s right, I pushed my son while I ran.
At first, I really didn’t think about it. I didn’t have any other choice. If I wanted to run, he came with. So, I pushed him for a mile. Then a little further. In the fall, I ran my first 5k, and my running buddy joined me! I pushed him for 3.07 miles. It was the most exciting and adrenaline pumping experience!! I ran it in 31:39. I was SO proud!! Now I run whenever I can, with the snow and ice, it makes it hard, but I still love running. – Jennifer
I still remember my Mom exercising and doing aerobics when I was a kid. I did sports all growing up, and I owe that all to my parents. I loved playing sports and being active. Especially the friends I made through them. They were my best friends and my saving grace through school as I dealt with all the emotions that come with puberty. I am still best friends with one of my teammates today.
Exercising isn’t just for you, it’s beneficial for your kids too! It sets the example.
Other Cultures are Less Obese for a Reason! - My Story
I have made a wonderful friend from Britain. She has gotten onto me a few times since meeting her at MOPS. “I cant get to the indoor play park. It’s too far to walk!” She looked at me. “That’s not far! That’s just a small jaunt! You Americans don’t walk anywhere. Just try it. It really is nice.” Well I couldn’t get that out of my head every time I drove to the indoor park. So, I finally did it. And I am so glad I did. I packed some snacks for the kids, put on my noise-canceling headphones, and listened to an audiobook. I LOVED IT. She also challenged me to bring my kid on a long 3-mile bike-ride today, when I never would have thought my son capable of doing it. But he saw her son doing it, and rode 3 miles without complaining! And he hates riding his bike at home! Just goes to show you that loving challenges from friends, and loving challenges to your children can go a long way.
Sometimes your health just forces you to, and that’s a beautiful thing to come out of it.
Health Forced Me To! - Drea's Story
I didn’t want to do much exercising while pregnant. I’d walk just occasionally. But then I got gestational diabetes, and my midwife was willing to let me monitor my blood sugar (prick my finger 4x a day) and keep it regulated. I had to walk 4x a day to keep the number in line, and I couldn’t eat sugar or carbs.
It was so hard, but I did it. My baby needed me.
I just made time to walk 4x a day, but if you had asked me beforehand if I had that sort of time, I’d have told you no. I’ve been most successful when I’ve had a walking partner or been committed to a fitness class. And, now I’m teaching fitness classes with a spiritual emphasis. It has been incredible for me! I would highly recommend mamas do the workouts on revelationwellness.org There is so much spiritual encouragement in them, and you don’t have to worry about what your kids will hear or see.
As for how exercising affects my motherhood— it does. A LOT.
When I’m struggling with an issue, walking just gets things “unstuck”. I find I have some amazing prayer times moving my feet. I get creative ideas as well. Revelation Wellness has podcasts called “revving the word” that are amazing! You listen while you walk or run. My kids see me value physical activity, and they do so as well. Physical activity is so good for their brains (and mine), so I love that we all enjoy being outside.
I enjoy exercising now, and once you start (kind of like writing a paper) you see how easy it is to incorporate throughout your day.
Join a Class - Online or in Town - Hundred's of Stories
I paid for DailyBurn, an online workout library provided by Olympic Athletes and trainers. They have tons and tons of workouts, from easy to harder levels, even some prenatal and postnatal exercises! They also have exercises that you can incorporate with your children. I simply love it, especially the yoga classes, and the 10-15 minute power workouts. Check it out! I find that they are always running discounts and deals.
There are some great local classes in most areas as well, only $6 a class that are totally worth it. There is something about working out, and seeing others struggle through it as well, that motivates you to finish. So grab a friend and try it out together!
Grab a Friend, or Make a New One! - My Story
Grabbing a friend can help a lot. The other day, a woman I hadn’t spent much time with posted to our Mom-community board asking for a running buddy. She said that she had been wanting to do it forever, but needed more motivation and help.
I jumped on it, and even though she had never run before, she completed a 2.5 mile run without stopping once.
You can do more than you think you can! Especially together. And I made a new friend!
Utilize your Husband! - A Wife's Advice
If you simply cant do it during the day, try asking your husband to watch the kids sometime, or do it when the kids go to sleep. I know my husband never minds seeing me looking more trim 😉 And he really enjoys when we take all the kids after supper and go for a walk. It settles the kids down right before bedtime, and allows us to have some quality family time. Sometimes we even treat them to DQ or hot cocoa on this walk. Not to mention that you working out, might motivate him to work out with you. Just saying. Nothing more motivating than a spouse doing it with you!
Exercising as a Family - Cynthia's Story
I do believe that we, as mother’s, are such an imperative part of teaching our children good habits.
As a mother of 6 children very close in age, I struggled to figure it out early on, but pushed through seeking balance and fun for myself and family.
I will just make a list of ways I incorporate exercise into our lives. My hope and prayer is to raise well rounded and easy to please children, who will make the best of everything. So, in pursuing that, I try and encourage them to find the best in everything, to make the most of each situation, and seek to love and serve where we can.
Even exercise can be that way, and it teaches self-care and introduces new ways of physical on a consistent basis. We are pretty active as a family, and I love being active with my kids. I believe it is healthy to keep moving, and it releases adrenaline and endorphins that serve to support our bodies natural function. Not only that, but it teaches my kids that it is possible to have good, clean fun (for when they are older, and question this), and it provides so many great memories as a family.
The quality time together laughing, learning, and caring for our bodies, among so many reasons, is priceless.
Your Children are Great Motivators! - My Story
When kids ask why you are exercising, it is a great learning opportunity for them. You can teach them the importance of taking care of their bodies. What foods to eat to help your body even more. I didn’t think it was getting through to my son, until he saw me stretching the other day and asked me, “Mom, are you exercising?” And proceeded to try and replicate my stretch.
One fun tip – ask your child to cheer you on when you exercise.
There is something very motivating about a child’s encouragement. Now when we run together in the stroller, or he sees me exercising in the living room, he say, “go, mommy, go!” or, “good job mommy!” Or, “Faster Mom! Mush(like a sled dog team)!”
I cant wait to go on family runs with him. My British friend would chime in right now and probably say, “Don’t wait! Just do it!”