People always tell me, "I don't know how you do it all." Growing up I always had a full plate of activities and really, it’s no different now.
Between 3 kids, a full time job, the blog, and my Etsy shop, I have a lot to get done each week. And yet, I make it a point to exercise almost daily.
You might think it's because I want my pre-baby body back. I do want to be as fit as I was before Belle, but that's not the real reason.
I've been espousing daily exercise for years. I love being able to throw on some clothes and know that they will look good and fit well. But still, this is not the primary motivation behind my exercise routine.
My real reason for regular exercise is actually my life goals. There are so many things I want to accomplish from developing consistent income from my business to having an even better relationship with my spouse. I also want to keep up with my kiddos and help my husband with his business. Plus, I want to help other moms achieve their goals.
In order to do all of this and more, I need the many benefits that exercise provides:
Some people refuse to exercise because they think "I barely have enough energy to get through my day now; I can't waste my energy on exercise."
The thing is, exercise doesn't deplete energy, in fact, it increases it. Energy begets energy. Exercise increases your endorphins which gives you a boost in energy. This boost increases as you make exercise a part of your routine. It can actually become addicting.
This makes exercise a great was to start your day. If you are dragging, exercise can give you the boost that you need.
You can also use it as a midday pick-me-up. Getting tired of sitting at your desk? Get up and do 100 jumping jacks. It’s a great way to get your juices flowing.
Exercising in the morning can actually increase you mental clarity throughout the day. It clears away the cobwebs of sleep and allows your mind to focus.
Suffering from mom brain? Exercise can help!
According to Harvard Health, “The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.” This has a direct impact on memory and thinking.
You might think that taking a half hour to exercise daily takes 30 minutes away from everything else you have to do. Well, as far as actual hours in the day, yes, you will have 30 minutes less.
However, exercise helps you become a ton more efficient. You can get more done in less time. Your brain can work on problems while you workout so that when you start your tasks, you can jump right in. No need to stop and think about it.
Your improved energy and mental clarity can combine to help you perform tasks more quickly but also accurately than you otherwise would.
Working out is a huge factor in increasing confidence. You don't even have to be at your goal weight yet. Just the fact that you workout enables you to carry yourself differently. You look at yourself more positively, your posture improves, and you feel stronger. Feeling strong and attractive is a huge factor in confidence.
When I get a workout done I feel proud of myself. I mean it takes effort and dedication to get out of bed before the kids to get a workout in. That feeling of accomplishment carries me throughout the day.
Increased health is of course a positive consequence of working out. Having a healthy strong body and healthy weight can decrease your risk of various diseases.
It can also help you body defend itself better against infection. You will get sick less, and when you do get sick, it's easier generally to bounce back.
Exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer and several other forms of cancer. It also keeps your bones and joints healthy. When you are healthy, you are able to do more to accomplish your goals.
6. Reduce Stress:
Feeling stressed? Exercise! According to the Mayo Clinic, “Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.”
It can also take your mind off of the frustrations of the day and allow you to relax. It can lower the symptoms of depression and anxiety and in fact help you sleep better.
Regular exercise can help you stay more calm and clear-headed throughout your day allowing you to stay less stressed.
7. Slow Cognitive Decline:
As we get older, we assume there will be a decline in our mental function. People get slower and more forgetful.
However, a study in Time Magazine found that regular exercise can actually slow cognitive decline and maybe even dementia. In other words, regular exercise as you get older can keep your mind sharper for longer. This gives you more years to go after big goals and dreams.
8. Role Model:
Allowing your kids to see you exercise helps you to be a good role model for them. It shows that you value your health and yourself.
Exercise shows your kids that making time for yourself is important. It can also can help increase their level of activity. Let them workout with you!!
This may not help all of your goals, but it can definitely help your goal to be the best parent possible. What mama doesn’t want that?!
Now the best way to ensure that you get the most out of exercise, is finding an exercise that you love, especially your cardio. Use that to motivate your weight training.
For example I love dance as my cardio. Since I want to be able to do some more difficult moves, it motivates me to weight train as well.
If you like softball, you can join a team and use that as your exercise. Or you can play catch with your kiddos. You can use this as motivation for weight training to improve your game.
Another way to motivate yourself is to set a goal. Sign up for a 5k or half marathon and workout to prepare for that. Find something you enjoy so that you keep doing it.
If you don’t know what you love yet, just start trying things and give them some time to grow on you. You might not love a new exercise the first day you try it because it’s hard and exhausting. But give it some time and see how you feel.
What is your favorite form of exercise? Let me know in the comments.