The past couple of weeks have been really hard on my exercise routines. With all the snow we’ve had lately, the gym has cancelled all of my usual classes, and the icy conditions have made it practically impossible to take a walk or go for a run.
After just a few days off from exercise, I could really tell a difference in the way I felt, and in the way I acted around my family.
So today, on my first day back at the gym in a week, I thought about all the different reasons that I like to exercise, and how it makes me a better mommy. Hopefully they can help you too 🙂
1. Exercise enhances your mood.
Probably the best reason for a mom to exercise is the benefit that it has on her mood. From my own experience with exercise, I can feel an immediate improvement in my mood after I’m done with a workout, thanks to all those nice endorphins.
I also find that if I’m exercising regularly, I tend to have a better attitude around my kids–I have more patience, am less likely to feel stressed when they are acting loud and crazy, and just feel more joyful around them.
2. Exercise helps you sleep better.
After all the time off from the gym recently, I have found that I am not sleeping through the night as I did before, which really annoys me, because a mom needs her sleep!
When I’m exercising consistently 4 to 5 times a week, I find that I sleep more deeply and for longer stretches (if the kids don’t wake me up in the middle of the night!). When I have a good night’s sleep, I am a much happier mommy.
3. Exercise gives you more energy.
Who would have thought that expending extra energy would bring you more in return? Sometimes my cycling class drains every bit of energy I have, but the next day, I’m much more ready to run after my preschooler and tackle the laundry and household chores.
4. Exercise strengthens my body.
In addition to the heart health benefits, exercise also helps your bones and muscles stay strong. After dealing with this back and hip injury (still!), I’ve found that the exercise I was doing wasn’t the thing that was exacerbating my problem…it was the sitting still that was doing it!
Exercise has also helped me to be able to climb stairs without huffing and puffing, carry big loads of laundry or lug the kids’ bikes around with relative ease. It’s also fun to be able to do a set of push-ups all on my toes 🙂
5. Exercise makes you a better role model.
With the childhood obesity epidemic looming large, it’s nice for my kids to see me making exercise a big part of my life. They like to lie down on the floor with me and do crunches or push-ups, and can’t wait for the day when they can ride next to me in spin class. I hope that this will inspire them to stay healthy with exercise as they grow older.
I hope this will inspire you to take up exercising…whether it’s short walks a few times a week or an hour-long Zumba class, both you and your kids will benefit!
What kind of exercise do you like to do?