…and So Do Their Kids!
If anyone had an excuse not to exercise, it would be Moms. You endured incredible inconvenience, discomfort and pain to bring another person into the world. Then you were entrusted to protect and manage that little being’s whole life. No pressure, right? Suddenly you are a teacher, chauffeur, chef, nurse, personal shopper, maid and accountant all at once.
Oh, and did we mention the lack of salary?
It’s tempting to avoid working out for the first 17 years of your child’s life. But that’s not a good idea. Being active will greatly enhance your life, Super Mom, as well as that of your children. For once you don’t have to put their needs before yours. You both win!
A Healthy Mom is a Happier and Better Mom
Why do Moms who exercise thrive? Here’s reason number one. The more you exercise the better your body becomes at creating energy! If there’s one thing you can’t have too much of as a new Mom it is energy.
But there’s more! Physical activity increases longevity by lowering your risk of disease. It benefits your heart, lungs, brain, bones, joints and circulation. You’ve worked so hard, sacrificed so much and come so far. You want to be there for every second of your child’s growth and development.
Exercise improves your quality of life. It helps you sleep better and boosts energy. This enables you to handle the heavy demands of the job and to keep up with your kids. It also improves your self-image.
Another huge benefit of working out is stress management. It allows you to blow off steam, recharge and refocus. Exercise elevates your mood and improves your outlook. It is much harder to be present with your kids if you are depressed or anxious. It’s also difficult to be patient if you aren’t feeling mentally or physically well.
A Mom’s Health Can Improve the Health of Her Children
Just as exercise improves the quality of a Mom’s life, it improves that of her children. An active Mom is happier, less stressed and more calm. You are less likely to get angry or sad. This improved mood carries over into all interactions with your kids. It allows you to engage with them much better.
Moms have a huge influence on their family’s habits and wellness. Children of active Moms are more likely to be active themselves. Less active Moms lead to less active kids. So Moms don’t feel guilty or selfish when you’re working out! You are leading by example.
As you are probably aware, the US is one of the most obese countries in the world. About 2/3rds of American adults are overweight or obese and about ⅓ of our kids are. Moms can begin to change this, one child at a time. Again, no pressure, right? It may not be an easy task but it’s an important one.
Sedentary kids have a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and many chronic illnesses. Exercise reduces their risk of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. It also boosts academic performance, allowing kids to focus better. This results in happier, more confident kids who are likely to become happier, more confident adults.
A Mom Who Prioritizes Health and Fitness Is An Invaluable Role Model
While our genetics play a role in our health, we have the power to rewrite some of our genetic history through healthy habits. These can be passed down from generation to generation. That is how Moms can change the world and the future.
As noted earlier, kids of Moms who exercise are more likely to exercise themselves. This can have a tremendous effect on their wellness, growth and development. Showing children that you prioritize your health promotes healthy life-long habits. You are teaching them the value of self-care, goal-setting and perseverance. This makes it much more likely that your child will have a positive body image and outlook.
How Much Exercise Is Recommended?
The Us Government recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week. Strength training is suggested at least two days a week.
For 6 to 17 year old children, an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise most days is recommended. A combination of cardio and resistance training is best.
Even a short workout fit into a busy schedule can make a world of difference. Every little bit counts!
Creating a Healthy and Fit Family
Life is busy and complicated. The easiest thing to do after a long day is to veg out on the couch or retreat to our individual rooms. TV, computer and phone screens allow us to zone out. They, along with video games, can be addictive. Spending too much time on them is bad for our body and brain. It’s also bad for our family dynamics.
Instead, consider scheduling some active family down time. This allows you to tackle two goals at once: prioritizing your health and spending time with your children. Taking a walk after meals improves digestion, lowers blood sugar and improves your health. Raking leaves or shoveling snow as a family creates a spirit of teamwork.
If you think about it, most forms of play are aerobic in nature. Why not consider your physical activity as a recess which lets you recharge just as you did in grade school? It’s something that you get to do, rather than something that you have to do.
Playing “follow the leader” with your family can make a workout as fun to do as it is challenging. Exercising together helps you build your family identity. Working towards a common goal fosters a sense of teamwork. It shows your children the value of goal setting and gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Parents who exercise with their children strengthen their family bond while getting healthier. Kids identify with their parents better when they are active together. Suddenly you are more than just the person who calls them to dinner or takes them to practice. You have new fun shared experiences.
How to Fit More Exercise Into a Super Mom’s Schedule
- Set a small goal, track your progress and reward yourself (before setting another one)
- Work out with your little ones using a baby carrier or baby jogger
- Schedule your workouts in your calendar
- Play active games like tag and hide and go seek with your kids
- Squeeze in mini workouts throughout the day (chair dips, crunches, pushups, or a brisk walk)
- If you work outside the home, try an active lunch hour
- If necessary, wake up before your kids to exercise
- Use playground equipment for strength moves
- Enlist the help of an expert. A Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainer can design the perfect program for your busy schedule. We can make sure your workouts happen whenever and wherever you need them to. We can travel to your home, train you in our studio or train you virtually with our fitness app. Let us create life-long healthy habits for you and your family.
The Take Away
Let’s face it, most Moms are Super Moms no matter what. If you can stay active as a Mom you are much more likely to be healthy and happy, and so are your kids. Families who work out together create strong bonds and a sense of teamwork. Prioritizing health and wellness is good for every body (and mind). It can make a world of difference!
Endnotes: heart.org; www.deseret.com; cbsnews.com; www.parents.com; mindbodygreen.com; www.nwwomensfitness.com; www.osrpt.com; sweatyasamother.com; dailymom.com