20 Aug Focus On: The Five Fitness Lessons I’ve Learned from Motherhood
My son turns one next month. I can hardly believe how fast this past year has gone by!
But it’s been an amazing year — one that has taught me SO much!
When I worked in the corporate world I gave more presentations than I can count about the importance of fitness and work/life balance. While I still believe I was spot-on with what I shared back then, now that I’m a parent myself, I have to say I didn’t have a full understanding of the obstacles to a healthy life parents contend with.
I truly believe that fitness is one of the most important keys to happiness and health! It impacts physical health, which is so important, but even more importantly, it improves mental health. So here are my top takeaways from this first year of parenting:
- Working out is NOT selfish — it’s necessary. “Parent guilt” is real and something didn’t used to understand. But now I get how you feel bad taking time away from your kids, especially when they grow up WAY too fast. But not taking care of yourself does not help anyone. Working out will give you energy (which is generally at a low with little ones) and clear your mind, making your time with your kids that much better.
- Anything is better than nothing. I recommend and try to get in at least 56 minutes (a FLEX class) as often as I can, but there are days I can only do a 20-minute workout — and that’s ok! Persistence is the key, not perfection.
- Focus on getting your energy up and body feeling good. Losing the baby weight will happen if you focus on these things. Don’t compare yourself to others or even your pre-baby self. If you focus on feeling good, eating clean and moving, you’ll get back to a shape you’re proud of!
- No sleep equals no energy. I have never been someone who required the standard eight hours of sleep. However, while my son is amazing in every sense imaginable, he’s not a rockstar sleeper. So there were times during those early months that I got very little to no sleep.
I used to think when people would tell me they were tired that they were exaggerating. I mean, I get up at five every morning…blah blah blah. But it’s a different type of tired that I’ve never experienced. This is when you really need to listen to your body and pick times to just rest and recover, even if that’s just taking a moment to stretch, close your eyes, breath or find time to sneak a quick workout in. Often times moving during that exhaustion helps to keep me going. And this period of time will pass — my son now finally sleeps through the night!
- Get your family involved! I grew up in a family that always exercised together. I didn’t know going on a bike ride, a walk or playing baseball in the front yard was exercise because it was just our “normal.”
This is all to say that while I have the scholastic knowledge to speak intelligently and informed on all topics realted to health and wellness, I now realize even better after a year in the trenches of motherhood that if you take charge of your fitness and make it a priority, everything else gets better. A great way to start? FLEX, sweat, stretch, repeat!