One of my resolutions for this year is to lose weight, get strong, and be in overall better health. To be completely honest, this exercise life, it didn’t even begin as a New Year’s resolution! I started on December 16th, with very few hopes for losing weight over Christmas, and I’ve been focused on it since! While I know this is a lifelong journey, I feel safe in asserting that I have a pretty basic routine down for the fitness side of the goal at this point!
Finding time to be active and exercise is hard as a mother of six. I know, I know “we make time for the things that are important to us”…but guess what? Being healthy is really important to me, but I’m not going to get out on my own in negative degree weather and none of our gyms offer childcare. I had to be creative and find exercises that work at home, with the toddler and infant hanging on my every move.
(Kids all over me, am I right?)
But why even bother to make exercise work?
I’ll be completely honest with you here- a big factor as to why I’m working so hard is I want to look good and feel better about how I look. I’ve gained so much in the years since I became a mom and I’m just no longer comfortable in my body. There are plenty of less vain reasons to make exercise work for you as well.
(My weightloss since December!)
First, regular exercise can be beneficial to your physical health. Studies have shown that regular exercise lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, some cancers, and overall with strengthen your bones and muscles. As mamas, we want to be on this earth as long as possible to help our children grow and become who they are meant to be. While nothing is promised tomorrow, treating your body right with exercise and physical activity has been shown to help you stay healthier.
Secondly, exercise is good for your mental health. You all know I’m so passionate about mental health and taking care of mama on this blog! Exercise can help lower the risks and intensity of depression, it can help you sleep better, and overall it can create a healthier mindset. I know it’s totally anecdotal but I can’t lie-I feel so much better the days I get out and walk a mile or so than I do the days I stay in the house all day.
Lastly, for me, the spiritual benefits of exercise are amazing as well. I was given this body by God and I want to use it to the best of my ability to further His Word and His Kingdom. Taking care of my body is taking care of the temple I am meant to inhabit this side of eternity. It also gives me a chance to be in prayer while walking. I’ve begun using that time to listen to podcasts(hit a sister up if you have any!) and be in intercession.
While I love my cardio time, out walking a mile or two, some days all I can get in is half a mile and I still need to take some time to do some more exercises. I want to share with you others mamas who may be stuck in the home, some of my personal favorite ways to get physical with those babies hanging on your every move.
My favorite moves consist of using the baby, and when I’m feeling super brave the toddler, as weights. I am often seen doing chest presses, overhead presses, and pull overs in our kiddos matted area. If you’re not ready to lift your child(always make sure it’s safe before you do this!), you can do some lower body exercises while holding your child. Bug will get on my back and I will do squats or lunges with him there! I also love to lay them down and do planks or push ups over them. Each time I go down with the push up, I give the baby kisses. Planks are also our kissy and tickling time.
Need something that’s still less intense? Stretch with your kiddos! We’ve been practicing stretching and head stands…Bug loves it! Or have a dance party! All my children love to have dance parties. We do songs that have dance moves already in them or we simply turn on the music loud and dance side by side. If you’re ever having a long day stuck inside, so try this! Gets rid of their excitement and energy right away. And as it gets warmer…here we come for more hiking!
(First hike of 2017! Cannot wait to share some of these hikes with you!)