Becoming a mom shifted my perspective about a lot of things. Like other parents, my views evolved and I gained new insight into many areas of my life. In particular, my views toward health and fitness changed quite a bit when I entered parenthood. Today I thought I’d share some of the ways my outlook on exercise and health has evolved and what I’ve learned along the way.
1. It’s about quality over quantity.
I used to spend over an hour at the gym most days (much of that time doing cardio). I thought more time spent working out meant better results. And I felt that if I couldn’t dedicate at least a full hour of time then it wasn’t really worth it.
After the girls were born, my time became limited. My workouts needed to be short and smart. Because I didn’t have a whole lot of time, I needed to be more thoughtful and focused with my exercise. I soon realized it’s more important what you do than how long you spend doing it. A twenty-minute workout can be just as effective – if not more – as an hour spent in the gym if you know how to properly structure your workout. I’m learning this right now with CrossFit. An eight-minute workout can seem like an eternity!
2. Strength training yields faster results.
When I started to consistently strength train, I couldn’t believe the change in my body. It’s absolutely true that increasing your muscle mass will give you the lean, toned look you desire. Strength training increasing your metabolism, burns fat, and improves bone density. Using free weights or even your own bodyweight are great ways to achieve results. HIIT and Tabata workouts can be short and effective. Plus, they are easy to squeeze in during naps or when you only have a small amount of time to spare.
3. Maintaining my health has new meaning.
Now that I have children I am motivated even more to stay in good health. I’m not just exercising for my own benefit—I’m doing it for my family. Growing up without a mother was really difficult for me and it’s something I never want my kids to experience. Maintaining my health will help ensure I get to be there for the girls’ future and watch them grow up. I never want to miss a moment!
4. Exercise makes me a better parent and person.
Unquestionably, exercise makes me a happier, more focused, and relaxed person. As someone who has struggled with anxiety my whole life, I’m certain that exercising has been key to maintaining my emotional health. Working out helps me balance stress and gives me an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety. I have also noticed that I’m able to process and work through issues during a run or workout. All of this translates into being a better mom, wife, friend, and person.
5. It’s not a big deal to miss a day or two.
As a parent you can never anticipate the random things that will come up during your day. Your child gets sick or has to go to the doctor. A nap is missed or your sleep was horrible the night before. Sometimes you have to miss your workout and that’s okay. Obviously, my family is my first priority so if I need to skip a day or two then it’s no big deal. That’s life and you just have to roll with it.
I would love to know how your views towards health and fitness have changed over the years. Share below.