You only have a limited amount of time each day.
Let’s reword that.
After you chase the kids, change the diapers, load the dishwasher, do the laundry, pay the bills, work a job, drop the kids off at school…
Mama has no time.
In nature, the harried mother is normal. The mama salmon give their lives for their young, right?
But, mama, you are no salmon.
It’s imperative that you are around for your children. That you can impart your wisdom and guidance into the little moments of their lives
Furthermore, childhood is the time for making memories. For skipping and playing and going on walks.
These memory-making activities require parents who are in good physical shape. Parents who are in poor physical condition are less likely to take their children to the park or build a slip-n-slide in the backyard. It’s heartbreaking to realize that many parents don’t play with their kids because they don’t feel like it.
Your level of fitness will shape your child’s memories of their youth.
While you are raising your kids, you must also prioritize time to care for yourself. That is just part of raising them. You need to be at your best if they are to have the best childhood.
And this isn’t to guilt-trip anyone. As a parent, these are the things I need to hear, personally, to remind me that it is not selfish to take time “for myself.” Because when I do that, the entire family wins.
The benefits of a fit mom continue past your children’s younger years. In fact, your fitness level is going to matter even more in their teenage years. As your kids grow into teenagers, they will want to go on more adventures. To travel and camp and hike and try zip lines and skiing.
They’ll need a guardian who is up to the task.
Even after your children have “flown the coop,” the benefits of a dedicated fitness lifestyle continue. While your peers are sitting in front of their TVs, cemented in place by a saggy body with aching joints, your more resilient body can take you on adventures. France, Belgium, and the Caribbean are much more enjoyable when you aren’t in constant pain.
But this future is only available to those who begin protecting their body, now.
In addition to improving your quality of life and the number of adventures you’ll go on, fitness adds to your length of life as well. Just check out some of these statistics.
Running Confers A 30% Reduction In Death.
A Study by Iowa State University drives home this sobering fact. Runners had a 30% lower risk of death.
This is death by any cause: car accidents, cancer, you name it.
Running — even for just one hour per week — gives you a statistical superpower.
It’s one of those things where you can make a small change in your life and instantly improve your odds of a longer, more fulfilling and healthier life.
Hippocrates once declared that “walking was the best medicine”. Henry Ford and Steve Jobs were famous for the long walks they would go on as they solved the world’s problems.
You can’t find an exercise more accessible than walking. You grab a pair of comfortable shoes, open your door, and begin walking. If your kids want to come along, you can fit them in a wagon or stroller and, suddenly, it becomes a family activity.
The benefits of walking are stunning. In one study, mothers who began walking 3 hours or more a week following a diagnosis of breast cancer had a 50% better chance at survival.
Most of us won’t suffer from breast cancer. But we can see that even in the worst scenario, walking brings healing. It is, for those who practice it, a “miracle cure”.
For many of these patients, their habit of walking is what separates them from being there to see their great grandchildren’s first birthday or not.
And these fantastic benefits are available to all. Walking is a doorknob turn away.
Cycling Gives You The Immune System Of A 20-Year-Old
Biking is revered for how kind it is to the joints. Whether you have knee pain or ankle pain or back pain, the smooth motion of the bicycle means you can pick up the sport with minimal jarring.
Cycling is great for burning calories and getting into shape. All you have to is pedal and the calories come off. The fun thing about a bicycle is that it allows you to cover more ground than walking or running. You see new areas, and it is less annoying than many of the other workout options (hello, treadmill!)
Bicycles can be expensive. However, if you shop online, with the help of bicycle review sites like davescheapbikes.com, you can save 50% or more of the cost of a new bike. Skillful online bargain shopping gets the cost down to a manageable range.
Bikes can also haul “toddler trailers.” These fully-enclosed trailers are designed to be a “stroller” that attaches to the back of your bike. Put a helmet on your kids, and they can ride behind your bike.
In one study that looked at the cellular level of cyclists older than 55, regular cycling was demonstrated to restore and maintain the T-cell immune function of a 20-year-old.
A healthy immune system not only improves your ability to withstand the common cold, but T-cells are essential for regulating the destruction of cancerous and damaged cells.
You might have a few more wrinkles, but, if you cycle regularly, you can keep the immune system of your youth.
Swimming Gives You A Superskill
You are either a swimmer, or you aren’t one. Not that you can’t learn to swim, but swimming is one of those sports that you may or may not take to.
If you find that you love swimming, then seize that as your workout.
It does not put pressure on your knees and is an excellent cardiovascular and upper body workout.
Swimming delivers a greater benefit than walking or running. In one study on longevity, it was found that swimmers have a 53% lower risk of dying when compared to sedentary people.
However, they also had a 49% lower risk of death from all causes when compared to runners.
Running and walking are pretty incredible exercises.
But you can’t touch a mermaid when it comes to longevity.
Once again, this list isn’t here to inspire guilt.
Fitness does not fit easily into life. That’s the nature of it.
But start small. Start in a manageable way that allows you to build consistency. Even if you start by turning on a thirty-minute workout video during naptime, we are convinced that better fitness is available to you.
And we want the best fitness for every mama.