I started teaching my first fitness class when I was 25. I try to really get to know my clients and help them figure things out. It’s not just a one-time workout; it’s a lifestyle. That means incorporating exercise and nutrition. Getting into shape cannot happen if you do not practice both.
I vividly remember a conversation I had with a couple of my clients asking for advice on workouts and nutrition. Before I could start explaining my methods, one of the women stopped me. She said it did not matter what I recommended, it would not help them because they had given birth to children. Confused, I asked what she meant.
She said that the only reason I looked the way I did was not because of working out. It was only because I had never had a baby. She was predicting the future, telling me what to expect.
That was five years ago and that conversation is still fresh in my mind today. Her words scared me silly. As a fitness instructor I’ve always cared about staying in shape. So when I got pregnant with my first baby I was a bit terrified. I exercised five times a week and ate healthy the entire pregnancy, but I still gained 55 pounds. After I had that sweet baby boy, I set aside time to exercise hard and started counting calories. It took almost a year because I am not one of those naturally skinny people, but I finally lost the baby weight.
Then I found out I was pregnant again, this time with twins! I just knew that her claim would be true this time around. My body would never be the same. So after I had my girls I was even more determined. And I did it! I lost the weight and my body isn’t horrible. In fact, my body is strong. And I feel healthy.
As women, we will always care if our jeans fit. And that is important. But what I’ve realized since I’ve had children is that exercising has turned into something else for me. I polled some of my clients that are mothers. Here are their non-fitness reasons for exercising:
Stress relief. You need a mental break from those babies.
Increase your energy. You need all the energy you can get with kids.
Mood boost! Exercise gives natural endorphins. You’ll return to your kids happier.
Setting a positive example. Do you want your kids to be fit? Then you should walk the walk.
Feeling accomplished. Finishing a hard workout is something to be proud of.
Alone time. Sometimes you just want some alone time.
Girlfriend time. Working out with a fellow momma is the ultimate multitasking.
Live longer. Exercise is the best preventive medicine. Stay healthy so you can grow old to meet, play and love your grandchildren.
Mommas, I want to challenge you to make exercise a priority. Plan out when, where and how you’ll workout. After the age of 30, it is more important for women to strength train. Think less walking or running and more push-ups, squats and sit-ups. More muscle increases your metabolism.
Don’t do one workout and wimp out. Find something you can tolerate and maybe you can learn to love exercise. As mothers, we give of ourselves all day. Make a change and do one thing a day for yourself. You’ll be a better mother when you return!