The duties of a mom are never-ending. She’s typically the boo-boo fixer, toy repair expert, dramatic storyteller, separation anxiety counselor and much more. Taking care of her basics needs often is overlooked, but missed meals and lack of exercise can have a negative impact on health.
Being healthy for yourself is important — and with a family relying on your well-being, it becomes even more important. Making a conscious effort to take care of your needs also teaches children the importance of daily activity and proper nutrition.
Now is the perfect time for moms to start off the new year with a fitness makeover, so they can feel and look their best.
“Starting the day with a healthy breakfast and some form of physical activity with your child sets the tone for a positive day,” says Nikki Longfellow, fitness professional and mother of two. “The activity can be a walk outside, a game of tag or simply stretching in the living room.
The Best Workout for You
Emily Wilson, mother to 18-month-old Maddie, a little yogi baby, incorporates health and fitness into their lives several times a week. At home, Wilson dances with her daughter, and plays interactive games.
“If you can’t make it to the gym, exercise at home,” Longfellow says. “At-home workouts will save you travel time to and from the gym.”
Outside of the home, Wilson attends weekly yoga and fitness classes. She learned that stepping on the mat helps her body and mind relax.
“Yoga is an excellent way to slow down, breathe and disconnect from the chaos of the day,” Wilson says. “At first I felt like I had no business being in a fitness class, but I gave myself permission to leave if it was too hard. Three months later, I’ve lost 30 pounds and I have more energy and motivation.”
Find Support — and Time
Join a gym, yoga studio or rec center that offers support, Longfellow advises, adding this means not just child support, but support from other moms with whom you can connect. This will allow you to establish workout partners and help keep you motivated.
“Fitting in a workout usually requires some advanced planning,” says Kim Zepp, triathlete and mother of two. “Being organized helps me with that.”
Zepp says she has to have a goal, like a race, to keep her motivated. Signing up in advance for a 5k, half marathon or triathlon keeps her focused and motivated.
“Having a training partner not only keeps me motivated, but also accountable,” Zepp says. “I don’t want to let my training partner down.”
Teach your Kids about Healthy Living
Living a healthy and active lifestyle sets a great example for your children and teaches them at a young age that living active is a way of life.
Wilson says she enrolled her daughter in tot yoga classes, which enhance Maddie’s hand-eye coordination and her motor skill development. The structured classes have an added bonus: body awareness, socialization and vocabulary development.
Don’t Skip Meals
Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain and skipping meals causes the brain to receive less glucose, which in turn leads to feeling tired, sluggish, moody, irritable and leads to a decrease in concentration and performance. Sugar acts as the body’s fuel, which is required for normal functioning.
Skipping a meal causes blood sugar levels to drop, which in turn affects how organs function. Also, it causes the body to go into starvation mode, thus reserving energy and decreasing overall metabolism.
Eat Right and Drink Plenty of Water
Poor nutritional choices, such as processed foods and dehydration, are two areas that have profound effects on health, too. Make sure to drink copious amounts of water and to consume fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
|Pose for Yoga
The benefits of yoga are numerous, even if you are stepping onto the mat for the first time:
• Increases flexibility, muscle strength and tone
• Protects your spine, improves respiration, energy and vitality
• Maintains a balanced metabolism
• Benefits cardio and circulatory health