Who has the time to exercise after putting in a full day of work, managing your children's extracurricular activities, homework, bath and other daily routines, walking the dog, cooking a [healthy?] Dinner for the family and so on ad nauseam? Well, you do – make it so!
Yes, I KNOW you're busy, stressed out and already spread way too thin time-wise. However, exercise is essential for your health and should be considered a mandatory part of your weekly if not daily routine. Sadly, personal fitness is usually the first thing busy moms sacrifice when they are over burdened and under pressure. Ironically, it is exercise that will actually help you deal more effectively with the physical and psychological demands of a hectic life.
Even a few 10-minute sessions a day can lead to increased stamina as well as a long list of benefits to the mind, body and spirit. Here are some ways exercise can stimulate the energy level of you harried Modern Moms out there:
o Let go of the guilt and schedule your exercise time – Simply put, don't ignore your personal needs. Exercise is one of the best ways to not only enhance your energy but preserve your sanity. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't have energy or patience for anyone else.
o Exercise first thing in the morning to jump start your day – Your chances of sticking to your program increased significantly if you exercise in the morning compared to later in the day when excuses and fatigue take over. Your metabolism will be elevated for more than 7 hours following a one hour morning workout, so you will have more stamina to take you through the day.
o Add activity to your work day – To renew your vigor in the day to day grind, find a better way to commute to work, like walking, biking, parking a mile from the office or getting off a train stop early. You'll still be high on natural endorphins while everyone else is working on their second cup of coffee. Eliminating some of the modern conveniences can burn up to an additional 800 calories a week.
o Make wholesome and nutritious food choices – You are more likely to eat healthier meals if you exercise. The last thing you will want to do is eat a heavy meal after getting the blood pumping through your veins. Ultimately, eating more nutritious food along with regular exercise will lead to weight loss, which will decrease the demands on your body and increase your energy and self -esteem drastically.
o Drink Plenty of water – Keep hydrated before, during and after exercise. Your body is made up primarily of water, and while water does not have calories to provide energy, it contributes to weight loss and assists your digestive system. Drinking ample amounts of water will keep the toxins flowing right out of your body.
o Find creative ways to integrate family time with exercise – Your entire family will be healthier and more energized as a result of physical activity. Don't be a bystander at the playground. Get up and join in the activities by pushing a jogging stroller, hitting the hiking trails, running the bases, biking around the neighborhood, climbing the jungle gym or swimming in the lake. As an added perk, your kids will think you're cool.
o Get your zzz's – Regular exercise will lead to more quality sleep and require you to sleep less. If you exercise early in the day, you will be naturally tired by bedtime and will have no problem falling into a deep slumber.
o Try Yoga – Raise your energy levels and ability to concentrate with the deep breathing techniques used in yoga. Yoga builds balance, coordination, strength, and it is energizing and wonderfully de-stressing as well. Perfect for decompressing after an ultra hectic day!
o Exercise will help to fortify you against colds and flu – People who participate in a regular exercise program are less likely to come down with a cold or be debilitated by one. Exercisers report less symptoms and quicker recoveries from colds.