Remember how beautiful you felt during pregnancy? Okay, maybe you didn’t always feel beautiful everyday or at every moment of those 9+ months, but if you’re like many new moms trying to get rid of extra weight post-pregnancy you may find yourself longing for those days again–when you didn’t worry about squeezing into your regular ol’ jeans. Whether you’re 6-8 weeks post-partum (and assuming you have the green light from your doctor/midwife), 6 months or 3 years post baby, there’s never been a better time to get in shape!
Forget About Waiting Until the New Year
It’s easy to say, “I’ll start working out tomorrow or next week…or after the upcoming holidays,” but let’s get real here! Now that you’re a mom (and regardless of whether you have one child or six), life is always going to busy. Your to-do list is always going to be crammed. Your “me” time is going to be limited. There’s always going to be something else you could or should spend your money on. But, moms, when it comes to your health–physical and emotional–you’ve got to take care of yourself and make daily fitness a priority.
Of course, you know of this already–you’ve made resolutions and plans to shape up before. You know that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American Women. You know that any mom can experience depression or postpartum depression; in fact, one out of four women will experience severe depression at one point. You know that exercise reduces stress, improves outlook and helps with coping abilities and generally makes moms happier. And, of course, you know that a happy and healthy mom is vital to a happy and healthy child(ren), family and household.
But, ugh. Exercise. You’re already tired. You’re burned out. Tomorrow just sounds like a better day for it.
NEK Moms Challenge!
Though fitness is about more than looking good, think about what motivates you and get going in the NEK. Kick your tush into gear with these ideas:
1. Start your own workout group with other NEK Moms. Hey, even if you just meet once a week and walk around the Green Mountain Mall or walk the track at St. Johnsbury Academy, you’re making your health and fitness a priority!
2. Give yourself a gold star! Go ahead, put up your own Gold Star chart next to your child’s potty sticker chart! Everytime you exercise–even if it’s just opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car a bit farther from the entrance to Price Chopper or cooking yourself a healthy meal (or resisting the urge to swoop into McDonalds after work), give yourself a monster-sized gold star! And, when your child asks why you get one, just think of the amazing educational moment you have to talk about fitness–go, mommy role model, go!
3. Sign up for a class. How about Beginner’s Ice Skating Lessons? A snowboard trial class at Burke? A trial self-defense/martial arts class? Zumba? Or how about a Kingdom Body Burn class with Stephanie at Satyaloka in Lyndonville? Did someone say Yoga? You know you’ve been dying to try something new. Talk about an instant self-esteem and confidence booster! Lots of places offer free trial classes or discount nights. Ask around.
4. Shred it. Buy a workout DVD, like Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred (hey, save money and get it used on Amazon or eBay), borrow a workout video at a library, or download one on Streaming Netflix if you have a speedy Internet connection.
5. Stroll, Walk or Hike it off. Go solo, gather up your buddies, or take your little one and go for a walk on your favorite road, trail or path.
6. Get a Workout “Study Buddy”. Team up with another NEK Mom. Compare workout notes. Make each other accountable. Check in with each other daily by SMS Text, Facebook or a phone call. Motivate each other! It’s easier to stay committed to goals when you know someone is interested in you and what you’re doing, or looking over your shoulder!
7. Eat well. Challenge yourself to cook one healthy or “unusual” meal this week. Maybe you’ve been dying to make your own Squash soup. Click over to AllRecipes and find a healthy recipe that fits the bill.
8. Hit the playground. If all else fails, spend an hour this week chasing your toddler around the playground. Invite your mom friends for a playdate. Just breathing in the autumn air will lift your mood and moving around the playground is sure to get your blood pumping.
9. Sign up for a challenge. Like the Kingdom Challenge or another local race. Even if you end up walking to the finish line, you’ll at least have a goal in mind and have a major accomplishment to keep you motivated until the flowers start growing again!
10. Resolve to be a fit mama. If only for your baby or children. Life is short. Your child needs you to be the best mommy you can be–and remember, she may not be able to talk yet, but she’s taking in everything you do. How you care for yourself now will have lasting impacts on generations to come!
Oh, and don’t wait to start working out ’till you think you look good enough to wear your workout clothes. Muffin tops and all, wear that momma muffin top as a badge of honor!
Live well NEK Moms! Love life!