The only real tough bit about working out is starting.
Ok, there’s the actual doing it bit – but really, that’s still not as hard as getting over the barriers your mind will willingly throw at you in a bid to convince you that working out can wait.
The sun has tentatively started to show itself lately, so we’re betting that your motivation levels have kicked up a touch but just in case you need more of a push in the right direction, here’s 7 really valuable things that doing exercise adds to your life:
It’s hard to come by this special stuff when you’re a mum. You’re cramming so many things into your brain on a daily basis and juggling dozens and dozens of things that you need to remember. Even when you sit down for a rest or bit to eat for 5 minutes, it’s unlikely that you get chance to really clear your head. But working out does help you do this.
Whether you go for a solitary walk or swim, a bike ride, a group class or a one on one training session, your mind is made to focus on this one thing and that in itself is great for giving you focus and the ability to calm the millions of thoughts racing through your head all day long. Generally, after an hour’s workout, you’ll find the answers to questions you’ve been pondering, appear more clearly, or you’re more able to deal with the mounting tasks when you return home.
They are more important than ever when you become a parent. This is a time in your life when having the comfort of others to laugh and share a common experience with is crucial. Exercise has the power to bring people together very quickly. If you join a team or a group class, you’re all in the same boat and you bond quickly by having that shared experience. If you’ve lost your way with a good friend, suggesting an evening walk or trying a new class is a lovely way to find each other again.
Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new, something you thought you couldn’t do or frankly just something you were really nervous about getting back to after a long break, is an amzing confidence booster. You’re never too old for that ‘I did it!’ feeling and just like your toddler when he’s doen something new, you’ll be excitable and keen to tell anyone who will listen. Anecedotally, we know that women who join exercise groups often go on to start other projects, or tackle new problems with gusto because they think to themselves ‘hang on a minute, I CAN do these things, I just need to believe in myself’.
Time to be you
Swear! Shout! Laugh! Go for a wee in peace. Taking time out to exercise means giving yourself time to be you. Pick something you really want to do and allow yourself to go for it. You’re not mum for this hour, your just you and you can do and say what you like without worrying about little ears. Dig deep inside and ask – ‘What do I really want to do?’. Maybe you always wanted to do Ballet as a kid – well, you still can, there are lots of classes for grown ups! Maybe you wanted to be an elegant,efficient swimmer, perhaps you just want a personal trainer to show you how to get into the shape you’ve always felt is really ‘you’. There’s nothing stopping you.
Suddenly realising that you have gained in strength is an amazing feeling. Jumping the stairs 2 at a time without thinking because your thighs are getting stronger, lifting your child and not straining, running around for longer. You will notice these changes and you’ll grin from ear to ear when you. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world and you really do need muscles to tackle it!
Being proud of yourself is one of the best gifts you can give to you. You want your children to be proud of their achievements and the best way to teach that is for you to achieve and to beam with pride at yourself. Why not?
When you have put in the hours and your body looks and feels better this summer, you will feel proud and so you should. When your children wave you off to your class, or as you go out on your walk/run you can feel very proud that you are a role model. You are showing them that exercise is part of life.
You have faced your fears, you have achieved results and for that you should always be proud.
A Natural High
Those endorphins that will flood your body when you workout are amazing. Forget the wine and any other way you get your kicks because a workout high is where it’s at! There’s no horrible side effects with the natural high of exercise (OK, you might hurt a little bit the next day but you’ll secretly like it).
It’s quite amazing how getting your heart rate up can transform how you feel within an hour. You might drag yourself out of that front door, feeling the weight of a thousand things trying to drag you back inside, but you will literally bounce back through it! You’ll be red faced and sweaty and you’ll feel fantastic.
Words by: PENNY STRETTON