written by Umo Callins who is a mother of 2, working as a Sports Dietitian, certified personal trainer and Owner of 180Physique Nutrition and Fitness. www.180Physique.com
Mom, mother, momma, mommy. It’s a role that many of us are blessed to have. We have the honor of raising kids and taking care of them. As moms we have many different hats that we wear. We play the role of chefs, nurses, cleaners, counselors and SO much more. Whether we stay at home or work outside of the home, we are all working moms. Being a mom is a full time job that demands a lot of time and energy. It’s a job that we have 24/7 and by far the most amazing job there is. Being a mother combined with everything else that we do can be stressful. Sometimes the stress level varies, but we all experience it and handle or manage it differently.
As a mother of two small children, that also manages a business, I can say this from experience… It can be challenging at times to consistently make time for myself and be mindful of how I can effectively manage stress in a positive and beneficial way. Something I strive to do is focus on both mental and physical health. Exercising is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It’s a natural and effective way to treat or manage it. When we exercise endorphins are released. Endorphins are hormones that act as neurotransmitters that the body releases in response to stress such as physical pain or intense exercise. After these chemicals are released, they cause feelings of well being and euphoria. Finishing a workout gives a sense of accomplishment and boosts energy. When paired with eating a balanced diet, there aren’t many activities that make you feel that good. The recommended amount of exercise each week is either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity.
Exercise can be accomplished in a variety of ways. An important thing to consider when making the decision to commit to adding exercise in your daily or weekly routine is to do something you enjoy. This looks different for everyone. If you find it challenging to figure out how to incorporate it into your schedule, think outside the box. Take your kids out on a walk or jog around the neighborhood while pushing the stroller. For those of you that have kids that are a little older, make it a fun family challenge and workout together at home. Physical activity doesn’t require you to go to the gym or a fitness class, you can do workouts at home too. I encourage stay-at-home moms to try to exercise early before the kids wake up or during nap times. For those that work in a different setting, take advantage of lunch breaks or any time that you have before or after work. Your workouts can be spread out in multiple mini sessions throughout the day instead of one longer session. It’s perfectly fine and still counts if you do two 15 minute sessions a day or three 10 minute ones. It all adds up and will make a difference. A workout I like to do at home, when I can’t make it to the studio to train, is interval based training. This is accomplished by establishing a set amount of time to perform the exercise(s) followed by a set period of time to rest and repeating the sequence. This method helps keeps my intensity higher and lets me accomplish more in less time.
Whether it be Zumba, Yoga, weight training or a great walk with the kids, just keep moving. In order for us to continue all that we do and have peace of mind, we HAVE to take care of ourselves and make it a priority. Set the example for your family to follow. Your kids will be so motivated and inspired by this. So the next time you feel anxious and stressed, remember that you are only one workout away from a good mood!