Here are five quick and dirty reasons why I think exercise makes me a better mom. I will elaborate on each of these in the weeks to come, but for now…
1.Exercise enhances my mood. Whether it’s the endorphins, the fresh air, or a good sweat, I almost always feel better after I exercise. And when I feel better…I can be a better mom. Exercise is also a stress reliever. If I am tired, sluggish, or a little blue, running or working out usually gives me a new outlook. When I’m positive, my kids are more likely to be positive! And if they are not…at least someone is!
2. Exercise keeps me sharp. Brain functioning has been shown to improve with exercise. Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard psychiatrist, has studied the relationship between the brain and exercise and the results are exciting. He explains how even a brisk walk can enhance brain function. “Exercise stimulates our gray matter to produce ‘Miracle-Gro’ for the brain,” he said. “I can’t understate how important regular exercise is in improving the function and performance of the brain,” he says. “It’s such wonderful medicine.”
3. Exercise is good modeling. At the first marathon I ran, my husband bought t-shirts for the kids, which said, “One day I will run like my mom”. Although the shirts are old now, we still have them. I know my kids were proud of their mom that day. Showing our children that fitness can be fun and can keep us feeling good is important.
4. Exercise helps me look better. I think I speak for most women when I say that our confidence is boosted a little when we feel good about the way we look. Like most things, however, balance is key. If we spend too much time caring about the way we look, we can send a negative message to our kids (especially our daughters).
5. Exercise keeps me strong. With nine children, I need all the strength I can get! For me life is an endurance event…my days start early and end late. Strength training has given me stamina and staying power! I have been carrying babies around for almost 22 years, and our youngest, Sam is not yet two and still loves to be held. Beyond babies though, a stronger mom is a healthier mom. I think if we can get started on strength training when we are younger, we will be stronger grandmothers, too!
What is it about exercise that makes you a better mom?