In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, today’s post is about how exercising helps keep me sane as a toddler mom and a wife.
Exercise is a huge part of my life because it increases my sense of well-being especially during stressful times. I always feel like as the sweat is leaving my body so also is the stress. It also serves as my alone time where the focus is all on me. I don’t have to worry about baby Ire, Olu or anyone. As a mom I know how difficult it is to find time to exercise and even harder when you barely have assistance. What I usually do is wake up around 6am and head over to the Planet fitness near me (3x per week). I try to get at least an hr in before my husband leaves for work. I’ve always preferred working out in the morning because it helps set the tone for my day and the time also works since I mostly work from home. When I wake up late, I ditch the gym and go for a quick one mile run (10 mins)- anything to get the work done. It is not going to be easy at first but if you can get over the hurdle of the first two weeks, your body would adjust. Also, we are in Spring and it doesn’t get dark early exercising in the evening can also do the trick. Whether you head to a local gym or go for a run, do what works best for you.
If you’re like my sister and you have space in your home, buy a treadmill or any other exercise equipment(s). She watches her shows while jogging/power walking on the treadmill for about an hour- how convenient! Another thing I want to start incorporating now that the temperature is better is going for walks. You can go for a walk with your baby in the stroller, by yourself or as a family; again, do what works for you. Also research fun and active activities to do outside the home- playing around neighborhood, going to the park etc. Some of your routine might have to change. When I started exercising after having Ire, early workouts weren’t feasible for me since I was breastfeeding around the clock. I had to wait until Olu got back from work to quickly run to the gym and workout. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments, I was able to switch when she started sleeping through the night at around six month.
While you incorporating exercising, I’d also encourage you to try and eat healthier and sleep early. These three things work hand in hand- exercising, eating right and being well rested. As mothers we take on a lot and we find ourself exhausted- physically, emotionally etc. It’s necessary to take time out for ourselves to help our sanity- a healthy mom makes a healthy baby.
P.S. These suggestions are meant for when you’re ready to start exercising. Please don’t put pressure on yourself/ let anyone put pressure on you. Having a baby is a lot and it takes a toll on us not just physically but also mentally. My doctor cleared me at six weeks but I didn’t go back to the gym until four months postpartum.