The Benefits of Movement in Mamahood: My Journey Back to Fitness

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Carnival of Natural Mothering: Natural Birth ChoicesThis article is a part of the Carnival of Natural Mothering hosted by GrowingSlower, Every Breath I Take, I Thought I Knew Mama, African Babies Don’t Cry, and Adventures of Captain Destructo. This month’s topic is Movement. Be sure to check out all of the participants’ posts through the links at the bottom of this page.

Kids are the reason to exercise - not the excuse

Being physically active is so important for mamas. Why?

- It gives you an opportunity to spend some time actually taking care of yourself rather than just caring for others.

- It invigorates you and helps you to feel calmer. Feeling mentally healthy is key for being the patient and loving mama we all hope to be!

- Investing time in preserving our own health not only betters our own life but also that of our family’s.

- Exercise gives you an endorphin boost and helps you to feel happier.

- Being strong and active helps you to keep up with your little ones.

- Making healthy choices and prioritizing an active lifestyle sets an excellent example for children.

Prior to becoming a mama three and a half years ago, I had a very active lifestyle. I loved working out, hiking, snowboarding, and taking dance and yoga classes. After my son was born, he became the center of my whole world. It was harder to dedicate time to simply doing something for myself. I did things like adding bursts of running and walking into my daily routine and fitting in brief exercise moves while I cared for my son, but my ability to prioritize fitness seemed to disappear from my life.

When my second child was about seven months old, we bought a used elliptical machine for our home. I would spend about a half hour three to four times per week on the elliptical, and that was a great change in my lifestyle, but it wasn’t bringing the kind of results I was looking for. For all of the reasons that I mentioned above, I wanted to be physically active and challenged and strong.

Luckily, a friend of mine introduced me to the concept of doing an online challenge group while using the at home workout program, T25. This 30 day health and fitness group changed my life. I began working out for 25 minutes a day, five days a week, and with the support and motivation of my coach and challenge group, I began to experience the most amazing results. Not only was my body changing, I was also feeling more confident, inspired, and motivated to be the best I could be in every aspect of my life. My husband and I did the workouts together and that gave us a renewed energy as a couple as well as something fun to do together each night after the kids were in bed.

I was so inspired by my experience in the challenge group that I became a Coach, and it is now a daily part of my life to not only incorporate health and fitness into my own life but also into the lives of others – especially busy parents. It is so rewarding to be able to work from home helping others better their lives through health and fitness, and it seems that every aspect of my life has been rejuvenated through coaching with Beachbody.

My children, ages 1.5 and 3.5 love exercising with me. They also “coach” me through my workouts since they are all a half hour or less, or have fun with taking action photos of me.

Movement is a theme that now permeates the lives of my family in so many ways, and I feel so thankful for our good health and my renewed focus on being active and helping others do the same.

Have you struggled to incorporate fitness into your life along with parenthood? If so, how have you – or how will you – address this?

Bloggers, visit GrowingSlower to sign up to be a part of next month’s carnival. Please also visit the links below for more blog posts about the topic of Movement.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krystyna Bowman February 4, 2014 at 10:08 am

Love the list of benefits…and the idea of a challenge team!! That sounds great – thank you for letting me know. I have recently come to the conclusion that just because I can’t get an hour in doesn’t mean I can’t get 15-20 minutes of movement in per day…so glad there is an on-line group that already figured that out and that can help facilitate a daily habit :)

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2 Jessica February 4, 2014 at 11:49 am

You and your husband are a testament to these online challenges! You are looking radiant and fit!
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3 Olivia February 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

This is really a challenge for me. A support group would definitely be helpful to me and help me stay motivated.
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4 Melissa Ryan February 10, 2014 at 11:14 pm

I find having supportive friends really helps me to stick with exercise. I can’t wait to get back into jogging once this baby comes.
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5 Rachelle February 14, 2014 at 9:49 am

If one has kids, the more important it is for her to workout and stay healthy. Taking care of the kids demands energy and more so we need to be in our best shape. Such a motivating post!
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