Raising my children, I was always on the go. I had a husband who worked constantly, (mostly out of town) to provide for his family. I was a hockey mom, a pageant mom, a horse show mom, the maid, the driver, the keeper of our home, and I worked part time. Needless to say, I didn’t make much time for myself. I struggled to keep up with taking care of my kids, my mom who has dementia, work, bills, and life. Time management was hard for me, so of course, I struggled to get to the gym.
When my kids were small I had a treadmill. I was on and off faithful to my treadmill, as I think most moms are. Later, I walked with my friends in the park, my kids in a stroller or on their bikes. At one point, when the kids were older, I was going to the gym at 5 am every morning and doing cardio or taking a fitness class.
I have struggled for years to find a fitness routine I stick to. I’ve tried it in my home, with friends, with a trainer and on my own in a gym. Now, I walk with my friends and do yoga. I also have cardio equipment in my home. Something I have learned is that no matter what kind of exercise I am doing, I always feel better once I am done.
It has taken years, but for me, I have realized I feel best being outside. I like the sun, nature and feeling fresh air. I also like to take time to do yoga because I feel strong and I also feel relaxed. For someone who struggles with constantly being on the go and having a pretty high case of anxiety, it’s important for me to slow down. Walking with my friends, my dogs or doing yoga helps with this. I am getting my exercise in while also being mindful of my surroundings and calming my mind.
I think the best thing is finding out what you enjoy, and it may take some time. I was always so focused on trying to be skinny I think I missed out on finding what made me feel the healthiest. I always felt better after a workout, but I feel the best when I can get in a mindful workout. Do you enjoy the intensity of kickboxing or the quiet room of yoga? Do you find dancing to be a fun workout to let loose, or do you prefer a run with your headphones in?
There are so many ways to exercise, and they aren’t all in the gym. My husband used to play hockey with my son in the park, our family took swing dance lessons for a while and my daughter loves to hike. I have a niece that is an avid runner and a neighbor who is a trick rider. There are so many ways to get the physical and mental benefits of being active. If you struggle with finding a workout you can stick to, ask yourself what you need and enjoy the most? Do you want more social time, where you can walk with friends or do you need the quiet to unwind? Is an intense workout something that makes you feel strong and helps you push your limits what you crave or just something fun like Zumba? Fitness doesn’t have to be weights and cardio machines. There’s a whole world of options out there to help you get healthier!
What works for you?