Throughout my pregnancy I have preached and preached to you that it is SO important, for both you and the baby, to stay fit and healthy. I stand by this belief (I mean, it is backed up by TONS of research) BUT, I must admit that I have had an unfair advantage over most Moms/people out there.
Before getting pregnant, I was working full-time…more than full time most weeks and blogging. Before that I was working full-time and working 2 part-time jobs. Prior to that I worked full-time and went to school full-time…you get the picture. I was busy. I tried my best to stay active and fit during these years, and for the most part I was successful. I was in a good habit and really had only to take care of myself. Typically, I squeezed in at least 4 days of real workouts and then did my best to squeeze in mini-workouts when I could. I wasn’t always the healthiest eater (still not), but I do all right on that end of the spectrum too.
Once I became pregnant, my entire life took a huge shift. I moved, got a house and quit my job the same week I found out about the baby…not because of the baby, things just happened that way. Then, once life kind of settled, we decided that being a stay-at-home Mom was the best plan for us (we think) and that I will just work part-time until our baby girl comes.
I am working 3 part-time jobs (subbing, tutoring and blogging), but this is nothing compared to teaching full-time. Perhaps, I shouldn’t say “nothing”, but it’s much less stressful, gives me a lot more free time and my schedule is all of a sudden super flexible. Clearly, I have had more time to focus on my health, the baby, keeping fit and a myriad of other things that I once just had no time to enjoy. This probably has a lot to do with my lack of panic attacks as well.
Recently, I was feeling my usual feelings of guilt for not being too busy, stressed and tired, and considering if I should look into full-time work for next year. I thought about what my life would have been like this year if I had gotten a full-time teaching job and I quickly realized my pregnancy would probably have been a hell of a lot different.
I am 100% sure my anxiety would not be gone…it is always worse (like WAY worse) when teaching. I would not be exercising everyday. Ain’t no teacher got time for that…we bring home hours of work every night. And, I certainly would not be able to keep up eating as healthy as I am now. My “teacher lunches” often consisted of frozen dinners or canned soup…or worse…Ramen.
I also realize that I am very fortunate to have the option to not work full-time. Not every Mom is able to (or wants to) do this, which is great really. We need working Moms being bad-ass examples for our daughters. However, I still want to encourage Moms of all types, working, non-working, healthy, non-active, trying-to-be-healthier Moms to be the best they can be and include a bit more physical activity into their life. It might seem impossible to squeeze in just one more thing to your busy schedule, but I know you can do these little things!
Here’s what I did to squeeze in extra cardio or resistance training whenever I felt I had no time. I still do many of these now too!
-take the stairs, no elevators!
-Park in the back at all stores.
-Do 10 squats every time you go the restroom.
-Do commercial workouts. I KNOW you are making time to watch your favorite shows! That’s fine, but when a commercial comes on do sit-ups, run in place, do jumping jacks or stretch.
-OR workout as your watch your fav show. Nothing like multi-tasking
-Walk during your lunch break. I used to walk around the playground while my students had recess…if I wasn’t grading a stack of papers.
-Get up 5 minutes early and use that time to do anything active, or even some morning yoga.
-Sit on a stability ball at work.
-Walk everywhere you can.
-Put on music while you clean and dance to it. Every little bit helps and this is a fun way to clean and get in some cardio. OR, better yet, make someone else clean, then you’ll have time to workout! (The dream, right?)
-Make family time an active time. It’s important to spend time with our loved ones, but instead of always watching a movie or going out to dinner, try something more physical. Go for a walk, a bike ride, a hike, a swim, play at the park, etc.
-Drink water ALL the time. I realize this isn’t an exercise, but I guarantee you will feel better.
-Do calf raises while you wash dishes.
-Do squats or plies as you brush your teeth.
See, it’s not SO hard to squeeze in some physical fitness time. I realize a lot of these are silly, but I swear you’ll feel better if you try them on your busy days. You’ll be proud that you got in some exercise. Not only will you feel better physically, but you’ll feel better emotionally too. Exercise has helped my anxiety so much over the years!
Best of luck to ya, you busy ladies…and gents!