However, there’s something about having children that makes exercise an unappealing prospect. The big question is, how can you get back into exercising again?
Why it matters
Most people know the physical benefits that exercise offers. But often, the mental advantages are overlooked. Keeping fit can boost your mood, and can also help to tackle anxiety and depression (something us mums are prone to). It can also be a social activity, and a chance to connect with others. In short, it might be just the pick-me up you need right now.
Getting back into it
- Get your partner’s support. Sometimes, relationships get tricky when you’ve had kids. Hopefully your partner will be in full support of you taking greater care of your physical and mental wellbeing. Work out a time you can head to the fitness class, swimming pool or gym, that works with his diary too. Better still, encourage him to get active again – then you can engage in a bit of friendly competition!
- Look what’s on in your area. There are plenty of exercise groups across the country; from local basketball teams (desperately seeking a new member) to aerobics classes run by fellow mums. Browse online and see if any events take your fancy. For example, the Vitality Parkruns take place across the country, and they’re a good way to get back into running.
- Motivate yourself with a treat. Set yourself an achievable milestone. This might be walking for 10 kilometres with the dog, or swimming forty laps in the pool. Once you’ve achieved it, award yourself a point. Three points, and you’re officially allowed to treat yourself to something, like a new top from H&M or a perfume like Neroli Portofino. It’s a powerful motivational tool!
- Get the kids involved. Sometimes, you’ll want to exercise alone. In fact, this is an important thing – it provides you with a bit of a break from being a mummy, and the chance to ‘reconnect’ with yourself. However, on other occasions, you might like to get the kids on board. For example, kicking a football around in your local park is a great way to get moving, and your children will love that you’re spending time playing with them.
- Stay committed (and be reliable!). When it comes to fitness, reliability and commitment are vital. Adopt as many tactics as possible to ensure that you don’t give up your new exercise regime. The following may help:
- Remember why you’re doing it in the first place. What’s your motivation? It helps to keep this in mind at all times.
- Write it down. Set yourself a rough ‘schedule’ for exercising. It doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to it rigorously; it’s just there as a useful guideline.
- Don’t be too brutal on yourself. If it’s too hard / not very fun, you won’t stick to it. Identify activities that you enjoy doing, then go for it.