Having kids is awesome, but it can be hell on your body.
I asked my friends on Fox in Flats Facebook to describe the impact having kids has had on their bodies. The words they used painted a vivid picture:
saggy & scarred, but worth every bit!
It’s not surprising that some of these words are less than complimentary.
Our study of 150 women who’ve had kids revealed:
65% are unhappy with their bodies, and
64% feel less confident about the way they look.
Commonsense would say, “Put down that banana-bread and hit the gym.”
Yet ‘Mr Commonsense’ hasn’t had to juggle the demands of kids, family, work, home-duties, pets, friends, and everything else mothers have on their plates. Plus the banana-bread. And when we’re busy juggling the demands of motherhood, it’s easy to put ourselves – and exercise – at the end of the list.
To prove that point, we created an exercise confessional where we shared our excuses for not exercising. 187 excuses later, it’s fair to say it’s very, very easy to find reasons for not exercising. And it’s normal to do so.
That said, we also know that we should exercise. And we are all smart enough to understand the reasons why. But unless we find something that really motivates us, the excuses are going to keep on coming.
So in a bid to get fit, healthy and less jiggly, we’ve been chatting with women who are exercising regularly to get an insight into what gets them moving. Perhaps there’s something here that will inspire you?
9 ways other mums found their exercise mojo:
1. “I use my exercise time to keep up to date.”
My daily time on the stepper is a chance to catch up on news and current affairs. There is no way I’d get to fit this into my day otherwise.”
Al, mother of 1
I watch music videos when I’m on the treadmill. It’s fun and as daggy as it sounds, it makes me feel hip and cool.”
Bree, 2 kids at home
2. “I run to get away from my kids.”
Felicity, who has 3 kids including a newborn, confided this to me as she breastfeed and we watched the older kids going nuts on the monkey bars.
Of course I adore them, but the days and nights are so full on, and exhausting. That daily half an hour out of the house, pounding the pavement on my own is bliss.”
And Cathy, mother of 2 admitted:
“2 years ago we moved and I couldn’t get the kids into a local pre-school, kindy or structured activity. I joined a gym with an amazing crèche just to get a tiny bit of kid-free time a couple of times a week. The exercise part was just a means to an end. The time apart from them was great for me mentally, and physically I’ve never felt better!”
3. “I found a type of exercise I love.”
When I joined the gym I tried every single class they had to see if I could find something I really liked. Turned out classes I thought I’d love like Pilates were just not for me. Now I’m taking spin classes every second day and I love it! Makes me feel strong, focussed and in-control.”
Bec, mother of 3
I love to go for a hike up a really steep tall mountain armed with a spray jacket and an iPod. The trip back down is wet and exhilarating.”
Rainey, mum of 2.
4. “It makes me more creative.”
Cate, a mum of 3, says on her blog that she consciously distracts her analytical mind (which tells her not to exercise) and uses the time spent exercising to think about creative and useful things.
I like to use the time to plan creative things - like my blog posts, craft projects, even rearranging the furniture in the playroom.”
5. “I’m determined to be healthy for my kids.”
“A while back I underwent numerous rounds of major surgery and had a glaring insight into what it might be like for me – and my family – should I have ongoing health issues. So joining the gym was about investing in my health for the sake of my family.”
Kelly, mother of 5
6. “It’s my chance to let it rip!”
Lisa, a softly spoken mother of 2 is bonkers for her tri-weekly boxing class.
“Being a mum to a couple of strong-willed little girls requires a lot of self-control.
I love going to my boxing class and punching the crap out of that bag.
All my frustrations get released.”
7. “Paying someone keeps me going.”
“I scheduled in a couple of sessions with a personal trainer, and joined a mummy exercise boot camp. Committing to this financially was enough to get me going, and I haven’t looked back.”
Kylie, mother of 2
8. “It’s a great girlie catch-up.”
“I teamed up with a girl friend, and we go for power-walks together. There is no way we’d get that uninterrupted time to chat with each other if the kids were around, and I always feel better after a bit of a good girlie-chat.”
Zoe, mother of 4
9. “I’m vain, and want to be hot!”
Jane, my buddy with a wicked sense of humour, made me laugh with her honesty.
“I feel better about myself at a certain weight, and it gives me more options of what to wear.
Whenever I’m doing those painful squats at the gym I just keep telling myself I’ll be able to look hot wearing short shorts in the playground!”
Want more ideas on how to get moving now you’re a mum?
5 ways to find time to exercise when you’re flat out with the kids - but be warned, one of them might shock you!
Or, just busy making excuses for not exercising? Join our confessional: Reasons I didn’t exercise this week. Nearly 200 others have already shared theirs!
What motivates you to exercise?