Balancing Family and Health

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How do we balance exercise and raising our children? It is a very tricky task, but it can be done! Motherhood is one of the hardest jobs anyone can take on. We find ourselves sacrificing a lot to make sure our children are taken care of and cared for in the best way possible. The thing is, if we don’t take care of ourselves, our children will suffer as well.

It’s the same idea as they explain on an airplane during the safety demonstration: give yourself the oxygen mask before your children. It seems crazy to say that, but how will your children get by if you are not there? We all put off exercise and eating well, because we think it’s not as important as other things. “Well, I have to clean the house, do the laundry, go to this playdate, etc.” We all have many duties that seem to be never ending, but again, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t get anything done. You will not have the energy or a strong body to accomplish all that you need to, let alone keep up with your children. Excuses are easy to spout off, but why not try and figure out a solution instead of dwell on all the reasons you can’t take time for yourself.

You probably want your children to be healthy as well, so showing them through example is the best way to help them create healthy habits. Time is always the factor. There is never enough of it. Sit down and make a list of all the things you need to do throughout your week, but don’t forget to add in exercise. Whether it’s a brisk walk with your kids or a small ten-minute window where you can sit quietly and stretch, fit it in! It will give you the peace of mind to get through your day.

Most people have this idea in their head that if they don’t exercise for a least one or more hours a day, then what’s the point. But that is not the case at all. If all you have is ten minutes, then maximize your time by pushing yourself in that ten minutes and make it count. If you have a small child, incorporate them into your workouts, by using them as weight for squatting or lifting overhead. Fit in a small workout while they are napping or throw them in the stroller for a walk. If you have older children, take them to the park and fit in a workout while they play. There are many exercises you can do on playground equipment. Figure out if you are better at fitting in your workouts in the morning or evening and plan from there. There are many ways to make time for exercise; you just have to be willing to do it.

Quiet time is necessary during the day as well. If we take time to quiet our minds before or after a very busy day, it can make all the difference in how the day ends up. This can also help you keep your sanity when it comes to the noise and chaos that might ensue when the kids are up. This can also be a short moment in your day, either right when you wake up, during nap time, at your desk at work, or before bedtime.

Easy is not the word I would use to describe finding the time for you. It can and will be a challenge if it’s all new to you. This is where you can reach out and ask for help or sit down with a calendar and figure out the best way to make it all work. Life can get very busy, so managing our time is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our families.

This also goes for eating healthy. If we are not fueling our bodies with foods that benefit us, we will peter out by the end of the day and be a ball of exhaustion. That goes for our kids, too. They need the strength to get through their days and have the energy to run and play. With a healthy, balanced diet, this can be achieved. Think non-processed food from the earth to nourish you and your family. There are a lot of foods that are quick and easier to eat on the go, but it will only hurt you in the end. Take the time to prepare food for your family and have meals together. Practice healthy habits that will benefit the family as a whole and create a strong family unit.

If all of this seems overwhelming, take one step at a time. Start with finding five to ten minutes out of your day for quiet time and slowly add exercise and healthy eating when you are ready. Again, ask for help if need be. It’s always good to have support during transitions. If you can make these changes in your life, you will instantly see the benefits and realize how important it is in the long run. Your family will be glad to have a happy healthy mommy around, who can be present for them and not tired and distracted. Do this for you. You deserve it!

Here’s a quick ten-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout: Do this once
through, including warm up, cool down, and stretch for a quick workout. Add one to three more sets to make a longer workout. If you do one set, push yourself and work at your max capacity with no rests in between.

15 jump squats or regular squats
5 push-ups
30 jumping jacks
7 burpees
10 alternating lunges
5 push-ups
25 high knees
15 jump squats or regular squats
30-sec. plank
1-min. wall sit

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