GET MOVING! This is #3 of my top tips for living a healthier, happier and longer life. This is probably one of the most that people struggle with, because they have NO TIME. How many of you can relate!? I can!! There are times when this gets forgotten due to appointments, getting the kids to school, volunteering and work. Maybe you are a busy stay at home mom with a toddler, or maybe you work full time. Whatever the reason you feel you don’t have time to work out is, I encourage you to think of creative ways to get at least 20-30 minutes of physical activity worked into your every day life. Get creative and multi task if needed. For stay at home moms take your baby out on a nice stroller ride to a nearby park or around the block. For full time employees if it’s possible ride your bike to work to get your exercise in, or work out during your break for 15min. If you have a desk job it’s even more important for you to get up out of your seat for at least 2 minutes every 30min to stand and move a bit. Check out this study where it shows that lowering your physical activity had a direct correlation with blood sugar levels spiking after meals. Spikes and swings in blood sugar after meals have been linked to the development of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. So think about ways you can make movement a priority in your life.
Movement facilitates the development of increased blood vessels that carry learning-essential water, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. By moving your body each day you will improve your mood, boost energy levels, fight heart disease and stroke, look and feel better, manage stress, lose weight, and have better chances of a low risk and natural pregnancy.
It’s also important for our children! Check out this article that shows how movement is essential to learning. It demonstrates that movement can be an effective cognitive strategy to (1) strengthen learning, (2) improve memory and retrieval, and (3) enhance learner motivation and morale. Currently, the MEDLINE database shows more than 33,000 scientific articles on the topic of exercise, and the vast majority of them confirm its value. One study showed that people who exercise have far more cortical mass than those who don’t (Anderson, Eckburg, & Relucio, 2002). Simple biology supports an obvious link between movement and learning. Oxygen is essential for brain function, and enhanced blood flow increases the amount of oxygen transported to the brain. Physical activity is a reliable way to increase blood flow, and hence oxygen, to the brain. These are just a few reasons play, recess, and physical education in schools are essential for all children.
Where do I start?
Get up and Move by doing things you enjoy!! Lets face it. Many of us are busy moms. Maybe we don’t have the time or energy to get to the gym. Or maybe you aren’t a fan of the gym (like me!) Trust me, you do not have to spend countless hours at the gym running on the treadmill if you hate it. The point here is to find something that is going to get you up and moving! I always encourage others to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lifestyle. For example: Carrying or wearing your baby, stroller walking or jogging, if you enjoy being in the outdoors go on a hike! Physical activity does not have to be boring!
Experts recommend 20-30min of aerobic activity 3 or more times a week along with muscle strengthening and flexibility training at least twice a week. To make it easy do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day.
If you have been inactive for a while, don’t fret! You can do it!! Start at a slow pace and begin incorporating physical activity such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. As your body gets in shape and becomes stronger you can increase your level of activity and efforts.
For Pregnant Mothers:
Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best. Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.
If you were physically active before your pregnancy, you should be able to continue your activity in moderation. Don’t try to exercise at your former level; instead, do what’s most comfortable for you now. Low impact aerobics are encouraged versus high impact.
Pregnancy Tools and Tips
The pregnant competitive athlete should be closely followed by an obstetrician.
If you have never exercised regularly before, you can safely begin an exercise program during pregnancy after consulting with your health care provider, but do not try a new, strenuous activity. Walking is considered safe to initiate when pregnant.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day on most if not all days of the week, unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication. Source
It’s important to rest and heal for at least the first 30 days postpartum. It is a huge adjustment and this is the period where you bond with your baby, get your nursing relationship established and heal from your birth. Please take it easy! It took you 9 months to have your beautiful baby and it will take some time for you to get back into your the body you desire. But don’t worry! You will get there eventually.
Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Kids who are active will:
- have stronger muscles and bones
- have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat
- be less likely to become overweight
- decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels
- have a better outlook on life
Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test. Source
Everyone can benefit from exercise! I personally love taking my kids on scooter rides, bike rides, hiking, and walks. These are just a few fun ways to get your family involved. So what kind of ways will you be moving YOUR body this week!?