Personal fitness: you have time

Who has time to exercise after a full day of work, manage their children’s extracurricular activities, homework, bathroom and other daily routines, walk the dog, cook a [healthy?] dinner for the family and so on ad nauseam? Well you do, do it like this!

Yes, I KNOW that you are busy, stressed and that you already have too little time. However, exercise is essential to your health and should be considered a mandatory part of your weekly, if not daily, routine. Unfortunately, personal fitness is often the first thing busy moms sacrifice when they’re overwhelmed and under pressure. Ironically, it’s exercise that will actually help you deal more effectively with the physical and psychological demands of a hectic life.

Even a few 10-minute sessions a day can lead to increased endurance, as well as a long list of benefits for mind, body, and spirit. Here are some ways exercise can boost the energy level of modern moms:

o Let go of the guilt and schedule your exercise time. Bottom line, don’t ignore your personal needs. Exercise is one of the best ways to not only improve your energy but also preserve your sanity. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have energy or patience for anyone else.

o Exercise first thing in the morning to start the day with energy – Your chances of sticking to your program are significantly increased if you exercise in the morning compared to later in the day when excuses and fatigue take over. Your metabolism will be elevated for over 7 hours after a one hour morning workout, so you’ll have more energy to get you through the day.

o Add activity to your work day: To re-energize your daily routine, find a better way to commute, such as walking, biking, parking within a mile of the office, or getting off a train stop early. You’ll still be full of natural endorphins while everyone else is working on their second cup of coffee. Eliminating some of the modern conveniences can burn up to 800 extra calories per week.

o Choose healthy and nutritious foods – You are more likely to eat healthier meals if you exercise. The last thing you want to do is eat a heavy meal after your blood is pumping through your veins. Ultimately, eating more nutritious foods along with regular exercise will lead to weight loss, which will lower the demands on your body and dramatically increase your energy and self-esteem.

o Drink plenty of water – stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. Your body is made up mostly of water, and although water doesn’t have calories to provide energy, it contributes to weight loss and helps your digestive system. Drinking large amounts of water will keep the toxins out of your body.

o Find creative ways to integrate family time with exercise. Your whole family will be healthier and full of energy as a result of physical activity. Don’t be a bystander on the playground. Get up and join in the action by pushing a jogging stroller, hitting the hiking trails, running the bases, biking around the neighborhood, climbing the jungle gym, or swimming in the lake. As a bonus, your kids will think you’re cool.

o Get your zzz’s – Regular exercise will lead to higher quality sleep and require you to sleep less. If you exercise early in the day, you’ll naturally be tired by bedtime and have no problem falling into a deep sleep.

o Try Yoga – Increase your energy levels and ability to focus with the deep breathing techniques used in yoga. Yoga develops balance, coordination, strength, and is also wonderfully energizing and de-stressing. Perfect for unwinding after an ultra-hectic day!

o Exercise will help strengthen you against colds and flu: People who participate in a regular exercise program are less likely to catch a cold or become weak from one. Athletes report faster symptoms and recoveries from colds.

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