Originally written and printed for Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine.
“Baby steps still move us forward” is one of my favorite quotes. I think of it a lot because I usually like things to move fast. I’m not a patient person. If something bad happens, I immediately want to fix it. If I have an idea about something, I immediately want to execute a plan. Practicing patience has always been a challenge for me.
Last year it was a big challenge to be patient with my body. I was going through a few health struggles related to a mold illness, and I struggled with fatigue, brain fog and overall just not feeling well. I didn’t work out for months. I just didn’t have the energy to work out or to do many other things. I was in a funk. Thankfully, with the help of some amazing doctors, we located the mold that was affecting me and I’m feeling much better now.
Then quarantine happened. And everything stopped. I started feeling like I wanted to start taking care of my body, maybe because I had a little more time on my hands. I already eat well, but I wanted to physically start taking better care of myself, too. In the past, I would always find an excuse not to make it to the gym. I was always so busy. Well, during quarantine, I got a little stir crazy and decided to order an indoor exercise bike to ride at home. I had some friends tell me about their experience and how much they loved having one — so I took a chance. And I love it — borderline obsessive love it. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt exercising every day. It’s been a game changer for me to find something that motivates me enough to want to work out every day and keep coming back.
Finding my personal motivation to work out has helped me be a better mom in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always love working out, but it’s helped me realize what I’m capable of and has boosted my confidence. I’m pushing myself like I never have before, and as a result I’m a stronger and happier mom. Here are a few other reasons how exercise helps me as mom:
- It helps my patience. I’ve never been an athlete, so I started slow and I’m building my strength. I’m not as strong and fast as some people, but that’s OK. I’m not in their race, I’m on my own. I’m more patient with my kids now, too.
- It helps with stress. It’s amazing how riding the bike for 20-30 minutes can totally take your mind off things and help you reset.
- It gives me some “me” time.
- It gives my kids a healthy role model.
The great thing about working out is it’s never too late, and like I said earlier, baby steps still move you forward. The benefits are so powerful and can affect not only you but your whole family. It’s always worth it.
Free Workout Resources
Here are a few suggestions for free workout apps. Remember, find what motivates you; we’re all different.
Nike Training Club — This app is my favorite. It has lots of great workouts from yoga to strength training.
C25K Club — I used this app when I was training to run my first 5K.
YouTube — There are thousands of free exercise videos on YouTube that you can access from home.