Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Exercise and Fueling the Body

Exercise has been a priority in my life for a long time. It started with playing sports a young person. I loved the feeling of using my body and expending energy. A few knee injuries really limited my involvement in sports, and I had to find a new outlet. That is when I began to workout. I took some breaks, but overall I have pretty regularly included some sort of exercise in my schedule. I actually have some guilt when I don’t get it done. My mom thinks I am a nut, but it is the way I am made. I crave it!

With each child that we added to our family, it has been harder to maintain an exercise routine. I bounced back pretty quickly after Chase. It took a little long with Parker, but I was back at it in about 8 weeks. I tried after Maggie to get back into it, but it was really hit or miss during her first year. I did some home workouts when I could, but often a nap would trump a workout. I would try to go to the gym, but I would come home feeling fatigued and exhausted. Not ready and able to tackle the task of mothering 3 active kids. It was just too much for quite a while. It was hard for me to accept, but I gave my body time. I started up about 2 months ago making a concerted effort to exercise 4-5 days a week. I was able to stick to it, and cope for the rest of the day with my other responsibilities. So happy to be back into the routine. It is so exciting to see some changes in my body and feeling more like my younger self.

With my exercise and workouts, I have a few goals to accomplish. Make my body strong so I can be the best wife, mother, daughter, etc. It takes a lot of strength to lift kids, install car seats, fold and unfold strollers.

I want to have energy. Exercise energizes me for the day. The endorphins give me a boost and a feeling of well-being. I miss that so much when I skip a workout.

Lastly, I want to be able to wear my clothes, have them fit properly, and feel good about the way I look in the mirror. After going through the ups and downs of weight gain and weight loss with every baby, I am ready to just find my normal. I am realizing that my “normal” might have to be a “new normal.” It is not as easy to whip myself back into shape as it was 10 years ago or even just 5 years ago. It is hard!

I love group exercise classes. You don’t have to think. You just show up and follow along. Perfect for a tired mommy at 6:00 in the morning. The instructor of my Tuesday morning Group Strength Training (GST) class is 5 feet tall and ALL muscle. She is one strong lady. There is no jiggle anywhere near this lady, but she has maintained a feminine look. She is not too bulky but long and thin. She is in her forties, a mother of 4, and a grandmother. Quite the inspiration!

This morning she suggested drinking a muscle recovery drink within 30-60 minutes. She said it has helped her body definition and energy levels immensely. I think I might incorporate this into my diet and routine and see what happens. Hopefully, I will start to look a little my instructor Winking smile


Stef said...

this was a great post! I'm feeling ready much sooner this time than I did with any of the other kids and I think I owe that to my super fast labor. As painful as it is, the recoup time has been much less painful, which I guess is the trade off :)

We joined a gym about 2 weeks ago and I've still not gone. Its way easier for me to do a work out video here than drive to the gym (its only down the street, but still) and do my work out there.
I think it will get easier when Miles is on a more regular nursing routine.
Or, I'll just stick with the videos and Jason and be the gym rat ;-)

The Abe Green Family said...

So glad you are ready to hop back into exercise, Stef! The nursing schedule was one of the biggest hindrances to me going to the gym. Maggie would wake up right around the time I would need to leave. It was just hard, and when I am tired sometimes I just skip hard things :)

If you can get to a class, I think you might enjoy it. Give it a whirl :)

Stef said...

what class would you recommend for a newbie?

The Abe Green Family said...

Stef, what classes do they offer? Do they have some sort of strenth training class?