Saturday, March 14, 2015

Working Out and Motherhood

If you balance family life with your career or if you are a stay at home mom, chances are you have little to no time for the important task of working out. The benefits that working out has on healthy brain functioning are extraordinary. Studies have shown that exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Patients with AD and PD who engaged in aerobic, flexibility and strength training were far less likely to be hospitalized than patients who did not. Exercise also enhanced the quality of life for these patients while improving their moods. The boost of cerebral blood flow to certain areas of the brain was a contributing factor in improving patient’s moods and cognitive ability. Therefore, getting to the gym or getting some exercise in sometime during the day is so important for anyone, especially moms. 

Before I became pregnant, I worked out about 2-3 times a week and enjoyed the way it made me feel mentally and physically. After my c-section recovery and taking a few months off to settle into my new role as a mom, the thought of towing my little guy to the gym inside of my building, as he slept and as I worked out seemed reasonable. Since most of you reading this post are moms, it is needless to say that that plan quickly faded away after realizing that having a baby means you are on their schedule, day and night. I was a stay at home mom and as much as I got pleasure from the time I had with my son, I also craved physical stimulation for my mind and body. Sure, meditation helped me stay centered to an extent, though I longed for those amazing endorphins to flood my circulatory system making me feel exuberant. I truly enjoyed carrying my son in his Ergo or pushing him in his stroller, though these means of exercise did not provide me with my own time, separate from him. One day while talking to a friend, I mentioned how little time I had for the gym and she said, “why don’t you do 5 minutes of jumping jacks a day.” I always considered working out at home while my son slept, but it never occurred to me that a short burst of cardio might give me a sufficient workout. And so this 30-minute workout came to fruition and has allowed me to get some indoor exercise in during the winter months. I had to work up to this workout regimen so as you follow this list, do what feels right for you. The point isn’t to push yourself too hard, it is to get you moving, so listen to your body and enjoy the experience.


Coutinho, E.S.F., Deslandes, A., Laks, J., Ferreira, C., Moraes, H., Mouta, R. Pompeu, F.A.M.S., Silveira, H. and Veiga, H. (2009). Exercise and mental health: Many reasons to move. DOI: 10.1159/000223730.

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