Monday, January 13, 2014

Why Take Time to Workout? [Fit Mamas Series, Part 1]

I have been wanting to do a series on working out geared toward mamas for a while now.  It just a coincidence that I happen to now have time to write the series, just in time for the new year when everyone is making their resolutions/goals that are often related to being healthier in some way.  So, I'm not trying to jump on the bandwagon here with this series (though it make fit with something you have been thinking about recently), but I am excited to write about it because working out is something that I do care a lot about and especially would love to see more moms be able to make a priority in their life.

'Attack of the stroller Moms' photo (c) 2010, Serge Melki - license:
Why should working out be a priority for moms?  After all, we have very full, 24/7 schedules, and as such I think its important that we are wise about how we spend every minute of our day.  Should working out fit into the ever growing list of priorities for our week?

I would argue that working out is definitely an important priority for moms.  Fit mamas are an asset to their husbands and their children for many reasons.

Healthier Pregnancy, Easier Labor  Pregnancy is hard on a woman's body.  But working out can mitigate some of those stresses on the body.  Studies show that women who work out during pregnancy sleep better, have less stress and have more energy than those who don't.  Furthermore (and this is a big motivator in my book!) women who workout while pregnant tend to have shorter labors and are less likely to have complications during labor.  It makes sense that building up endurance and muscle tone helps with one of the most physical events that a body has to undergo.

There are also benefits to the baby: working out helps women gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy (usually 25-35lb of weight gain is recommended) and studies also suggest that women who gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy are more likely to have children with a normal body weight throughout their lives.

More Able To Perform Every Day Tasks (and Less Likely to Get Injured) The type of workouts that I do are called "functional fitness" workouts.  A functional fitness workout is designed to mimic typical movements of the body, which helps prepare the body to better perform these tasks throughout the day (and decreases the likelihood of injury while doing these normal movements).

For example, squats help strengthen the muscles you need to get down to your kiddo's level (to pick them up, play with them, etc).  Deadlifts help strengthen the muscles needed to bend over and pick something up (with kiddos around there are always an endless number of items to pick up off of the floor!).  Upright rows strengthen the muscles needed to lift up your baby from your lap.

Many moms deal with back pain, especially in the lower back, which can be debilitating and make it much harder to perform the tasks needed for motherhood (cleaning, caring for children, etc).  Working out your core is one of the best ways to defeat lower back pain.  A mom without back pain is much better able to serve her family.

Better Body Image (Which Leads to Better Libido)  Studies show that women who work out regularly are far more likely to have a good body image.  Now, I'm not the type of person to say that having a good self esteem is the most important goal to have in life, but the reason that having a good body image is important is because it is a strong predictor for a woman's desire for physical intimacy with her husband.  So if you work out, you are more likely to feel attractive, and if you feel attractive, you are more likely to want to be intimate with your husband (and I'm sure very few husbands would object to that!).  Therefore, working out is a great way to be a good wife to your husband.

Did I miss anything?  What is your motivation for working out?

Click here for part 2...


  1. I think you missed arguably the biggest'll live longer and have more time with your family. I'm convinced that if my dad would have exercised even semi-regularly, I'd still have a dad. As it is, he didn't even get to meet my husband, let alone be a grandpa to my kids. I definitely want to live long enough to be a grandma to my babies' babies!!

    1. Yes, for sure! Sometimes immediate benefits are more tangible and motivating to people, so that is what I was thinking of, but working out definitely has lots of long term benefits. Not only will working out help you to live long enough to be a grandma one day, but you will hopefully even be a grandma who can get on the floor and play with your grandkids! :)