Blogger, Writer, Urban Adventurer
It is a new year. That magical, hopeful time in January where we all vow to exercise more, eat healthier and focus on better “self-care.” While all that is well intentioned, it’s also a trap. If you are anything like me (and chances are, you are), I am really bad at putting myself first. I have a to do list a mile long, and it is very easy to fill up my days with other pressing family matters and ditch my hopeful resolutions.
It’s sad, but for me to get back into a gym on a regular basis, I need more motivators than just health or “trying to get my body back.” My body carried three kids, it is never coming back. Time for new, obtainable goals. This year, I’m trying these completely non-resolution reasons to hit the gym. And guess what? Many of them might even check off “better self-care” resolution on your list.
It’s never a lack of desire to get moving that stops me for working out. It’s my kids! I am continually impressed when my social media feed is full of these amazing, strong mamas who manage to squeeze in a home workout or a run during the day. They are cizing, shredding, T25ing and beach bodying and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Personally, I tried. Every time I would go to workout, a kid would yell for something or try to sit on me while I did sit ups. And running with a double stroller? I don’t like running enough when I am lugging my own body weight let alone trying to push an additional 80 pounds around. Gyms with childcare give me a chance to actually work on my fitness goals, plus, by the time I pick them up the kids are tired from playing, too. That’s winning in my book.
Now, gym showers are not the most glamorous places, but they do have a few things going for them—hot water and alone time. If it means I can take a shower in peace and stand still for a few minutes without wondering what my kids are getting into while I try and bathe, then I will gladly strap on some shower sandals and hop right in. Extra bonus: the probability of another gym goer opening my shower curtain and asking me to get them a snack is very low.
3. Steam room
Our gym has a steam room and I hope yours does, too. You don’t even need to work out to use it! If you wanted, you could just sit there and sweat out the day’s worries. Close your eyes and pretend you are at the spa.
Gyms always seem to have daytime trash TV playing. I kind of love getting to watch something, knowing that my kids aren’t listening and that no one is judging me. And if they are, I have headphones in and I can’t hear them anyway. If your gym also has wifi, you can download your favorite guilty pleasures and watch them with abandon while you get some cardio in. And if it means getting to watch another episode of The Bachelor, I’ll totally work out a little longer.
I miss reading books other than Good Night Moon. Since we joined our gym, I have started listening to audio books and podcasts again. Parenting little ones sometimes makes you feel like you are in a black hole of information. If it wasn’t on the Disney Channel, I probably didn’t hear about it. It’s nice to have different things to talk about with my husband at the end of the day other than what the kids did.
Some of my friends have memberships at the same gym. We have been able to arrange meet ups where not only do we get to catch up with each other, we are work out buddies that push each other harder to reach our goals. Plus, our kids get a play date in childcare while we workout. Everyone is happy!
7. Day dates
Finding quality time together when we aren’t both exhausted is a rarity, and morning day dates? Unheard of. Then we tried a gym date, and believe it or not, it was way more fun than I expected. Once on our way to the gym one Saturday morning, I told my husband “Hey, this is almost like a date!” Our oldest yelled from the back of the car, “Yeah, but we are still here!” I know kid. Let mommy pretend.
8. Stress relief
Like I said, I am not great at putting myself first. When I am able to make it to the gym, I am able to work off some stress, take care of myself and know that my kids are having a great time without me. It fosters some independence that is good for all of us. The added bonus of feeling stronger, healthier and better about myself doesn’t hurt either.
This is so important. It needs to be said twice.
Photo credit: Fotolia/ronstik
Originally published on Mommy Nearest