How do you feel in your body right now?
Strong, confident, and energetic? Or tired, sore, and stiff?
I’ve definitely been the latter.
When I was in an earlier stage of motherhood, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay slim through the “breastfeeding huge babies and running after toddlers” diet.
Unfortunately, that didn’t last long past the final baby’s weaning.
And while I had stayed slender for more than a decade simply because I was burning a ton of calories nursing, that doesn’t mean I was actually in good shape during that time.
Truthfully, I was a kinked-up, sore, tired mess for much of that time.
But so many of my efforts at finding my way back to regular activity flopped simply because I bit off more than I could chew. Instead of easing back into fitness classes, I’d sign up for a 90-minute kickboxing session, then wouldn’t be able to move for days afterward.
Or I’d convince myself that exercise only “counts” if you’re doing the recommended 3-5 cardio sessions per week plus weight training, and would find myself giving up on the third day when the toddler’s nap went too long and we didn’t make it to the gym.
It’s taken some time and persistence – and has required me to extend myself a lot of grace and understanding – but I’ve finally gotten back into a regular exercise routine. And along the way I’ve learned something very important:
It all counts.
If right now you aren’t exercising at all, five minutes of moving your body, even one time, is a great start.
If you’re exercising a little bit but not consistently, five minutes a few times a week is better than killing yourself once and then giving up for a month.
Five minutes of walking is better than five (more) minutes of sitting hunched over at your computer desk. Five minutes of yoga is better than five more minutes of slouching on the sofa.
So today, I want you to move your body a little…or, if you already are, a little bit more.
Just five minutes’ worth.
What kind of exercise can a busy mom do in five minutes? Well:
- You could walk up and down your stairs for five minutes.
- Do a few sun salutations. There’s also a great, simple and free yoga class at Happier.com.
- Get down on the floor and stretch. (I like cat-cow stretches for sore mama-back.)
- Do a quick arm workout routine.
- Dance around to your favorite tunes in the kitchen.
The great thing is that once you move a little every day, it becomes easier and easier to add on a bit more and then a bit more. You like the way you feel when you’re more active, so you want to keep going.
It’s a much more realistic and doable plan than going from barely any movement to swearing you’ll go to the gym for an hour a day.
So, get started! Move your body. Even just a little bit! And then tell us about it. You can leave a comment here, or discuss in the Beyond Baby Facebook group.