Let me start this post by painting a clear picture to you of my current reality: I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom to three girls six and under. My husband has a demanding job, I broke my big toe three weeks ago (which gets stepped on numerous times a day by my two year old), and I’m in my ninth month of pregnancy with my fourth child in mid-July.
These are all excuses (very, very good excuses, mind you!) of why I “just can’t make time to exercise.” I have chosen to deny them all, get creative, and keep moving my body in spite of it all.
Why, you may ask? We all know that regular physical exercise is good for your body, mind, and soul, but maybe you need a little “jump start” reminder as to specifically what you get when you prioritize regular exercise.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s article “7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity,” regular exercise helps control weight, combats serious illness and disease, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, improves your sex life, and can be just plain fun when you do something you really enjoy!
Prioritizing Your Personal Health
My father-in-law has a plaque hanging above one of the doors leaving his home that says “A man who is too busy to pray is too busy.” Prioritizing exercise works the same way as prioritizing our prayer lives, time with family, or anything else important to us.
My husband has found it difficult to find time to exercise since we have had kids, seeing that he works at least 8 hours a day and wants to spend time with the kids when he gets home. But he has realized that he wants to prioritize his health so he is able to be the best husband and father he can be – and live long!
He’s found that working out at a gym after the kids are in bed a few days a week, riding his bike to work, or playing volleyball with the men at our neighborhood pool are ways that he can get regular physical exercise without compromising his other main priorities.
I’ve personally found that the best time to exercise for me is early in the morning. If I’m up by around 6:30am, I can get in a 30 minute jog or (right now) 30 minutes of lap swimming before anyone in my family really needs me.
Letting Go of Excuses
One of my neighbors asked one morning how (and I think, why) I keep up my exercise routine during pregnancy. I responded, half joking and half not, that I exercise so that I don’t yell at my children during the day. She laughed and understood completely.
When I exercise, I find I am more calm, patient, relaxed, and just happier overall. And this impacts everyone around me, especially my family. I sleep better at night. I make better eating choices. I think more clearly.
Yes, I am a morning person, but I have to tell myself to get in bed every night by around 10pm if possible so that I get enough sleep and am able to wake up early enough to exercise.
Do you prioritize regular physical exercise? What is your favorite way to move your body and de-stress with physical activity?
Have you put off prioritizing exercise, saying “one day when I am not so busy, I’ll take the time to do that”?
Make a choice today to prioritize your personal health. Take a good look at your schedule, chat with your spouse if needed, and find a way to include some regular exercise into your weekly schedule.
Your body and your soul with thank you for it!