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Working Out Around Young Children as a Stay at Home Mom

Posted May 21 2009 4:06pm

Let's face it, there are days... and then there are days . . .

As a Mom, I know that on certain days, if my stress level has reached Defcon 5 and I don't get a workout in soon, everyone suffers.  I give myself a set time to start and finish a workout, whether it's an hour from the latest meltdown or a minute from a ball being thrown into the sink, and I stick to that promise.

I'll improvise with whatever form of home exercise will do--whether it's switching on Exercise TV, a great  cable channel that offers a variety of workouts on demand; or popping in one of my "Firm" DVDS.   (Try CollageVideo.com for a huge selection of home workouts.  The staff review all the DVDs and can provide loads of guidance about each title.)

Some of my friends say, "how can you motivate to regularly work  out at home, I get so distracted .?? . ."

It's become a habit, I tell them, because I know the rewards I reap from consistent exercise and I enjoy them. Even before I begin, I know that after at least 20 minutes of sweat time, I emerge a happier, more level-headed mommy, ready to take on any challenges that domestic life throws at me.

"Mommy's back"-- thanks to the conscious choice I made to take care of (gasp) my OWN needs.  When it comes making choices to care for ourselves above others, even for just for a brief moment in our day, we simply don't do it enough. It comes with the territory.

So, for those of you with toddlers or young children, let the little ones swirl around you as you do what you need to do to get the blood pumping (eventually they'll get bored with watching you do lunges and wander into the other room). Or, invite them to join you.  Whatever happens, everyone wins.

And even if you get a stray call for a bathroom assist or a lost toy retrieval, just hit the "pause" button and come back in a minute or two (but it better be important, I tell mine).  It's not a perfect uninterrupted 20, 30 or 60 minutes, but what part of motherhood really is?  We do the best we can with what we've got.  And what we have is the gift of making conscious choices to keep ourselves healthy and functioning at our best.

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