A few months ago I posted about running the Mother’s Day Classic, a 4.5k run which raised money for cancer research.
Let me just reiterate that this was NOT a normal occurrence for me. First of all, I originally thought that signing up for the run would inspire me to exercise leading up to the event. This was (sadly) not the case. Second, the only reason I DID run that day was because I had already planned and paid money to participate. So I hope this sheds some light on my motivation to exercise. I’d class it as “little to none.”
I’m not really sure why I have such a hard time getting myself to exercise. I honestly have no valid excuses. I have a rowing machine, that I could use after the kids go to bed at night. I could ask my husband to watch the kids for 20 minutes on his days off so I could go for a run. I guess I just rather do other things… or maybe – more likely – it’s all in my mind that I feel like exercising is just no FUN.
Instead of beating myself up about “not exercising” I am going to focus on enjoying movement instead.
After all, I do like to move. I like to play with the kids, I like to take walks to the shops, I like to spend a few hours reorganising shelves. This is all movement. Perhaps I should just add more movement into my days – and build up my body’s capacity so that I will start to have a good relationship with physical exertion. Who knows, I may even start to look forward to a weekend run I now only dream about.
Movement can be many things. Here is a list of ways I enjoy to move my body during the day, and that I want to do more of:
- Stretching in the mornings
- Dancing to music (especially while tidying the kitchen)
- Walking the kids to school – and to the shops
- Taking nature walks
- Running beside my kids while they ride scooters at the park
- Jumping rope while the kids play outside… or playing together kicking the ball, chasing, or making up relay races
- Playing active games indoors, such as Simon Says (adding jumping jacks?) or Hide and Seek (with chasing at the end)
- Parking at the far end of a parking lot so I have a few extra minutes of walking to do
- Taking the stairs versus the escalator (or elevator)
- Cleaning… vacuuming, polishing the bath tub, and washing food splatters off the walls… I sure feel like I can get a good workout doing it, especially with the amount of cleaning done on some days
At this phase in my life my body is quite busy throughout the days, so I really do feel like I’m keeping fairly fit from my regular routine. Sure, I could be stronger, healthier, more active, and I would probably feel better. But right now – I’m going to try to focus on what I’m doing well and then, maybe then, I can add to it.
Once I start to pay attention to my body and how I feel as I enjoy movement during my day, perhaps I will be inspired to add even more exercise into my life. After all, if I think moving is FUN, I will most likely find more motivation to do it. If I just continue to think of “exercise” as that dreaded thing on my to-do-list, it’s going to stay where it is. On the list and never crossed off.
Baby steps, people. I just need to start enjoying movement first. This is my current goal for keeping fit.
Can you relate? What movement do you enjoy during the day? What are your tips for getting more “exercise” into your daily routine?
This post is part of the series Self-Care for Mothers in which I discuss caring for myself amidst the busy reality that is motherhood. I believe in order to “be our best” as parents we have to take care of ourselves as individuals. This series is dedicated to sharing insights that I am learning during my own journey and inviting readers to share their tips as well. Check out the rest of the series by clicking here.
Bek @Just For Daisy
This is beautiful Chelsea. And so true… baby steps are steps in the end aren’t they! 🙂
Chelsea Lee Smith
Thanks Bekka – and yes, all steps count!! 🙂
Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky
I totally identify. I love how exercise makes me feel but rarely make the time for it. What’s with that? Great post x
Chelsea Lee Smith
Seriously. I can’t quite figure out the reasons I feel so anti exercise. Hoping I’ll flip the switch one day but for now, this is where I’m at so I’m going to make the most of it! 🙂
I have a similar relationship with exercise. I move quite a bit each day just taking care if the house and kids, but I’m sure it’d be a good idea to fit some aerobic exercise in for my heart. Just can’t seem to care enough to fit it in in place of other activities and jobs!
Chelsea Lee Smith
I feel the same Honey. I’m sure it would be great for my health if I could just do a bit of regular *real* exercise… but for now, just moving around is what I care about enough to fit in. What I really need is a gym buddy (who is super motivated) and someone to watch my kids a few days a week while I go work out. If only there were such people in my life hehe