When you’re severely sleep-deprived, the last thing you feel like doing is a workout and you'd much rather curl up and have a nap or eat loads of sugary snacks! But, as Jacqui Ambrus-Bonazzi explains, self-care and prioritising exercise has so many benefits for mums.
I think it’s so fitting that I’m writing an article on this as I’m deep in the realms of no sleep with a sick toddler!
There are days where all I want to do is curl up and have a nap or just eat all the sugary things in the world but then I think about what I am trying to educate the mums in Canberra about – self-care and prioritising exercise because of all the benefits.
It may sound counterintuitive, but you always feel better after exercising. I think of El Woods in Legally Blonde and her comment: “Exercise gives you endorphins and happy people don’t go killing people.” 😊
So how do you prioritise it?
When you’re severely sleep-deprived, you may not have the energy to be able to do a proper workout. But, you might be able to do simple things like:
- When you go grocery shopping, park the car a little bit further away so that you have to walk more. That means you’re getting in more incidental exercise.
- If you’re in the kitchen cooking, you can throw in some squats while waiting for stuff to cook.
- If your baby is doing tummy time, get down and do some core rehabilitation exercises (not crunches or sit-ups styles – click here for some examples of exercises you can do).
- If your toddler is running around getting into everything, pick them up and make them part of your workout.
- If you’ve got older kids, take them to the park or oval and do some jogging with them or use the play equipment for step-ups, tricep dips, elevated pushups, and so on.
If you’ve got the energy and the options around you, and you’re looking to meet other mums and babies, why not look for a local mums and bubs exercise group run by qualified Safe Return to Exercise trainers? A lot of our mums find the accountability of booking into a session helps them prioritise themselves and their exercise but it’s also a safe space for them to be able to vent their frustrations. They walk out feeling so much better and ready to carry on with mum life afterwards.
Another strategy that might help is to mark in the calendar which days you’re going to exercise. Perhaps allocate some time on a weekend when you’ve got your partner, friends or family around to help – they can watch the kid/s so you can go and do something for yourself.
It’s also about reaching out to your village and asking for help when you need it. We need to prioritise ourselves. The first step to being a “good mum” is taking care of yourself, because they need you at your best.
Jacqui runs Canberra Fitness Centre in Mitchell in the ACT. To find out more about her and get in touch, click here.
You can also find her on Instagram.
If you are a new mum returning to exercise and are not sure where to start check out our FREE Safe Return to Exercise for New Mums program to learn all you need to know.