With the joy Greyson has brought to the lives of myself and my husband, I have continued to care for my health. Before Greyson I was active everyday, during pregnancy I was active everyday (walked one hour everyday until the day before he was born), and now I am still active everyday. This may sound completely absurd to most…after all, in the United States, over 60% of women start and stop physical activity programs, and 25% are completely inactive. But I am really not crazy. I made a decision that I needed to maintain my activity to be the best mom I can be. I know you are probably thinking I don’t have a life, or am not busy, but I am still as busy as I was before Greyson, I have just learned to “think” about everything differently. For example, before Greyson my exercise was intense, purposeful every time. This intense, purposeful exercise doesn’t fit into my lifestyle everyday so I do what I can each day. Some days I ride my spin bike, other days I take Greyson in the stroller with the dog, and other days I go to the gym. I still have a work schedule and a child who needs naps, food, and lots of love just like you. I choose not to feel guilty about what I wasn’t able to do, instead I focus on what I have accomplished related to activity and I do this everyday.
The whole thing about physical activity is that it is a choice. You can have the attitude that you ‘get’ to be active, or you can have the attitude that you ‘have’ to be active. To me, I ‘get’ to be active is more positive. It is a privilege, a celebration of your health. You can change the way you think about physical activity and lead a healthier lifestyle at any moment, it is your choice.
In 2006, I started a book club in Omaha to teach women the concept about taking care of yourself first, so you can take care of others. This book club was a research study (don’t forget I am a professor, love to do research)J Over 200 women have participated in the book club over the past four years and you know what has happened? Women are more active, but most importantly they have become empowered to live their best life, take care of themselves, have better self-worth. Women Bound to Be Active (the book club's former name) has just recently been changed to Fit Minded and is now a way for women to become members of a social support network, implemented by health professionals, aimed at providing women tools to empower their self-worth and their active lifestyles. Taking care of yourself is the key ingredient to being the best mom you can be. Many women are not active or have difficulty maintaining their activity. The support is here. Fit Minded will provide it for you. I encourage you to check out the website, join as a member with a friend. It will be something that will change your life because you will change the way you think. Getting together with other women, being social, having discussion is a close second (tied with spending time with spouses) to playing with our children. Join us! We can’t wait to meet you!
By Jennifer Hubery, PhD – firstname.lastname@example.org