Keeping Lyons Fit
by Mary Chase
In light of Mothers’ Day I chose to reflect on what it is and why it is so important to be a fit mother. Since my children were born, I have struggled with the guilt of leaving my children to be physically fit. As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I have seen mothers struggle with those same issues. My standard response in both cases is the same, “I am a better wife and mother because I exercise.” How do I draw that conclusion? Well I am about to tell you.
First of all, as I sat in the sun with my children on Mothers’ Day enjoying the time and our families’ happiness one thought came to mind. I will not always be with my children
on Mothers’ Day, so I want the days that we are together to be the best possible. When I exercise my personal mood is better and I have more physical energy for dealing with the joys and challenges of being a mother.
As the years go by, I would like to have as much time to continue to build beautiful memories with my family as possible. The best way to do that is to take care of myself so that I can be present, alive, and feeling good. I can also ward off a whole host of possible illnesses by living a healthy lifestyle, so that my later days are filled with quality time to enjoy my family. Exercise and eating well is not a guarantee to that utopia of living a long and healthy life, but it is the best ticket we have for a shot at it.
So do I think it’s selfish to exercise? No I don’t. I know that when I walk back in the door from that run or gym session I am renewed. I have had time to work through my stress and to do a list in my head, so that I am more balanced for my family. I can be better for them in the short term with increased energy and patience. In the long term, hopefully I can bring them a mother who lives a long and rewarding life, so that I can see all of my children’s milestones.
So mothers out there, don’t look at exercise as the time you are taking away from being with your children. Rather think of it as the time you are investing into being a better mother today, and the many tomorrows that follow. Finally, don’t have guilt on leaving your children to exercise, but remind yourself of the example you are setting for your children to treat and care for themselves so that they are well in their own lives. Now get out there!