EXERCISE YOUR WAY TO HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

Working mothers are perhaps one of those people who can easily burn out. I can tell, because I myself am a working mom. Running a household and a career simultaneously can easily topple our balance no matter how long we’ve been practicing our profession. Different challenges come up every day as our children grow along with our careers.

Multi-tasking to accomplish several tasks at the same time and hurrying from one appointment to another can so easily make us lose sight of the more important things, one of which is our health. Many working mothers lose themselves in trying to give their very best to their family by working hard, sometimes more than 12 hours each day and in the process they put their health at risk. Seldom do they realize than when they get sick, they will not be the only one who suffer; the entire family will.

I’m fortunate enough to get reconnected to a high school friend I have lost contact with for so many years. Thanks to social media, we saw each other again in Facebook and she, too, has become a working mother like me and she shared with me some easy-to-follow exercise regimen for working mothers.

My high school friend Olga has been into the habit for about two years now. (photo grabbed with permission from Olga)
My high school friend Olga has been into the habit for about two years now. (photo grabbed with permission from Olga)

I noticed in her profile just how beautifully fit and happy she looks at her age. Her secret – proper diet and regular exercise. She followed a few rules, committed herself to following them no matter what, and the results are amazing.

DISCIPLINE IS KEY

This friend of mine lives with her husband and their son in Canada. In addition to being a wife and mom, she has a day job that also requires her energy and dedication. At first I wondered how she is able to simultaneously clean such a huge house, keep a verdant vegetable garden, cook for the family, do grocery shopping, go to work and hit the gym. Then I learned that she doesn’t go to the gym. She works out at home. She didn’t even buy expensive gym equipment. What she got were a few DVDs, a yoga mat, couple of weights and a good pair of running shoes. She started working out on the living room floor two years ago, she did this twice a day or whenever she could, but she never missed one day and today when you look at her you’d be very, very jealous.

We all have 24 hours each per day and there can never be enough time to do everything, but she believes there will always be time for things that truly matter and for her, her health matters most. If she is healthy and she is happy, then she will be able to take better care of her husband and her son. So she wrote down her priorities, narrowed the list down to achievable targets and committed herself to going over through that list every single day.

You must have heard of the 21-day rule. It says that it only takes 21 days to develop a habit. If you keep doing something everyday for 21 days straight, that behaviour can become a habit. Exercising daily has become a habit for her but it didn’t come easy. It took a lot of determination and discipline. But I guess everything that’s good and beautiful does.

THE PRICE TO PAY

Her example has inspired me to do the same, especially when my own children come to the picture. If God wills it and I get to live 40 or 50 years more, I would very much love to live with knees and arms strong enough to carry and chase my grandchildren around.

Olga shared she wants to be a fit 70-year-old grandmother one day. Her son is the reason why she stays fit and healthy.
Olga shared she wants to be a fit 70-year-old grandmother one day. Her son is the reason why she stays fit and healthy.

This picture pushed me to join my friend in her journey to fitness. Along the way, however, I discovered it’s not as easy as it seems. It turns out that a working mother who is able to bake her own bread, personally prepare her family’s meals and not rely on fast food and grow her own vegetables needs to rid herself of so many things. So many that I could write an entirely new article about them, so let it suffice to know that my new daily routine after joining my friend in her journey is down the following:

Wake up at 5:00 in the morning, write a prayer of gratitude and revisit my dream board (yes, I keep one); do a quick, two-minute cardio, make breakfast and get the breakfast table ready. At 5:30 I take a quick shower, get dressed and put on my make up just before everyone else is up. At 6:00, my husband and our 10-year-old son would sit down for breakfast with me. We all leave the house after a hearty meal. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., I’m typically at work, Mondays to Fridays. After work I would drop by the market to buy chicken or fish and some vegetables that I can’t find in my garden. I arrive home before sundown and I usually catch the boys playing video games or watching Nat Geo. I’d snuggle next to them for a while before I help make dinner. My husband loves to cook, and for that I’m very grateful! Cooking together is a perfect moment to bond, share stories and laugh over silly matters. Dinner’s usually at 6:30 in the evening and we have to wait two to two and a half hours before we work out, and so while waiting we water our herbs in our tiny garden, prepare  the kids’ school uniform and help them do their homework. At around 9:00 p.m. we work out. Together. Again, I’m thankful that my husband is very athletic and enjoys working out. He may not be very expressive – at least not verbally – with his feelings but he seemed very delighted when I joined him in doing those cardio one night, using the running shoes he gave me last year. The kids get to see how much fun we’re having working out together and so they join in. Since then, this has become a regular habit for the entire family.

You might notice – where did going out with friends go? Like I said, I had to get rid of so many things.

Okay, I do have friends. A handful of real friends and almost all of them have hit the road less travelled, too, so we only get to see each other on Facebook. My husband and I also recently joined a community of givers at church, and so every once in a while we get together for fellowship meetings with them and their families. What’s nice about these gatherings is that we get to bring the kids and they get plenty of opportunity to learn about charity in a Christian community.

RECHARGE YOUR ENERGY, MOTIVATE YOURSELF

So much of my waking hours are spent designing and implementing career guidance program at school, doing household chores, tutoring the kids, gardening and working out at home. In addition, I do a lot of reading and writing. Your daily schedule might look a little different from mine, but if you are a working mother like me I’m pretty certain it’s a pretty jam-packed schedule, too. Every once in a while we feel the burnout closing in on us, and so we look for a quick remedy or some temporary relief. Then we go through the same cycle again. After trying my friend’s exercise regimen for working mothers though, I realized that making it a habit and incorporating it into our daily schedule can make things easier and can be very beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing.

Of course it’s not easy to stay motivated. There will be days when you won’t feel like getting up to exercise. But when you allow yourself to miss one day, your body gets the message that it’s okay to miss one day and you might end up missing another, and another, until working out becomes optional. You need to deliberately motivate yourself. It might help if you post a picture of your children on your dresser mirror to constantly remind yourself WHY you need to stay fit and active. A gorgeous body would be nice, but my friend says fitness is not just about aesthetics; it’s about building inner strength.

Personally preparing home-cooked meals for your family can take time, but it's all worth it. This is one of Olga's favorites.
Personally preparing home-cooked meals for your family can take time, but it’s all worth it. This is one of Olga’s favorites.

Keeping your body properly nourished is also a must if you wish to continue in this journey. It’s a good thing my fitness friends are there to help me design a healthy diet to ensure that I get the best nutrition. Of course food supplements help. Friends from work recommended Richarge Herbal Drink Mix. It’s what I drink in the morning after my quick two-minute cardio and in the evening after dinner. It replenishes my energy and gives me loads of antioxidants to keep my skin and immune system in tip top shape.

richarge

I hope this article inspired you to put on those running shoes and start your own exercise regimen, too. Your body is all you’ve got. Take care of it, pamper it, and it will allow you to do the best things in this life.

***

If you live within the Philippines and are interested in trying Richarge Herbal Drink Mix, I can help you find someone who can provide you samples. It may not be for free, but you can have it at a very reasonable price. You can reach me by leaving a comment below and I promise not to share your contact information. Cheers to your health and happiness!

One Comment

  1. Olga Cuaresma said:

    Excellent article on work life balance.
    Your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t push it.

    March 3, 2016
    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *