Mama’s Workout Time

At the beginning of every flight, there is always a short video on what to do in the event of an emergency while the aircraft is in the air. One of the warnings is always to attend to yourself first before helping others. The logic behind that is obvious – if you’ve fainted because you failed to put on your oxygen mask, you won’t be able to help anyone. Likewise, as parents, we must also attend to our own health and well-being before we attend to our children’s, because if we are ill, how can we expect to take care of our children’s health and well-being?

Why workout?

Part of taking care of our health is to lead a balanced lifestyle that includes regular exercise. The beneficial effects of regular exercise cannot be emphasised enough – it is medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

Regular exercise can also help us beat depression, anxiety and stress.

Not only that – if we exercise regularly, it will also serve as a good example for our children since we know that children are notorious for doing what we do rather than what we say.

Despite all these wonderful benefits of regular exercise, I know mothers who would feel guilty stealing time away from the kids to get in a workout. I know… because I was like that. Although why we should feel so guilty for doing something that is so important to the care of our children seems ironic.

How much to exercise?

The NHS recommends:

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
  • Muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms

What is moderate intensity aerobic activity?

It will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer – you can still talk, but you can’t sing the words to a song. For example:

  • walking fast
  • water aerobics
  • riding a bike on level ground or with few hills
  • doubles tennis
  • pushing a lawn mower
  • skateboarding
  • rollerblading
  • volleyball
  • basketball

#nature boosts #happiness #creativity and #health... So here we are getting our regular dose of it...These are moderate aerobic activities that we do:

What are muscle-strengthening activities?

These activities build and maintain strong bones and are usually performed in sets and repetitions, e.g. 8 to 12 repetitions in 2 or 3 sets. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities:

  • lifting weights
  • working with resistance bands
  • doing exercises that use your body weight for resistance, such as push-ups and sit-ups

New trick we learned in #yoga at #brillkidsfamily this week - L-shaped headstand.These are muscle-strengthening activities that we do:

If you’re feeling guilty taking time off from the children, then go hiking with the family – it will knock out three birds with one stone. You get to spend time with your children whom you couldn’t bear to be away from anyway, inculcate healthy habits for the children, and workout all at the same time. Win, win, win. What could be better than that? Playing the Wii Fit Plus can also be another way to make it a family affair.

Staying on track

One of the toughest parts of starting back on a regular exercise regime is sticking to it so here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Variety is the spice of life – if you are finding it hard to stick to the workout you’ve set for yourself, find something new to try that will also get you moving.
  • Even a 20 minute workout is better than no workout.
  • If you can’t workout, find other ways to get your heart rate up – e.g. take the stairs at the office.
  • The hardest part is the first month. If you can stick to the routine for at least that long, it will get easier because you won’t feel right without a workout after that.

Yoga is Good for You – Let Me Count the Ways…

They say you should vary your workout routines because it helps:

  • prevent boredom associated with doing the same things workout after workout
  • to avoid or delay reaching a plateau in workout performance and, subsequently, training results

So we’ve added Yoga into our mix of regular weekly exercise sessions.

Why Yoga?

Yoga is good for the brain:

  • Enhances working memory and inhibitory control. It also reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Improves mental well-being
  • Creates mental clarity and calmness
  • Increases body awareness
  • Relieves chronic stress patterns
  • Relaxes the mind
  • Centers attention
  • Sharpens concentration

See also: Yoga offers the greatest brain benefits

According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga also offers the following health and fitness benefits:

  • Lessens chronic pain (see also: Ancient Practice Can Heal Brains Damaged By Chronic Pain)
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces insomnia
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • The maintenance of a balanced metabolism
  • Weight reduction
  • Cardio and circulatory health
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Protection from injury

See also: 27 Amazing Benefits of Yoga

How Yoga Compliments Your Workout Routine

If you’re wondering how yoga tracks on the Polar Beat – yes, I tracked it (my husband has created a Polar Beat monster) – this is the workout summary (I forgot to change the settings so it was still on Hiking):

Yoga workout #polarbeat

While it is not as intense as hiking in terms of calories burnt, Yoga offers a workout that encourages the body to use its fat reserves for energy rather than carbohydrate metabolism because of its lower intensity. Additionally, although Yoga may not burn as many calories or get your heart rate as high, you should not make the mistake of thinking it is an easy workout because it is not. Yoga will challenge your body in ways you would never have imagined possible.

Yoga workout #polarbeat

Last but not least, yoga is good for stretching out tight muscles after all those intense workouts during other days of the week.

Gaiam Baby Ready Yoga Kit

  • Complete yoga kit designed for pregnant women
  • Premium 5 mm yoga mat is extra thick and comfortable
  • Yoga block and strap help improve alignment and postures
  • Instructional DVD includes pre-natal and post-natal workouts
  • Ideal for staying healthy before and after childbirth

INCLUDES: Premium Ruby 5mm Mat, Ruby Block, Natural Cotton Strap. Healthy Mom = Healthy Baby. Stay Fit and healthy during the pregnancy – Get your body back after pregnancy. Includes tools in instructions for per/post-natal as well as instructional media = Two workouts on one DVD: PreNatal Yoga and PostNatal Yoga.Is a new baby on the way? Now you can stay true to your yoga routine with the Gaiam Baby-Ready yoga kit. Outfitted with a premium 5 mm yoga mat, a yoga block, a natural cotton strap, and a workout DVD, the kit includes everything you need to practice yoga while pregnant. The mat is extra thick to ensure plenty of cushioning, while the yoga block and strap help improve your alignment and postures. Finally, the instructional DVD comes with two workouts–PreNatal Yoga and PostNatal Yoga–for practicing before and after your pregnancy.

About Gaiam
Gaiam was created as a lifestyle company with the vision that, given a choice, people would choose a lifestyle that is healthy and life enhancing, for themselves, their families and the Earth. The Gaiam lifestyle is a vote for individual health as well as the future sustainability of the Earth’s resources. Gaiam strives to provide customers with alternatives to traditional products by offering natural, eco-friendly or healthy versions that compare with the style, quality and price of conventional products.

Gaiam’s goal is to become the trusted source and unifying brand for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) participants. They understand that the opportunity to affect people’s lives with information and products is both a privilege and a responsibility. Gaiam believes in the concept of Conscious Commerce, the practice of making purchasing decisions based on personal values and beliefs. It takes into consideration all the aspects of our lives and the impact we have upon the planet. Research indicates this concept appeals to approximately 50 million people in the U.S. alone. Gaiam’s strategy in delivering the distinctive quality for which they are known is to partner with experts in health/wellness, eco-living and personal development to develop proprietary products that meet our customers’ needs with meaningful solutions.

The name GAIAM is a fusion of the words Gaia (the name of Mother Earth from the Minoan civilization in ancient Crete), and I am reminds us that we are all interconnected with the Earth, the air and water, and very much a part of this living system that sustains us all.

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