Becoming a mother naturally takes a toll on a woman’s body, mind, and soul. The nine months of pregnancy, the postpartum, and general adjusting to everyday life can be taxing for a new mom. This journey becomes more overwhelming when advice pours in from all sides. One thing for sure, every mother needs to prioritize keeping active in order to balance their life and feel like themselves again.
Running and keeping active have been proven to have tons of physical and mental health benefits, including managing weight, stabilizing mood, lowering blood pressure, and increasing muscle tone. If you’re a mother and haven’t mastered it yet, fear not. Here are some tips for becoming a more consistent runner.
TIP 1: ENJOY YOUR WORKOUTS
Mothers tend to feel guilty for taking time off from their kids and having “me time.” As a mom runner, it’s important that you enjoy your workouts and running sessions without feeling guilty. Mothers generally have very little time to themselves so, having some fun with your running is beneficial as you get to unwind as well as improve your health and lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your running sessions:
- Consider running first thing in the morning
- Invest in the right running gear
- Find a pace that works for you
- Run with friends
- Listen to a podcast
- Find your rhythm with a running playlist.
- Download a running app (suggestion: Nike Run Club)
- Sign up for a fun run
TIP 2: ASK FOR HELP
You cannot be everything for everyone, every time! Perfectionist mommies always want to be in control of everything and that is quite unrealistic and unfair to your body and mind. As a mother, asking for help is the most practical and healthiest thing you can do for yourself. Ask your partner, mother, sister, or a willing friend to watch the kids while you go for a run, workout, or simply enjoy a walk. Here are some tips on how to ask for help assertively:
- Clarify your need: In this case, it’s that you need time to work out. Remember, once you have identified your need, you can think about how to communicate it
- Don’t be afraid to follow up, They might forget you asked so, just remind them
- Experiment with other supportive online platforms. In addition to the physical help, it’s really nice to get some social interaction during that crazy time
- Try a Support Group
TIP 3: RUN ON A TREADMILL
You don’t always have to go out to run! If you are having one of those days where you really feel like you can’t get assistance with the kids, don’t sweat it, mommy. Feed the babies and make sure they are entertained with friendly toys, a cartoon or educational program, and then get on that treadmill. Yes, it won’t be a smooth session from the beginning but moms across the world have mastered it. Here are some tips on how to achieve that:
- Put the treadmill in the play area and have a mini fence around it just to keep the little ones away while you are working out
- For mommies with newborns and little babies, place the rocker within reach so that you can be close to baby
TIP 4: MAKE FRIENDS WHO ARE ALSO RUNNING MOTHERS
Having friends who can relate to you and vice versa is essentially the goal in any adult’s life. As a mother, you need to vent daily without fail, and perhaps your partner just doesn’t get you the way a friend would. So here’s a tip: create friendships within spaces that can be beneficial to you. Having friends who are mothers who run will not only assist you socially, but you can have a safe space to mentally co-exist and you can alternate locations (houses) for workouts. Tips on how to make mommy runner friends:
- Research and find a running club that is either for mothers or has a lot of mothers
- Make yourself sociable and make friends by sharing in group settings and allowing yourself to be open to other people’s perspectives and advice
TIP 5: EMBRACE YOUR “MOTHER” & “RUNNER” SELVES INDIVIDUALLY
Running, just like motherhood can give you purpose. When you start running because of being inspired by your kids, your runs will have purpose. You will have the drive to execute them with efficiency. Elite Runner and WR contributor, Alysia also says that when she let herself be a runner and didn’t starve that part of her, she would always be ON as a mother. Ready to take on challenges, knowing that running has already taught her that she can handle it, and vice versa. Tough workouts will not be so tough because you’ve already handled the toughest job which is motherhood.
Remember that if you can walk, you can run. Nike’s Studio NYC allows you to pick a running plan that best fits your lifestyle. If you aren’t healthy and happy with yourself, then you can’t be the best mother to your kids. Make yourself a priority and remember there is no right or wrong way to start running. Just start and you will figure out the rest as you get there.
For more resources visit Nike Studio NYC, a hub for runners of all kinds.
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