I have a classic story for you. My story, and the story of many mothers out there who have come to realize the difficulty of losing weight, especially after pregnancy or during their middle ages.
Pregnancy was a roller coaster ride for me. I am a mother of two amazing boys. I was 20 when I gave birth to my eldest child. The second one followed eight years after. During these months of gestation, I found it difficult to resist what most pregnant women crave for – food. When you carry a child in your womb, the tendency is you want to eat more. You get tired and get irritable more often. You just want to stay in one place because minor movements would make you feel nauseated. At least, that was how I experienced it. The result: I blew up like a hot air balloon in a very short span of time.
Believe it or not, I was considerably fit prior to my pregnancy. I lived a very healthy lifestyle. I never smoked. I drank a glass of wine or two in rare special occasions. I also ran or walked outdoors and practiced yoga almost every day. However, during my pregnancy and after I gave birth to my last kid, I found it challenging to get back to my old healthy habit.
I am now 35 years old and back to my ideal body weight. Many people ask me how I did it, but really, WHY I did it is the right thing to ask. Allow me to tell you three great reasons why you need to get off that couch and start exercising:
Reason No. 1: It makes you feel good
No, I’m not talking about I feel good because I’m healthy. I’m talking about I feel good as if I bought a new pair of shoes.
According to Current Opinion in Psychiatry journal article Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity by Drs. Frank Penedo and Jason Dahn, people who engage in regular exercise and various physical activities show “better health outcomes, including better general and health-related quality of life, better functional capacity, and better mood states. ”
This means that working out, partnered with balanced diet and healthy habit, can actually uplift your total well-being which radiates on your attitude towards life and relationship to others. These physical activities are your daily dose of happy pill. Walking for an hour or two in the park, or even just cleaning your home on a regular basis, can make your body to naturally release a chemical called endorphin. This causes a positive feeling or mood such as happiness and excitement.
Reason No. 2: It improves your mental state
When I was nursing my youngest child, I easily got tired. I felt like a blob and all I wanted to do was to lie down and sleep. I was more than 22 kilograms beyond my ideal body weight. Obviously, my pregnancy really took its toll on me. I did not only feel bad about myself. It also affected my psychological disposition.
The thing is that, your physical state directly affects your mental activity. We know that we see, hear, taste, and feel with our brain. Our muscles and internal organs are controlled by our nervous system. Lack of exercise, improper sleep pattern, and poor diet can result to physical exhaustion which contributes in mental fatigue.
According to the article “100 Reasons Why You Have To Get Off Your Butt And Work Out”, working out can greatly increase mental alertness and enhance memory. Because your body is always on the move, your brain function is also active.
Reason No. 3: It makes you healthy
A good amount of exercise and proper diet can make you healthy which results to a longer life span. How many people and studies have already told you that? If you wish to live a healthy, long life, the only solution is to get up and work out.
However, some people need motivation in life to start grabbing those running shoes. In my case, I have my family. By the time my eldest reaches his adulthood, I would be thirty-six. I want to see them grow up, get married, and have kids. This is how I motivate myself, and I can only achieve this if I take care of myself too.
You, too, could have your own personal reason – any reason at all – just to jumpstart that healthy habit. It could be because of health, because you want to wear that small-sized bikini next summer, or because you just want to feel good about yourself. Just keep in mind that you are doing it for yourself and not for others. Your mindset should be focused on how this change can benefit you. Trust me, this kind of positive motivation will effortlessly reflect on you and your relationship with your loved ones.