I started an at-home exercise program a few months ago, which for me is kind of a big deal. I go through phases of being fit, but let’s be honest – I like to be activeish. I’m not really interested in real exercise unless there’s a social aspect (or booze) associated with it.
Moms, can you relate? I quit exercising completely during my third pregnancy because I was utterly exhausted from working full-time and dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum, along with already having two kids. Then, by the time the fog lifted and I was a functioning human, I found out I was pregnant again.
I haven’t consistently exercised since then. Until now. Here’s what I’ve learned:
7 Lessons from a Woman Who Hates Exercise
Kids are the best cheerleaders
My two older daughters dance competitively and are in incredible shape. They are strong and flexible and so, so sweet to not fall over laughing as they show me stretches. My daily exercise has turned into family time as the one-year-old climbs on my back while I am doing push-ups (I have to shake him off, since I’m not that strong yet), and the three year-old crawls under the “mommy bridge” while I am planking. True to her sensitive nature, my eight-year-old is particularly concerned that I stay hydrated and brings me ice cold water. My 11-year-old shows me a new move or two each day to keep things fresh. At the end of a workout, all four of my loves offer hugs and congratulations for finishing.
Children are born with incredible core strength
I never really appreciated the amount of core strength my kids had, laying on their backs as babies and kicking their feet in the air all day long, until I tried doing some leg lifts this week. Finishing 15 left me weak and out of breath, while my kids did triple that amount. They then hopped up to do jumping jacks while I finished my leg lifts. You guys, babies are savage.
Curly hair and sweat don’t mix
I hoped that somehow my curls would last through a few days of sweating and retain their frizz-free bounce and shine. But no such luck. I now co-wash my hair every other day so that I don’t look like a husky with a bad haircut.
Speaking of sweat…
First of all, I don’t know how folks exercise in sweatpants – even the cute cropped ones. Maybe it’s because my thyroid is hyper-effective. It’s also possible I’m just hella out of shape, but the amount of sweat from a 20-minute workout is shocking. I don’t like sweating, unless I can shower immediately afterwards, which leads me to…
I shower much more regularly
With four kids and a full-time job, I frequently hit the 40-hour rule. You know – five a.m. shower today, nine p.m. shower tomorrow? But exercising (and breaking a sweat) every day has guaranteed that I am getting a shower every 24-hours. Which is kind of nice, even if my legs feel like jelly while I am shaving. I also leave the door cracked, just in case I pass out, so my husband can rescue me before I drown, since obviously my limp (toned?) body will block the water drain on the floor.
Anyone can find 20 minutes to exercise, especially if you don’t have to leave the house to do it
Trust me, I still look for excuses not to exercise. Here’s the thing: normally after work, I just want to sit down and read a book to veg out. But lately, I’m a little bit more motivated to do my workout instead of (or at least before) vegging out. I like the sore muscles and the sense of accomplishment I get from checking this task off my list. I also like that the exercise app starts easy, builds strength, and sends fireworks after I complete my workout.
Also, more sex
Yes, I said it, and it is true. Maybe I feel more confident. Maybe my husband likes the workout clothes more than my typical after-work LuLaRoe. I don’t know, and I’m not asking questions. I’m just (metaphorically) laying back and enjoying this unexpected perk of regular exercise.