Health

Why The Gym Is Your #1 Tool

Today we have a guest from my amazing friend Jennifer Kaufmann, a personal trainer at RISE Fitness + Adventure. Take it away Jen!

Let me start out with this – I LOVE THE CONCEPT OF WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN! Especially moms, the jack of all trades, who seem to wear more hat’s in a days time than is actually possible. Yet we manage to do it anyway, day in and day out. Almost feels like Groundhog Day every day….. right?

OK, I’m going to go ahead and talk about something we moms tend to put last on our list – our own self care.

What is self-care?

It’s simply dedicating time to yourself to do what makes you happy.

I know, I can already hear you laughing. “Who has time for that?” or  “Does this girl know what my days look like?” Yeah, I know. I hear you. I’m telling you that you must do it anyway.

I am a personal trainer at RISE Fitness + Adventure in Rehoboth. I train men and women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The majority of my clientele is – you guessed it – moms. Moms with high-pressure jobs, moms with 1, 2, 3, 4 kids, moms who travel, moms who work from home, moms who own businesses, moms who stay at home (the least paid of them all).  You know what they all thought before when they came to see me the first time? Some variation of “I don’t really have time for this,” “I have a million other things to do,” “I have 20 new emails and 10 new texts to reply to,” or personal favorite, “Maybe I’ll just meet with her once because I told her I would (what was i thinking?)”.

Spending time at the gym is a form of self-care, and it’s one of the best forms of self-care, in my opinion. Why? Because you pay someone to focus on you and only you for 30 minutes or an hour 1, 2, even 3 days per week. Who is paying attention to your needs for that long during the week? Who, indeed.

My role is to tap into your inner athlete, competitor, overall desire to FEEL BETTER. By the time you’ve been married, had your babies, worked and worked and worked….you’re worn out. I know. I became a mom when I was 41. We adopted a 2 ½ little boy from China and I thought my world turned on top of its head. I was an insta-mom, co-sleeping, channeling my every ounce of energy into being a mom to this beautiful boy I was so lucky to call mine. But the blackout exhaustion felled me. I honestly felt like I was swimming underwater for 2 years. Julian was the light of our lives and the simultaneous seemingly end to my freedom.

However, the one thing I did every single morning was wake up and go to the gym. I went to the gym when Julian cried all night and I barely slept. I went to the gym after Julian had night terrors for hours and I was nauseous from exhaustion. I went to the gym when I got 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep and felt like maybe we were making progress. I went to the gym when I didn’t feel well. I went to the gym when I had 200 things to do in a day. I went to the gym to find sanity. I went to the gym to find myself again.

There is a uniqueness in regular exercise that changes the brain. You start, unsure and a little nervous, and then you walk out thinking – wow – I just did that! From group classes to personal training, low-impact to high-impact, or strength training to endurance training, the gym offers a myriad of ways to allow you a safe place to get out your frustrations, cuss without offending anyone, and focus on JUST YOU for that period of time.

Strong body, strong mind. If you can make your body strong, you will make your mind strong. And that confidence will carry you through your day. The long days, the hard days, the hectic days. When you fill your own well, you find that you can fill everyone else’s well better than you have before. And that makes you a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better YOU.

3 Comments

  • Melissa Wolf

    Love everything about this!! I am not a mama yet, but it’s so important to truly understand that your self-care is not selfish! It is a practice. A practice that allows you to yes, give to yourself, but in return take better care of others too. I love the phrase”fill your well”….great post!

  • Dsheing

    Yes I get that. I am on the other end taking care of an aging parent. Working full-time, taking care of a parent that needs 24/7 care and having a home and a husband that need nurturing and love. I have been going to the gym for 45+ years and now it is more important than ever. It was at one time to look awesome( which I did), it is now to maintain great health, function and mental stability That 1 hour at 6 am before I go to check on my Mom, manage her caregivers, check her medications, try to remember that she was once a power house, arrange medical appointments, try to help her feel safe and appreciated, well that work-out time is mine. That time has always been a part of who I am. Soooo, no matter where you are in life, take are of you. It will allow you to be the best Mom, wife, friend, daughter, son, caregiver……

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