The last thing a mom needs on Mother’s Day is more guilt. We all know we should be getting exercise, and we know we’re better at everything, including being the MOM, when we make the time for a workout. But let’s face it. A mom doesn’t really have the same 24-hour-day that the rest of the world has. Well, maybe she does, but she has to share her 24 hours with everyone else. So what you’ll find here are 10 ideas, 10 ways to sprinkle little healthy habits throughout your day, especially on the days that a trip to the gym is about as much a reality as a day at the Spa. Check out my “10 Minutes to a Healthier Mom” list:
- Get up and do 60 seconds of stretching first thing in the morning. Raise your arms over your head, reach side to side and take a few deep breaths. Clasp your arms behind your back and open your chest. I always picture this stretch as a “Heart Opener”, literally opening my heart to all who need my love and attention today.
- Take a good multi-vitamin with a glass of OJ. You’ll be getting an insurance policy just in case you don’t get all of the nutrients you need today from food. And you also get your first (of at least five) servings of fruits and veggies.
- Take one minute to cut and wash some fresh fruit to add to the family breakfast table. Even the most on-the-go kids will grab fruit if it’s prepared for them. While you’re at it, sneak in enough for yourself to make up your second serving of the day.
- After you get the kids out the door, do one minute of push ups before your shower. Try to do them on your toes, even if that means taking your feet out wide and/or sticking your butt up in the air. When you get tired, just hold the push up position for the remainder of the time. You’ll be doing your age in push ups in no time!
- Take a minute to jot down a short list of the things you really want to accomplish today. Prioritize. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we can actually see what it looks like on paper. Plus, there is great power in crossing something off your list for a later date.
- Do one minute of sit ups before lunch. Bend your knees and stick your feet under a couch or heavy chair. Or ask a toddler to sit on them, they love helping you count. Cross your arms over your chest and roll up to touch your elbows to your thighs. That’s one. See how many you can do, and try to increase that number over time.
- For lunch, take one extra minute to add a serving of fresh veggies to your meal. Baby carrots, spinach salad, sliced tomato. Third serving…check!
- After dinner, take sixty seconds to write down everything you ate today. Don’t worry about numbers or calories, just put it on paper. Look at your fruit and veggie intake. Did you get in at least five servings? Are there things you ate that you could do without? Seeing it on paper is so empowering, and gives us a chance to plan ahead for tomorrow.
- Get in the habit of journaling every night. Mental health professionals believe this is one of the most important things we can do to become more aware of who we are, and what we really want to contribute to life. Time yourself for one minute and just write the first thoughts that come out. Even one paragraph of the highs and lows of the day is so helpful. It gets thoughts out of your head and down on paper.
- This one will sound crazy. Stand on your head for one minute right before bed. For thousands of years, Yogis have taught that inversion, or being upside down, is the fountain of youth. And it is believed that any version of a headstand is a calming activity. Start easy, by kneeling of a soft surface next to a wall. Place your forearms on the floor, with hands clasped. Put your head on the floor, just behind your hands. You can stay on your knees, or curl your toes under and stay there with your hips up and your head down. Before attempting a full headstand, get instruction from a yoga teacher that can make sure you’re doing it safely.
There you have it. 10 minutes a day. Ten habits, that done over time, will make you a healthier, happier mom. Happy Mother’s Day! For more fitness and yoga tips, check out my website at www.DeniseDruce.com.
Editor’s note: Though Mother’s Day has passed for this year, it can be Mother’s Day every day with this advice.