Give Yourself the Gift of Strength This Mother’s Day
On Mother’s Day, we think of flower arrangements, chocolates, and sentimental homemade cards. On top of these delightful gifts from others, this Mother’s Day, consider giving yourself a gift, too—a gift in the form of strength training.
Wait, what? you ask. I thought Mother’s Day was about relaxation, pampering, and hopefully my husband or kids making a meal…
It is about these things, but ultimately, Mother’s Day is about love. And what better way to show yourself the love you deserve than with exercise?
While we might think of exercise as medicine, in fact, it’s actually a gift for our soul. It energizes us and fuels happiness. It also provides an escape. It’s a break from daily pressures, where we moms do something just for ourselves.
But in order for exercise to be a gift, we have to see it as such. “It’s important to keep in mind that how moms frame or think about exercise really impacts whether it feels energizing or depleting,” says Michelle Segar, PhD, University of Michigan researcher and author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. “Once moms start seeing the new ways how physical movement can be a gift they start craving it,” she says.
“Gifts typically are fun and feel good to do in some ways,” Dr. Segar says. “Strength training gifts us with strength, better balance, feelings of empowerment, and improved posture,” she says.
Shifting your Movement Mindset
If you’ve viewed exercise as another annoying thing on your to-do list, you’re not going to switch to seeing as a gift overnight. Start by reminding yourself that physical activity—particularly a workout that combines strength training and cardiovascular exercise—reduces anxiety and depression. “Regular activity is an elixir of life—it not only energizes us and lifts mood, it helps us think better and be more creative,” Dr. Segar says.
There’s science to back this up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doing a mix of an aerobic activity and strength training for at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week, can do the following:
- Help keep your learning, thinking, and judgment keen as you age
- Lower your risk of depression
- Improve your sleep
- Reduce anxiety and stress
Both the aerobic exercise and strength training that make up the Curves workout release endorphins, which make you feel good. Strength training’s endorphin release is particularly powerful, so it’s a good idea for a busy mom to include strength training in her workout to reap its benefits to emotional health.
In addition to reminding yourself that moving helps you feel better in body, mind, and spirit, it’s crucial that you give yourself permission to move in ways that feel good to you. “It’s time to toss out any ‘rules’ you have for exercise because they actually tend to prevent busy women from fitting regular physical activity into their lives,” Dr. Segar says. Here’s how:
Embrace exercise as a gift.
“We know moving lifts our mood and fuels us, even when we do it for just a few minutes at a time,” Dr. Segar says. “So the best way to transform exercise from a chore into a gift is to do in a way that makes you feel good and fits into your schedule.” That may not mean a 60-minute gym routine but instead, a quick but powerful circuit workout that fits into your schedule. Segar shows us how to take specific steps to transform exercise from a chore to a gift in No Sweat.
Work out with a friend
Most women don’t feel like they have enough time for exercise or their friends, so why not combine the two? Invite a friend to join Curves, so the two of you can work out together and catch up. At Curves, you always work out alongside others, which gives you added motivation and support. Talk to your Curves Coach today about bringing a friend along and the latest new member offers.
Do it any way you like
One of the best things about exercise and the reason it is truly a gift is you can do it your way. The traditional Curves Circuit workout is available at any fitness level, so you can do it at your own speed. Want to switch things up a little? You can also take a class to improve your balance, core strength or overall tone. Or take a dance class to add in some fun. It’s your special time—a gift! —so spend it the way you want.