Since 2017 began I have thought a lot about my own physical recovery since giving birth and the time it has taken to finally get back to feeling strong and confident in my body. It is only since January that whilst exercising I have felt I can physically push myself and even get back to my pre-pregnancy nutrition plan.
In this journey we call life, many seasons come and go, some more challenging than others. As life changes so should our approach to health and fitness. The change could be for a physical reason i.e. when pregnant, generally time to ditch the marathon runs! or whilst recovering from an injury perhaps not a great idea to continue with your Tough Mudder training! However it could also be because of a change in our personal life such as bereavement, family pressures, moving house, increase in anxiety etc etc.
So far, the biggest lesson motherhood has taught me is the attitude of gentleness. Kindness, consideration and amiability all rolled into one. During certain times in life, we should go easy on ourselves and not feel guilty if we cannot keep juggling all the balls at once. Sometimes we simply do not have the time or emotional energy to keep up with everything. Do not get me wrong, bingeing on McDonalds and wine will not help either, but the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up.
What I have found is that acknowledging what you are not able to do at the moment, and then focus on what you can do instead. Practical ideas could be trying another discipline which maybe more beneficial in supporting us through that particular phase of life. I.e. if your anxiety has flared up, try out a Yoga class or hikes in the countryside. If you are in rehab, try Pilates. Equally, some people may feel that starting a more power based physical activity actually helps them to destress and release anger. In this case, kickboxing or perhaps a HIT (High Intensity Training) class would help that.
Perhaps you do not have the time or extra energy to ‘exercise’ in top of life. THIS IS OK! Instead make your daily commutes (school runs, shopping trips, social visits, travelling to work) an opportunity to walk. This could be part way or all the way, one way or both ways! You get the message.
The point is HOW we exercise our bodies can have a profound impact on other aspects of our lives. Having an open mind and adapting our weekly activity gives us something positive we can do to support each phase of life.