By: Dr. T.G. Day, MD
As a busy mom or woman, it is important to figure out simple ways to get in shape and stay in shape. The days can be consumed with so many must do items, that exercising can be the last thing on the list that doesn’t get done. As a busy mom, I often look for the tried and true ways that will yield the greatest and sustainable results. We all know that being physically active is important for many reasons, but how can a busy mom or woman get this done?
#1 Identify the Benefits: Just to recap, exercising is so very beneficial for our bodies. It increases overall energy, which helps us get more things done. It can stabilize mood and blood sugar levels, which can prevent or manage Depression and Type II Diabetes respectively. Exercise also helps the heart to be healthier, and decrease the risk of heart disease. I wrote more about exercise and the heart in a previous blog post, 5 ways to Have a Healthy Heart, https://flourishhealthcoachingllc.com/2018/03/02/5-ways-to-have-a-healthy-heart/.
#2 Allocate the time: We know that every second of a busy mom’s and woman’s time is so precious. Therefore, we need to make sure we are maximizing our time and getting the most out of every second. So how much should we exercise each week for positive results? The American Heart Association exercise recommendations are, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Ok, now ask yourself, how much time can I set aside each week for exercise? 2 days? 3 days? 4 days? or more? Whatever is a reasonable goal for you, divide the recommended minutes by the number of days you have allocated. So if you have 3 days, 150 min divided by 3 = 50 minutes of moderate exercise 3 days a week. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments. So if you don’t have 50 consecutive minutes, then maybe 25 minutes in morning, and 25 minutes in the evening, 3 days a week.
#3 Set the Mission: Now the mission is to exercise 150 minutes moderately, or 75 minutes vigorously weekly to get the best benefits per the American Heart Association. So what exactly is moderate and vigorous exercise? According to the Center for Disease Control, moderate exercise is defined as exercise that increases a person’s heart rate to 50 -70% of their maximum heart rate based on the person’s age. The maximum heart rate per age is determined by subtracting a person’s age from 220. Here’s an example, for a 40 year old person, it would be 220-40 = 180 beats per minute (bpm). Therefore, 50% level would be: 180 x 0.50 = 90 bpm, and 70% level would be: 180 x 0.70 = 126bpm, so (90bpm – 126bpm). Vigorous exercise is defined as a person’s target heart rate should be 70 to 85% of his or her maximum heart rate. So for a 40 year old person, it should be 126bpm – 153bpm.
#4 Know your options: Sometimes being busy, it’s hard to take time to explore the many options that we have to exercise. Here are some very remarkable ways to exercise. Walking outside. A brisk walk through the park or your neighborhood can be a great way to enjoy nature while getting your exercise in. Remember to walk at a pace that reaches your targeted heart rate. You could use devices such as, a fitbit to determine your heart rate while you are exercising.
If walking outside isn’t an option, consider walking on a treadmill indoors, or walking indoors period. Again, remember your time and heart rate goals.
Running is a great way to exercise. Running outdoors again allows you to connect with nature, while running indoors on a treadmill can be just as beneficial. Consider participating in a local or national 5k or 10k race. This can be a great way to motivate you to prepare for the event, and contribute to organizations for a good cause.
Dancing, zumba, step aerobics, kickboxing, hiking, or swimming are other remarkable ways to exercise to reach your fitness goals.
#5 Understand how the body changes with age: As we are blessed to continue to grow wiser in years and age, our bodies continue to go through changes. The same things that we would’ve done a decade ago for results, may not be the case now. Knowing this helps us to be strategic about our workout plan and efficient with our time. Strength training becomes extremely important as we age. As we age, the body’s percent of muscle declines, therefore, strength training becomes essential to build muscles. Additionally, muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, and therefore, you can actually lose inches and weight faster, because the muscle burns calories actively and at a state of rest. Studies have shown good results for preventing age-related abdominal fat in individuals 40 years who weight train for 20 minutes three times a week.
Now that we have the 5 simple ways to get fit and fabulous, let’s start a new journey, start today. As a busy mom or woman, you are so valuable and you have great purpose, but don’t forget about your self-care. Self-care is not selfish, it is simply allowing your pitcher to be refilled so that you can continue to give to others. Remember, Health is Wealth!
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Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD (Dr. Tomeka) is the CEO and Founder of Flourish Health Coaching, LLC. She is helping busy moms and busy women “Get the Balance” through nutritional health coaching. As a result of her health coaching, busy moms and busy women are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to provide nutritious and quick meals, become healthy or improve health conditions such as, Type 2 Diabetes/ Adult Onset Diabetes, Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Inflammatory diseases, and weight issues through nutrition and lifestyle changes, optimize self-care, discover their God-given talents, as well as, help their kids obtain and/or maintain healthy weight through healthy eating and habits. Please contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD (Dr. Tomeka) for a free health coaching consultation.
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