Getting fit with exercise makes sense for moms

Ever since I joined a new health club, I’ve lost touch with reality. It all started when I allowed a personal trainer named Chad to pinch my body fat in places that my own husband is not allowed to go near. A big selling point to this fitness center is that it’s open 24 hours. I have no more excuses to not exercise (a double negative, I know). Thanks to a workout facility that is available around the clock, I have something to do other than count sheep when I lie awake in the middle of the night with insomnia. Now I count calories burned on the elliptical.

Like many exercise enthusiasts, I’m hooked on these running and walking machines that give me a total body workout without stress on my creaking joints and bones. I go nowhere fast, while the built-in fan helps me stay cool and comfortable. After all, comfort is key when I exercise. By the way, I avoid any sporting device that looks painful, such as the stair stepper, which reminds me why the elevator was invented.

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I don’t have all day to lose weight and gain body strength, so I try to multi-task at the health club, which is proven to increases metabolism. For example, numerous television screens surround me as I power walk on the treadmill and stretch my neck muscles to watch the latest coverage of the presidential race and my favorite talk show, simultaneously.

Besides, exercise is more fun when I’m distracted. In the spinning studio, for example, I peddle my stationary bike as fast as I can and engross myself in the Tour de France video that’s projected life size on the wall. I’m intimidated to be in the same room with real cyclists who aren’t afraid to wear padded shorts in public and heart rate monitors on their wrists, but I’m also too embarrassed to sneak out of the class early.

With our modern lifestyles, moms are busier than ever but not necessarily more active.

In the olden days before gyms were invented, exercise used to be part of everyday life. Without even realizing it, moms in earlier generations got plenty of cardiovascular activity, including scrubbing the kitchen floor on her hands and knees, shoveling coal into the furnace, hanging heavy wet sheets on the clothesline, tilling the soil in the garden, and walking everywhere because there were no automobiles.

Today, moms should make it a priority to take better care of our bodies, even if for an hour a day. Women live longer than men do, typically, and therefore we need to lead a good example of a healthy lifestyle for our children’s sake.

In other words, an expensive gym membership is in the best interest of my family. Still, I get plenty of exercise (and fresh air) when I jump on the trampoline with my kids, jog around the neighborhood, and ride my bike on the Katy Trail, which doesn’t cost a thing. Neither does mowing the grass.

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Currently, she is patiently waiting for apple picking season to start. Feel free to send any comments to: [email protected] or visit her website at www.mishegasofmotherhood.com.