I'd like to introduce you to a helpful feature on Healthy Living for Moms, Fitness Advice and Nutrition Tips from Roxanne. She is a certified physical education teacher from the great state of Texas and also a certified personal trainer. She is also a married mom of two grown men and manages to stay young and active. She's learned about being fit and eating healthy from living it all of her life and is here to offer you help and encouragement for living a healthy life.
What motivated you to get fit after having your kids?
My parents and my children motivated me to get fit and stay fit.
I desperately wanted my parents to do things with me. I was a physically active kid and simply taking me to the beach or an amusement park was not enough. I wanted them to be active with me.
When I became a mother, I made a vow to myself that I would do whatever I had to do to get and stay fit. Not only did I want to be active with my kids, I wanted to be healthy so that I would be around for a long time. So imagine how I felt when I delivered my first son at 200lbs. I was borderline, gestational diabetic and borderline toximic.
After my son's birth, I got down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 125lbs. Then I delivered my second son 2 years later at 190lbs. I wanted to play, run and do the things my sons would be doing as they grew.
At the age of 46,I am 125lbs. My sons are 22 and 20 years old, and just last week I floated the river with my sons and their friends. My husband and I go to our son's fraternity parties and we can keep up with the late night dancing. Life is active, fun and healthy....
How did you begin the journey to being fit after pregnancy...with a structured program or something you designed yourself?
I listened to my body and did lots of research to begin to find my body again.
After the birth of my first son, I was so depressed, yikes...200lbs and swollen from a C-section, I was frightened to stand up.
I looked in the mirror and I made a promise to myself that I would fit back into my size 6 jeans and I would not buy a piece of clothing of another size.
Then I started to work....it was not easy. My husband of 25 years was the most supportive and loving man. We did not have much money so a gym membership was not a consideration, but I had a stroller and a place to walk. I developed my own exercise routine and common sense diet.
We lived in Colorado, so on cold days I went to the mall and walked. In 1983,I was probably one of the first "mall walkers".
Two years later, my second son joined us on my back in a back carrier.
I practiced a daily routine of moving, such as using the stairs whenever possible, parking a good distance from the store so that I get a good walk in on my way to doing my errands. I walked whenever I got the opportunity and I still follow these simple routines that build exercise into my day.
Later,as my life got more complicated with schedules and school and working, I made it a priority to find time for me. I would get up at 5 am and walk for 30-45 minutes. I still get up early; it has become my devotional time.
When the boys started their activities, I would bring my sneakers and walk around their practice field. At the time, we were living in Miami, Florida, and then moved to Houston,Texas. It was hot,hot,hot.....but if the boys could be out in the heat, so could I.
What do you recommend beginners to do?
If you are beginning to get back in shape, the key is to move. Find out what you like to do physically and do it. Find a friend who will do it with you, get a walkmen, ipod, or sport radio and go. Whether it is a structured class (yoga,aerobics, weights, Curves or 24 hour fitness) or unstructured walk around the neighborhood, just go out there and do it.
A couple of things you must remember, be smart about the weather. If it is 100 degrees and 95% humidity, it might not be the best time to go outside for your walk. Try the mall or an indoor gym track.
Water, water, water! it is really important to stay hydrated. Walking at night or in poorly-lit areas should be avoided
How do you stay on track with your exercise routine during busy times?
First,you must decide you are a priority, and make time for yourself. You are the most important person in your children and husband's life, so treat yourself that way.
I get up about 5am every morning and take my walk. This is when I plan my day, I have my "alone time" and my devotional time. Yeah, sometimes I could easily talk myself out of getting up, but I know I will feel better, I will have order in my day and I know I have taken care of me.
I have friends who like to work out after work and other friends who take that walk around the ball field while their kid is at practice. The key here is to move, walk, jog, bike, swim, play tennis, golf (walk the course)...whatever you enjoy, just do it!
To save time, I cook my weekly meals on Sunday. My husband loves to grill, so I defrost 6 chicken breast, hamburgers, pork chops and sometimes steaks, and grill them. I make spaghetti sauce, then all I have to do is cook the noodles later in the week.
When my sons were younger, once in a while we would eat at a fast food place and choose the healthiest items on the menu.
Every fast food restaurant now has healthy choices. It should not be an invitation to splurge although if you have eaten healthy all week and exercised, there should be room for an occasional sweet treat.
Health research in the news...click here