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Exercise: It Does a Body & Mom Good

Who knew early morning wake up calls would be a blessing for sanity, productivity, and necessary self-care? Read on to find out how this stay-at-home mama of 3 looked forward to getting up before dawn...and didn't hit snooze

The coffee timer is set.

4:20am. The alarm goes off. 4:25am.

Get dressed. Grab water. Drink a few sips of coffee & bring the rest in the car. Drive to the studio. Enjoy last few sips in the dark & empty lot. 4:55am. The early risers begin to show. Instructor is here. Turn on the lights.

5:00am. It’s time to workout.

Me time at a new time

If you’re a mom, “getting up before everyone else to enjoy a few moments to myself” is a not a new forefront to getting through the rough terrains of motherhood. New and well established moms likely agree that motherhood changes everything: your body, your mind, your responsibilities, your expectations, your sex life, your marriage, everything about you and your life’s purpose. Yet 4am wake up call just to be away from the kids?

I always considered myself a morning person, yet, this entered into a new extreme. I would enjoy a little meditation or just take a few sips of hot coffee before having to reheat it in the microwave, but this was commitment, a little crazy, and clearly intentional.

But you know what I discovered? I was not the only one.

Turns out, there is an entire colony of stay-at-home mothers like me, as well as those mamas in the work force, that needed these early workouts. Not just for burned calories (though obviously a major motivator and perk to getting up that early), but the presence of supportive women feeding off each other's energy to kick our tired butts into gear was enough.

Research shows that “[e]xercise is a behavioral intervention that [shows] great promise in alleviating symptoms of depression,” (Craft and Perna, 2004), which can be caused by one of the most common medical illnesses that many women experience after child birth: postpartum depression.

For me, however, these 4am wake up calls gave me discipline, purpose, and community.

Though I may be sleep deprived, I found the energy.

Though I may deal with terrible twos, threes, or tweens, I remember patience and adjust my expectations.

Though I may have eaten junk all weekend, I can start fresh today and make healthier choices.

Though my mind will tell me to stop because I'm tired, my body is capable to keep going...and I do just that.

Because this time is MY TIME.

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