She Strengthens Her Arms: Being a Healthy Mama

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My body has birthed six children. It has endured long, long labors and difficult pregnancies. My body has chased children through the years: up and down stairs, carried sleeping six year old boys to bed, rocked children to sleep, even helped hold up a teenage girl who was weak with the flu. My body in many ways is worn out. But the tasks keep coming and with those tasks, I want to be able to be strong enough to endure the work load.

Proverbs 31 talks about an amazing woman who it seems, does so many things, not just well, but excellently. In verse 17 it reads “She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.” She has been savvy with her business and financial affairs and as a result, she purchases a field. Then, she rolls up her sleeves and plants a vineyard. That is incredibly hard work. That takes a lot of guts, but it also takes a ton of strength and energy.

I want to be remembered as a mother and grandmother who worked and played with her children. I want to chase my grandkids and play with them. To snatch them up in my hands and tickle them, take them to the park and push them on the swings or go save a kid stuck up at the top of the playground. I want to take them on hikes and teach them photography or the names of the plants. Listen to birds and figure out what kind it is. I want to give my daughters a break from their busy mama-hood lives and take the kids for a weekend. I also need to do things like rake leaves or shovel snow and clean up after a ton of people come over. Also plant, not a vineyard (a few would be nice though!), but garden veggies for the Summer.

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But how can I accomplish any of these goals if I am weak and frail? If I haven’t taken care of my body and there are no muscles or strong bones to hold me up?

How can we energize and strengthen ourselves to be able to take on the tasks of womanhood? Here is what I do. It’s not perfect, I don’t possess the body of a fitness instructor, I don’t wear small sized jeans. But… I workout. I lift weights, I do cardio, or ballet, or anything I can do to keep my blood pumping and my body performing.

Weights

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I don’t go to a gym because I don’t have the time nor do I have the finances to do so. I workout at home. I have slowly invested in some good weights, kettlebells, a workout ball, a weighted ball, and bands. You could find these on Craigslist, or Walmart, and if you have Amazon Prime, then you don’t have to pay for shipping for those heavy items! Purchasing these items one time is cheaper than a monthly gym fee.

I try to lift weights 2-3 times a week. I find ideas off of Pinterest. I sit down and plan out the weight workout I’m going to do. I make a list that I can look at while working out. Most of the time I try to work my arms, then my abs, then glutes or legs and then back to arms. My list looks something like this…

Bicep Curl, Mountain Climbers, Deadlifts

Tricep Extension, Oblique crunches, Lunges

Upright Row, Russian Twist, Calf raises

Chest Press, Alternating Sumo Crunch, Squats

Shoulder Press, Wood chops, Donkey Kicks

I’ll do 2-3 rounds of anywhere from 15-20 reps

Make sure to Warm up properly and cool down and stretch well. It’s the times I don’t do this well that I injure myself.

Cardio and beyond

On the other days, I go for a walk, or do a walking workout or ballet workout online. On Fridays I like to do a stretch or yoga day. Weekends I take off or I do hiking, or playing tennis with my family.

Know your body! For me personally, Adrenal Fatigue does not like HIIT workouts, Intense Crossfit workouts or long, marathon runs. It just exhausts me too much and I literally can’t move for the rest of the day. I can’t afford to do that. I have dishes and laundry to wash, papers to grade and seven other people to think of! But for other women, these workouts do them wonders, so don’t let me stop you. You know your body, you know your limits. You know what is going to benefit you!

**Drink lots of water.**

Have a good playlist of music to listen to that keeps you motivated. I’m not going to tell you what to listen to. My music tastes are a bit strange. But listen to YOUR music that keeps YOU going. I don’t use someone else’s playlists because I’m picky about my music and I abhor the occasion F-bomb thrown into songs.

If creating your own workout list seems a little overwhelming, then here are some suggestions for great workouts you can get on You-Tube that are free and terrific. These people don’t know I exist, this is just my opinion that they are awesome!

Anything from Jessicasmithtv is really, the BEST! But here are a few of my favorites

Weights: Here And Here And this one!

Cardio: This is a good one. And I adore this one.

Ballet: My all time favorite workout.

I also like FitnessBlender and usually play my music on another device so that it’s a bit more peppy. All of their videos are fantastic.

For Stretching and Yoga: I try to stay away from anything too spiritual. So I tend to do this one, this one or this one. And this yoga is great.

I started a Facebook Accountability group a few years ago. Each day the first person to check in that day makes a post and then we all comment under that post. It will say something like this…

“Ran 2 miles, felt good! Check in here!”

Everyone posts what they have done or they share a link to a YouTube video they did. We are encouraging one another and keeping each other accountable. Feel free to start your own group with your own friends! It’s not a time to one-up each other, but rather iron sharpening iron (or lifting it in this case!)

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Much love,

The Hygge Homemaker,

Mama J

 

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