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Does Exercise Really Give You More Energy and Improve Mood?

My husband loves to workout but I really don't and am very lucky that I have a fantastic metabolism so really don't need to for weight management. But he says it will give me more energy and also is a great stress relieve. I've always tired very easily - even when I was single and did workout some - and never noticed any difference in my mood when I was on an exercise program. So I'm doubtful and the last thing I want to do is workout verus relax in the little time I have to do so. Same time, some people say it makes you need less sleep so maybe I'd be trading sleep for workout time. Has anyone gone from never working out - and really not wanting to - to doing so and really noticed a big difference in their energy and also mood? Along these lines, has anyone found a good exercise video to do with their young children? With winter here, I'd like to get my daughters some exercise at least. Thanks!

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I wish I had time to thank everyone individually. As people have said in the past, mothers are the greatest group. I really appreciate everyone's replies and I plan to keep this page as a reference for motivation as well as to keep track of specific diet and video recs. There were a lot of great tips and I wish I lived nearby the mothers that offered participating in their group but I'm on the penninsula. So I'll go it alone but thanks again so much!!

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Hi,

I have a background as a fitness instructor and post having my daughter I stopped exercising. My energy levels were so low and I put it all down to breastfeeding, having a newborn etc. When she was about 18months I finally got myself back into regular exercise and the difference in energy levels after the first few weeks of doing it are amazing. I always knew the theory but I now have experienced it too.

SOrry no advice on videos, although there are a bundle for the kids. I live in Australia so have a different selection, but the "Bindi - Kidfit" is loved by my 3 year old adn she dances along to all the moves. Also Hi5 - Dancemoves. THese both get her up and moving throughout the DVD.

I have a stationery bike in front of the TV and ride it a night instead of sitting ont he couch watching TV (that is when I do get to sit and watch TV.

Good luck.

K.

2 moms found this helpful

From my experience it makes a huge difference. I had a miscarriage a couple years ago and was very down for about a year...then I joined a gym and started working out a few times a week and it made a HUGE difference! I think it was a combination of physically feeling healthier, and feeling good about taking some time just for myself. I think if you're in a pretty good mood to begin with though you might not notice as much.

1 mom found this helpful

I have gone from no exercise to working out 3-4 times a week for 90-120 mins. It has changed my life. I accomplish more, spending that time at the gym than staying home the whole time. I find I feel best when I can really heat my body up. Plus, with 4 kids, it is my only 'me' time. Somehow, there is more of me to give when I take this time. Scheduling is tricky, but well worth it. After doing it for awhile you will come to crave it because it feels so good. Give it and honest effort for three months, then decide. Don't go on anyones word...just try it!

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Hi P., I have fibromyalgia, which is a muscular disorder that causes pain and burning in the muscles and joints throughout the back, shoulders, neck, and hips. FMS also caused extreme fatigue that can sometimes replicate mono. The fatigue can last for a few days to several months at a time. These "episodes" have come and gone for me over and over during the past 18 years.

I have never exercised a day in my life. On November 10th, my doctor sent me to a physical therapist to try to help me get moving and possibly rid myself of some of this pain I have (it's pretty extreme in my shoulders and back). Since then, I went from never working out a day in my life to working out for one hour per day 4 days per week. Not that I really needed to, but I have also lost 17 pounds in the past 7 weeks, and went from sleeping 9-10 hours per night to 6 hours per night.

I feel better than I have ever felt in my life! I have energy, I can do household things, play with my child, work, and excersize ALL IN ONE DAY! Previously it took everything in me to work a part-time job and take care of my 2-1/2 year old daughter. Now I can truly enjoy life and I feel like a million bucks!

Here's what I do. I spend 20 minutes stretching (legs, hips, back look up quad/hamstring stretches, cat/camel stretches, bird dog stretches and leg lifts with a foam roll). Then I do 20 minutes of hand held weights (3 sets of 15 biceps, triceps, laterals and bi-laterals), 5 minutes of squats and situps using one of those big balls (3 sets of 15 each, alternating between the two), and then 15 minutes of walking on a treadmill at 4.0 incline 3.5 speed holding 2-3 pound weights.

So, to answer your question - YES, excersizing DOES increase energy, and you do require less sleep! Good luck, and Happy New Year!

5 moms found this helpful

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!

Hiking, biking, walking, gym classes, DVDs @ home ~> just move your body 20+ mins per day! So many benefits, here are a few :

* oxygenates your blood
* revitalizes your blood flow
* invigorates your overall energy
* minimizes negative thoughts
* laugh harder when you laugh
* sleep deeper
* strengthens immune system
* removes toxins from your blood
* supports regeneration of internal organs
* supports healthy, glowing skin, hair & nails
* reduces water retention
* supports weight / fat loss

Another thing I do to improve my mood is keeping a gratitude journal. Every morning and/or night writing down 5 things I'm grateful for = this helps you keep those things "front & center" = supporting an overall better attitude toward the downturns in your life.. Exercise & healthy foods give an amazing wellbeing sense that fortifies you when things go awry. I'm a lifelong believer!!

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Hi P.,
I'm not a doctor, but I am a family therapist and I tell all my depressed clients that they need to get out and exercise, because it will help your mood. Exercising causes your body to release neurotransmitters that elevate your mood. It's not like you feel happy every time you work out, but overall you will see you find more things enjoyable. When I wqork out, I find I do have more energy. It's not like I sit around hyper, but when I'm thinking, 'Gosh, I'd like to go do....' instead of thinking, 'No way-- that's too much work!' I think, 'Yeah, that'd be fun.' and go do it.
Best of luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Hi,

I have a background as a fitness instructor and post having my daughter I stopped exercising. My energy levels were so low and I put it all down to breastfeeding, having a newborn etc. When she was about 18months I finally got myself back into regular exercise and the difference in energy levels after the first few weeks of doing it are amazing. I always knew the theory but I now have experienced it too.

SOrry no advice on videos, although there are a bundle for the kids. I live in Australia so have a different selection, but the "Bindi - Kidfit" is loved by my 3 year old adn she dances along to all the moves. Also Hi5 - Dancemoves. THese both get her up and moving throughout the DVD.

I have a stationery bike in front of the TV and ride it a night instead of sitting ont he couch watching TV (that is when I do get to sit and watch TV.

Good luck.

K.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes absolutely. Working out give you energy and resilience. You may not feel like it as you get up early to work out, but you will over time. That is just the physical benefit, the mental health and improved state of mind have me working out regularly .

Just try something for 6 weeks and see how you feel. Find a group you can work out with who will encourage you and motivate you. If you know someone is waiting for you, it is less likely you will make excuses for not working out just this one time.

You will also be a great role model to your children who will see you taking care of yourself, staying fit and active.

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Hi P..

I HATE to exercise and I happen to be one that doesn't have that wonderful metabolism, so I really am supposed to exercise, but I have to push myself to do it.

Two things I love:

Leslie Sansone has walking DVDs that are very simple, but I really do feel better when I do them daily. They are so basic just walking in place, doing a couple of kicks and lifting your knees once in a while. It is not highly aerobic, but it gets the blood moving and has helped my mood and my blood sugar tremendously. My kids do it with me. She has tons of them out there from 1 mile and up. You can walk as long or as little as you want to. I highly recommend these. Also, you can do them inside or she has CD's you can listen to while you walk outside.

The other thing I do with my kids is jump rope. It works the entire body (though you have to be prepared if you have bladder issues). You probably don't have to worry about that. I'm 48, so I do! But my kids and I have a contest to see who can do the most jumps without stopping. We usually do 100 at a time and call it a day. Just a little, but it goes a long way.

Actually, there is one more thing my kids and I love. By the way, my kids are young too (I started late). When I was in grammar school in the '60s there was a recording called "Chicken Fat." Robert Preston did it for the President's Fitness Council. You can download it off the internet. The song is funny and it tells you exactly what exercises to do. The goal is to do a little exercise every morning and get rid of your chicken fat "go you chicken fat go. . . " I think your girls would love it. Good luck to you, and I hope one of these helps.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi P.,

I work full time 40+ hours/week and have three kids (2,4,8). I am a HUGE fan of working out - more specifically running. I also used to do 20 minute kick-boxing videos in my living room when my kids were newborn and I do yoga in my living room to.

I can say that getting a great cardio workout totally improves energy, stress, happiness (it releases endorphins), fatigue and makes you feel good about yourself (looks and accomplishment). This should also be combined with a healthy diet to ensure you are feeling your best and getting enough of the food you need for energy. I run my best when I eat right.

When I don't run, my kids and my husband don't like who I become. There is also something to be said about just getting away from everyone and being alone, which is rare when your a mom.

If it helps, you might want to make a goal around your excercise - say you are going to do a 10K, 5K, 1/2 marathon, 50 mile cycle. Sign up for an event and then train for it and see how you feel. When you first start - it is much harder than when you have been doing it for a while. For instance, miles 1-3 is harder than miles 10-13 for me (a lot of people say this). You can go to active.com and there are related links for walking and other fitness routines. You can find events here.

One more thing - I rarely get sick and when you have little ones that pays off too.

Good Luck!!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi P.. As an exercise hater I hate to admit it but your husband is right. When you workout; and I mean really workout where you're breathing hard, sweating, and your heart feels like it is racing a mile a minute, you release endorphins. These are the feel good chemicals that your brain releases. Also, if you workout in the morning you get the biggest benefit. Your brain slowly releases them throughout the day and then by the time it is dinner time or bedtime you don't feel it. This takes time. Also, regular workouts help increase your metabolism so you'll lose weight and inches. Plus, your daughters will see you making healthy choices. Remember, exercise can be 10 minutes of jumping jacks before you hop in the shower. Just go until you're breathing hard, sweating, and your heart is racing. Then continue for about 5 minutes more. As you get more fit (not slimmer or weigh less) you'll be able to go longer. Here's a great website to help you keep track and give you suggestions http://www.sparkpeople.com/. Good luck!

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Hi, I'm a personal trainer and I can tell you a bunch of physical benefits of exercise but it looks like you have a bunch of good ones here. One thing that I have noticed with my clients is that they always feel better about themselves when they workout and particularly once they've done it consistently for awhile. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves. There are so many benefits and it's so worth it.

Another reason I wanted to respond is to tell you about a fitness program that might be in your area. Baby Boot Camp is a mom and child fitness program that is specifically designed for moms and their babies/children. You get to meet other moms (who sometimes need motivation also) and in the Philadelphia area we have Toddler/Preschool friendly locations so they may also have them in your area. Check out www.babybootcamp.com and put in your zip code to find classes near you. Right now they are getting ready to start a Nationwide 12 Week Fitness Challenge to help motivate moms and educate them to get healthy. It would be a great time to get started.

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Hi P.. Well you're lucky you have a good metabolism!! I started working out after my second child because two weeks after giving birth I weighed 190lbs and I freaked out! I hadn't worked out in probably 6 or 7 years...as a daily routine. I actually can say that I had more energy and more stamina than I had previously. It really did help.. and yea I lost 40 lbs! I've been working out about 4 x's or more a week for about 2 years now and it still makes a difference. Sleep is super important though, when I did work out of the home full time I found that laying down for a half hour or so at lunch was extremely helpful to help the 2nd half of the day! Good luck, hope this helps!

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If I just walk/run on my treadmill for 30 minutes in the morning, I get a high that no amount of coffee can fill, plus I don't hit a low at 5pm. So, yes, it works.

If you have cable - try some of the On Deman workouts. Or if you have a stroller, go on a brisk walk. Go especially on the days that you don't want to - you'll feel great. As for the kids, if you have a double jogger/stroller, have your walk include a stop at the park. Let them run around for 30 minutes or so, during this time, you could lay out a yoga mat and do some ab work or strength training to build muscle.

If you have a Stroller Strides in your area, I highly recommend giving it a try. Your kids are getting older and will be heavier to push but hey, I still push my 3.5 and 6 year old at times. It can be done, plus it's an extra workout.

Sometimes I do P90X in my living room. When I do, the kids are right next to me copying me. Yoga is great and your kids would enjoy that.

You are very lucky to have a hubby that works out!!!

Best wishes,
M.

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Hi P.!

I can't "budge" to work out right now, but I will tell you that it definitely helps you accomplish more in a day. I felt better about myself, so inturn, my mood was more pleasant. But, the biggest benefit in my home, was that I had more of a sex-drive! OOps....was that TMI?

I am hoping to get back to it soon, but right now......nope!

:o) N.

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All I can say is YES!!

It's good for your body, your skin, your mood, all of the above and more. Even if it's only 15 minutes of aerobic activity...and this can even be gardening, vacuming, walking,kicking around the soccer ball, or running up and down the stairs for 15 minutes. Be creative, it's worth it! This is the least you can do for you and your children. Remember, we are our children's role model and well, we want to encourage physical activity on a regular basis. I know it's difficult to fit everything in a day, but you deserve it. I continue to struggle to fit in my workouts now that I am a mom, some days are better than others. And on the days that I do, I feel so much better...and exercise even helps you sleep better!!

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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But it needs to be vigorous aerobic exercise. Try doing something intense for at least 1/2 hour three days in a row. If you don't get an endorphin high after that then I give up.

You may be young and slim now, but if you don't exercise regularly as you age, it will start to catch up with you. Your face will look worse as well.

1 mom found this helpful

I empathize with you--I do not enjoy working out at all, though I'm surrounded by workout freaks and marathon runners in my husband's family and my own! I tried running, etc., and always ended up more exhausted, and it didn't do anything mood-wise for me. However, I've found a daily, 45-min walk with my one-year-old does give me more energy and gives me a mood-boost, too. For me, moderate exercize is helpful; rigorous exercize is not. Can you bundle everyone up for a winter walk? The fresh air does wonders. Or perhaps the girls could ride their bikes while you walk briskly? For me, it's getting outside and moving that gives me the energy/mood boost. Good luck!

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Hi P.,

Yes, working out will help you have more engery and feel better. Not only that but it is healthy and will prolong your life. Even if you are thin, it doesn't mean you are healthy!

I highly recommend Baby Boot Camp. They have many locations in your area and both Bo and Karen (two franchise owners) are fantastic! You can expect a 55 minute workout while spending time with your child. Baby Boot Camp is stroller fitness which incorporates stretching, cardio, strength training and core work.

Good luck, you will love it.

J.

1 mom found this helpful

From my experience it makes a huge difference. I had a miscarriage a couple years ago and was very down for about a year...then I joined a gym and started working out a few times a week and it made a HUGE difference! I think it was a combination of physically feeling healthier, and feeling good about taking some time just for myself. I think if you're in a pretty good mood to begin with though you might not notice as much.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, yes, yes exercise really does give you more energy and improve mood. My personal experience is that you have to get enough exercise to get your heart pumping--a brisk 1/2-hour walk in a hilly area is enough to do the trick. Then, you have to do it consistently several times a week for 3 or 4 weeks. If by the end of that time you're not completely addicted to the "high" that being outdoors, breathing fresh air, and getting exercise gives you, you might want to check with your Dr.

Good luck. It's soooo worth doing!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi P.,
For me, exercise does improve my mood and stress level - and I need it for weight management.

I also use it as "my time". I know I can have one hour or so to myself and my husband give me his blessing to do it (as I'm sure yours would too). My kids generally go into the kids club at the gym and love it (age appropriate video games, tubes, movies, other kids, toys, what more could they ask for?). I personally am into Zumba - that gets me to the gym because it's pretty much all dancing - you don't have to have a dance background to do it. It's really fun. I have the Zumba videos too and my daughter will do with me sometimes for exercise.

Another idea is a friend of mine takes Tae Kwon Do at her kids studio (sometimes with them) so the whole family works towards the different belts and such. She was always at the gym several days a week until she found Tae Kwon Do. I'd say bike riding, but you might not be there just yet with your kids ages unless you get a trailer and can pull both of them in it. Hope that helps.

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i agree with what one other mom said...that you can exercise and get energy, but IF you have an imbalance in your system like candida or a thyroid problem or something of the like, you will not feel good after exercising. you will actually feel even more tired. i am a pilates and gyrotonic instructor and one of my clients is having this same problem right now. she's been doing lots of test with her new doc (dr. beth mcdougall at clear center for health in mill valley) and discovering so much. i hope you check in with your doc because constant fatigue is not normal. i had a strain of candida recently i was exhausted all the time. what you eat will affect your energy if you may have this. good luck. J.

1 mom found this helpful

What's good for the heart is also good for the brain. Exercise helps prevent dementia (hopefully not your problem now). Kids who exercise get better grades in school. Make exercise a family affair!
You'll enjoy exercise more if you fuel your body well and eat the right foods at the right times. You might enjoy reading my Sports Nutrition Guidebook -- it's for busy, active people who want energy to enjoy exercise!
N. Clark MS RD
Author, N. Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook
www.nancyclarkrd.com

1 mom found this helpful

I have gone from no exercise to working out 3-4 times a week for 90-120 mins. It has changed my life. I accomplish more, spending that time at the gym than staying home the whole time. I find I feel best when I can really heat my body up. Plus, with 4 kids, it is my only 'me' time. Somehow, there is more of me to give when I take this time. Scheduling is tricky, but well worth it. After doing it for awhile you will come to crave it because it feels so good. Give it and honest effort for three months, then decide. Don't go on anyones word...just try it!

1 mom found this helpful

yes exercise can help with stress relief ,sleep and enegy increse. I NOTICE a differance in the qualiy of sleep and energy when I work out. Taking the girls for a nice walk is a good way to be together and exercise. well good luck in your choices S..

Sorry I didn't see the original post, but glad you got so many good responses...in my experience, it does help with mood...but it does not have to be vigorous exercise...just knowing I am doing something good for myself and my family helps me. It's not about weight loss (you are incredibly lucky to be a mom (and over 30?) and have a great metabolism!!) - but it is about overall health, such as muscle strength, brain stimulus, heart benefits, etc...just because you're not fat doesn't mean you are healthy. Also - kids need tons of exercise to burn all that little energy - so by setting a good example it will help them as well. It's awesome your husband is a motivator - I have had to beg my husband to go to the gym with me and we have finally started a new gym this month - and he has gone with me twice so far this week...and hopefully we will keep it up. KEY POINT - do not do exercises that you are opposed to - I hate exercising too - but since I turned 30 I have had a slower metabolism and I know I need to work out - plus my husband needs a motivator....so I force myself to go - but I thought working out had to be running...I HATE running....but there are tons of alternatives to that and I still get my cardio in - I started a spin class, which also helps keep me going to the gym because a class helps me to socialize, stay committed, etc...and there is way less pressure on my chest and knees, etc than running....also there are other classes that may be more 'fun,' like - kickboxing, tai chi, pilates, yoga, etc...there's tons of options. I am not a swimmer, but that could be another options as wlel - a gym or the Y should have a pool....Also - when my husband and I go, we do cardio first and then weights...and then stretches and it goes by rather fast because we break it up into sections...then you can reward yourself with a healthy meal afterward (eating after working out is a good thing). Or I will reward us with smoothies...as an added bonus. Another key point is going somewhere that has a program for kids- not just a daycare. Our gym has different age groups that break up and have classes/activities for them. They can join other kids playing a sport, go swimming (which my kids love), or if they are old enough, they can start working out with you...I love this because I know the kids will sleep better at night, have more coordination, people skills, etc and they will be looked after while I am enjoying adult time.
If you don't want to join a gym, walking around the block is a great option....we would walk all around our neighborhood looking at pretty Christmas lights or freshly planted spring flowers, etc....take different routes, let the kids play at the park, etc...we also have nature trails in our neighborhood, which are fun to go hiking on....the outdoors and nature is a really great place to get fresh air and exercise without sweating it out in a gym.
Good luck!!

Exercise is so very helpful to your mood. I remember how I use to be when I was exercising verses now. I felt so much better. My body exactly felt better. I had way more energy and I was just a more pleasant person. Exercise is good for the whole function of your body. It will help every thing flow better. Your bowels will even improve. When you start to exercise increse your water in-take.

Hi P.,

Yes exercise does improve your energy level and helps the body to relax. I recommend to find a routine that you like so you do not go into it not liking what you do.

Do you take supplements? Your body also needs nurishment to rebuild itself. Babies take what he or she needs at birth and you are left what the baby left you. In some cases not a whole lot. Babies need a lot to come out into this world.

Do you drink a lot of water? How well do you sleep at night?
Do you wake up rested? These are all questions you ask yourself to see what is going on with you.

Balance is the key for your body.

I am a wellness consultant and know what you are going through.
I felt like you do 29 years ago when my son was born and had no energy until 10 years ago when I got into our wellness home.

My mood changed because I was finally getting good rest. I now sleep on a magnetic bed, I drink clean water that has nutrients, I take wholefood supplements that gives me what is missing in the soils, I breathe good air that produces negative ions and I put my 3 lb weighted exercise shoe on every morning and get my workout with my dog.

I changed my life and I feel better then I have ever. I feel like a kid again.

If you want to hear about my story check out my web site www.nikken.com/ninamarie

Have a wonderful holiday.

N. Marie

P.,
Here is a story for you....
About 8 years ago I started running, because I felt that I needed to escape. One day my daughter who was 8 at the time asked me after school if I had gone on my run yet.
I said no, and when we got into the house, she took over
and shut the door in my face, told me she would handle her older sister, and would not let me back in. I went on my run and my mood changed drastically, and all was well in our world again. Pretty funny that a child that young even knows the difference, and why it occurred. I still work out, and yes it does give more energy, I just wish my husband would do the same. He does not seem to have the same drive that I have for it. I need the stress relief, and a break for "me" time. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment when I start to see muscle tone coming in,or when I made that 6 miles into a 10 mile ride that day instead. Have a great day!!!
W. M.

YES!!!! Half an hour of vigorous Cardio will give you great endorphons and tons more energy.

I've enjoyed working out and I know I feel better when I do. However, gee, I feel your pain with two only a year apart as mine are the same age range. So, that leaves the factor of when do you have time to workout? I had to make it a priority and if working out is not a priority for you then you shouldn't try to squeeze it in. Believe me, I know you have enough to do!

Here's the thing...is your husband wanting you to work out with him? I have several friends who work out with their husbands and that is something they do together for some of their alone time w/o kids. Maybe that's what he's after in a roundabout way. Good luck and I hope all works out! (No pun intended)

Not sure about the veracity of that statement, but from my experience, I feel so much better after working out. I, unlike you, was not blessed w/ the great metabolism gene, but don't really have a problem w/ my weight. I do it to strengthen my heart muscle (cardio), posture and balance (weight training), relaxation (yoga) and refocusing (kickboxing, zumba, etc). It's always good to have something, even for an hour, to take your mind off the daily grind. Also, exercise releases endorphins - like a natural high, or feeling of happiness. I know I have a better outlook after a workout. I'll do 30 minutes on an elyptical machine (no impact on knees, hips or feet) and work out the kinks of my day, then do the free weights to tone up - this is when I do my lists, i.e., laundry, grocery, meals, etc., then situps/pushups are for chastising myself for having that extra (or 2) slices of cake, candy, you name it, that I shouldn't have had. :) At the end of it I've had my "me" time and got little things worked out. I work full time, single mom (shared custody) to a kindergartener, went back to school and is taking a full load (5 classes), activities, volunteer hours @ school, homework, you name it, I'm in the middle of it, so I need some time where I can decompress. This is another reason for me to work out. I haven't slept more than 6 hours since my daughter was born (she just would not sleep through the night!) so I got used to it, but when I exercise, my body definitely tells me add some more sleep in there, but I wake up feeling refreshed (sore sometimes), but energized!

It's up to you and your body. Listen to it, you're the one in it. What works for other people may not work for you. If you want to give it a try, maybe start out slow, 1-2 days/week, then increase it if you start to get into the swing of things. Good luck! :)

Yes, but start out small or you'll burn yourself out.

For exercise advice visit SparkPeople.com

Energy and mood also depend on vitamins/diet. I'm with you on the workout, but Pilates is GREAT. I have a video at home and the kids all jump in with me. But re work-out, I can't get the benefit from it if my body isn't properly fueled first with vitamins, water, and healthy diet, then its great. Otherwise its torture!

Exercise gives *most* people a boost in endorphins and energy. Not everyone will get this energy boost, though. There are a few more very important reasons (other than a supposed energy boost) to exercise.

1) Bone Density.
As we moms get older and regularly ignore our needs in favor of our families' needs, we are putting ourselves at risk for poor health. Unless you do some type of "weight-bearing" exercise (walk/jog/weights of some sort) then you are at risk for bone density loss which leads to osteoperosis. Your doctor can give you more information on this.

2) Mom Time
As important as physical health is emotional health. If I can't "re-charge" myself away from the kids once in a while, I get a bit stressed out. I wake up at 4:30am 3-5 times a week to go walking in the hills with a friend for 45 minutes. (Then we go home and go back to sleep!) Yes, it is an insane time to be up, much less exercising, but it gives me some very much needed "Mom-time"/Adult time without ANY kidlets where I can have adult conversations.

These exercise interludes don't have to be intense, two-hour, wind-up-all-sweaty-and-icky marathons either.

Thirty minutes three times a week is a great place to start. If nothing else, don't sit at your desk and work through lunch. Take that hour and do a moderately fast walk for part of it. Either way, try to convince a friend to join you so there is a "guilt-factor" if one of you doesn't show up! /grin

Good Luck!
K.

It's been scientifically proven to enhance mood and increase energy. It releases endorphins which is the mood enhancer. A little over 2 years ago I never exercised and I struggled with my weight. I hated the thought of exercising and thought it would never help me. But now I HATE to miss a day at the gym. I love the way it makes me feel and the fact tht I've lost over 140 pounds now is also an added bonus. I know you said you don't have to worry about it... NOW... but it can catch up with you. Weight bearing exercising also helps to prevent or delay osteoporosis. So get out there and move that butt missy. Oh and doing videos tends to get boring and more people give up on the routines so make sure that you change it up.

YES! Thanks for reminding me that I need to get back to the gym ;-)

Hi P.,

Like you, I never really needed to exercise and never got the "exercise high" that others seem to get. However, as I get older I am noticing changes in my metabolism. I still don't live to work out, but I can say it does help with energy. Well, not energy, but endurance to keep up with the kids. I do wish I had started earlier. I find that if I take a class instead of trying to work out on my own, I'm more motivated to work out and I get more out of the experience. HTH

I'm with you, I really don't enjoy working out. But I have forced myself to stick to a program and it really has helped. It took several months for me to see the energy increase and mood changes, but now if I don't work out I notice a huge difference. I'm tired and very grumpy if I don't get something in each day. I agree, you should start small. Going for a walk with the kids (when the weather permits) is a good start. As for work out DVD's I really liked the Power 90 series (it's a short workout but really kicks your butt). The Buns of Steel series is also good. Also, you should consider looking into a Yoga class. If you are looking for something that is an energy booster as well as a good relaxer, Yoga is it.

I don't "work out" but I walk 1 1/2 miles almost every day (I can now walk 1 mile is 15-20 min, so proud). When I skip a day, I can feel it and I'm not as happy. It really helps me with my mood more then anything, and my daughter loves roaming the neighborhood with me and our dog.
Also, working out and exercising is good for you. A few more reasons you may want to consider doing it is being a good example for your children, who may not end up blessed with your good matabulisum. Another thing to consider is your health. My mom is 5'7" and weighs 119, she has a great figure, can eat whatever she wants whenever she wants (although she is a healthy eater 95% of the time, she likes her chocolate) and is on medication for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. On the other hand, I'm about 100 lbs over weight (wow, that's hard to even type), but I have perfect cholesterol and blood pressure and really no health concerns (besides being overweight).
On last thing (sorry so long) my friend works out to a normal work out video (I think one from The Biggest Loser) and her 2 and 3 year old LOVE to watch her and try to do what she's doing. So, if you can't find a workout video to do with the kids, they would probably love any video.
I hope this helps,
C.

Hi, P.,
I see you already have a ton of responses, but I wanted to share my experiences with you as well. When I work out consistently and regularly, I DO notice a huge leap of energy and don't need as much sleep. If I go for months without exercising, I need to take naps and often feel lethargic. The energy burst comes after about two weeks and I continue to have that extra energy and good mood as long as I continue to work out regularly, meaning at least every other day.

Hi. My name is A..

Short answer... YES! Regular, exercise has a lot of great physiological benefits. It helps lower blood pressure; lowers cholesterol levels; increases good cholesterol levels (HDL); improves mood and mental alertness; helps releive stress, anxiety and depression; normalizes sleep patterns (doesn't mean you require less sleep... this means that your sleep patterns are more regular and solid... less restlessness); and overall regular exercise is necessary for good, long term health.

Not everyone loves exercise, but you can learn how to make it fun and have it a part of your daily routine. I loved exercise, then I got married and had kids. It wasn't that I didn't love exercise anymore, I just had the mentality that I didn't have time, other things were more important, etc... After my son was born I realized that I wasn't really me anymore and I wanted to get back to being me. Since then, I have gone from a size 16 to 8 (almost a six!) and ran my first half marathon 3 weeks ago. Now I know that is not for everyone, but we all need to have a goal of some sort to keep us motivated.

We can only rely on our metabolisms for a while. As we get older our body changes and stores more fat. Not only that, but even people who are seen as being "skinny" or having a "normal" body, can have a high ratio of fat to lean body mass (muscle). The more fat you have, the more likey you are to have health problems down the road. Regular exercise increases lean body mass and helps reduce fat.

As far as home exercise videos... I tell my clients that it's trial and error finding a good one because everyone has different likes and dislikes. But there are a lot of things you can do without the aid of a video/dvd. Go for walks, do squat, push-ups and abdominal exercises in your living room with your girls. Or, simply turn on the radio and have a dance party! It's a great way to burn some calories, be with the girls and have a ton of fun.

Good luck! And if you have any further questions feel free to email me at ____@____.com

About me: I am a mom of two (daughter almost 5 yrs old and son 2 1/2 yrs old)I am an ACE certified personal trainer with a background in Kinesiology - Athletic Training. I own and operate a stroller fitness franchise in Sonoma County (Baby Boot Camp), am the Fitness Coordinator for St Helena Hospital's ACR Program and have personal clients as well.

Dear P.,
I know what you mean about working out. I never could get into it. And I ran around so much at my job, the last thing I wanted to do was run my hiney off that much more. But, I have always loved walking. I find it to be very relaxing. I must say I haven't done much of anything since breaking my leg. And at this time of year it gets dark so darn early. But, even then, I'd just bundle me and the kids up and go for a walk after dinner so see Christmas lights and decorations. Then I'd chuck them in a warm bath before bed and they slept like angels. You really can walk stress off. And it's good for you!
My sister began working out and frankly I think she's become a little too obsessed with it. She can't stand it if she doesn't ride her stationary bike 10 miles a day and walk for about 5 on top of it. She could be doing worse things, to be sure, but she says it really does help with her stress and anxiety levels.
Just find something that works for you. If you're not into "pumping iron" you can always try yoga.

I think it will provided you are eating well. If you don't fuel your body with what it needs you will not have energy and execise won't work for you. I am a mom of a 3 year old and like you have always had good metabolism. I started walking with a group from our church 2- 3 times a week. Even though it takes a couple hours out of my day I still seem to get more done maybe because it gives me a reason to get up and get going in the mornings. If you live in the Redding area we would love to have you join us. We walk at the Mt. Shasta Mall during the winter. I bring my stroller in case my son tires out and can get a bit of an upper body work out too. I have one double and one single stroller if you need someplace for your girls to ride. E-mail me if you are interested. ____@____.com

It really does work. You have to do it regularly to feel the effects. Even if it's only 1 to 2 x a week. At first you'll fell tired and sore, but then u feel more energetic and stronger, it's a good feeling. It also really does help out with stress. They actually reccomend exercising before public speaking to get rid some of anxiety and stress. It's all from experience from me. You're so lucky to have a good metabolism, but even thin people can have high cholesterol and other issues that exercise helps out.

Yes! It for sure gives you more energy. And it creates endorphins, which makes you happy. I don't work out either and really can't stand any type of gym-type exercising. However, getting out to walk 2.5 miles 3 days a week feels fantastic. I can listen to my own music and spend the time thinking about whatever is on my mind... uninterrupted. It just feels good.

As for exercise videos... this is going to sound cheesy, but Jane Fonda has a yoga video where she does the Sun Salutation. My kids LOVE it. They can follow along and enjoy doing it with me (when I do it). And it's a good stretching workout. If you don't do all the before and after stuff on the video, the whole Sun Salutation workout is 13 minutes and it feels great!

I don't know of any work out videos but I would have to agree with your husband. I work fulltime and have a 3 year old and 3 month old at home. I started working out 2 weeks ago and have noticed such a difference. I just to the treadmill for 30 minutes and it makes me feel so good. Good luck!

A resounding YES !! Pick something you enjoy and make it outdoors if possible. You don't need to pay into an expensive gym membership. we live in beautiful CA so take advantage. Remember, nature is the best anti depressant. If you go outside for a walk and look around at the beauty of nature, you will undoubtedly feel better when you come back inside. I like to hike and go for walks and just with walking alone you will gain alot of benefits. Make it your time and consider it a treat to yourself. If you live anywhere near the Stanford Dish, check it out, it is one of the most beautiful walks you will find anywhere and it will help you get in shape too, believe me. Good luck

P.,

Yes! I have found that I always feel so much better after exercising. It makes you feel better, more relaxed and you also get rid of stress when you exercise. I am the type of person that doesn't really like to exercise, but once I get into it, I am always happy that I did-I always feel better. Even if you implement just a 30 minute walk outside each day you will definitely notice the difference. As far as work out tapes, I like pilates. So I enjoy doing the Windsor Pilates and also for a great cardio workout, Billy Blanks Taebo. Hope this helps.

M.

YES, YES, YES!!!! Exercise will give you more energy and improve your mood. You will need to give it a couple of weeks for your body to adjust, but it will make you feel a ton better. Even though you have a fast metabolism (I do too thank goodness!) you still need to get exercise for your body, heart, and mind to be healthy and strong. Exercise isn't just about being thin, it is about living a healthy lifestyle. Your body simply can't be truly healthy without physical activity. Start slow, and find exercise that you really enjoy. You will be more likely to stick with it that way. Good luck!!

I would like to recommend website www.collagevideos.com they offer a huge selection of fitness videos and you can see a 30 secs clip of each video. Good luck!

I went from absolutely no exercise to 3 nights walking to 5 night serious exercise. I feel amazing. I work about 50 hours a week, then come home and work, and commute. I was tired all the time. Exausted actually. I was drinking coffee to keep me awake. Now I have stopped drinking coffee. I work out now and feel through the roof energy. I have also noticed that working out made me delegate more so I could make it a priority.

Mom of four

P.,

I noticed your querry this morning. I have been dealing with lack of energy for years. If you were tired before having children, it may be systemic. Exercise will help normally, but if you are deficient in something, I have found exercise doesn't help. Have you had your thyroid checked? I think I may have candida and I am exhausted. I began taking remedies for it and my mind has cleared and I have a lot more energy. It could be time for a work up at the doctor's office.

I really like doing yoga with my kids. It is not draining on me like running or weight training is. It is relaxing and calms my body. That way you can tone your body and still be able to relax in your own home. My kids love it! I put the yoga mat down and then my daughter and son both share a kid yoga mat I got them. As I do the moves they try and copy me. It is really fun for all of us. I do feel it gives me more energy and also really gives me quiet time for me, even though my kids still feel like I'm doing something fun with them.
You can also get a baby fitness DVD, they have a lot at Target for cheap. They have you use your child as weight and you lift them up to work your muscles. Kids really like that one also.

What about yoga? It's relaxing, strength building, toning, and refreshing. They have tapes and books for moms and kids at the library. I think it's important to show kids that moderate excercise is a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Good luck!

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