With the Olympics in full swing, there is no better time to embrace sport. As a busy Mum, it’s not exactly easy to commit seriously to making the next Olympics, or take up a 5 session a week training programme, or invest in a new hobby of sailing. But watching the athletic greats of team GB is enough to inspire any of us to whack on our trainers and get out for a run.
Running is the perfect analogy to motherhood. I spend 50% of that route running away, breaking free from the constraints of the children, the house, the mental grind. Craving silence and being alone. Then, once I reach the point of calm, I notice how long I’ve been gone, wonder if they’re missing me, what they’re up to and get a sprint on right back home, ready to scoop the girls up as though I’ve been away for a month.
There are so many reasons Running is awesome for Mums. Here are 5 to spur you on to think about giving it a go…
- It’s exercise. Simples. We all know we should be doing some, and no amount of fad diet or spiralizing is a replacement for getting your heart racing and a sweat on. As we get older it’s more important than ever to keep active, and set an example to our kids. I promise you, no matter how tired you feel before hand, getting your blood pumping and the endorphins flowing will leave you feeling like you want to seize the day / evening and you will never feel better and more energised.
- It’s easy. If you ever been been late for a plane, a train, or last orders at the bar, chances are you’ve already mastered the technique. As natural as breathing in and out, no expert coaching required here. Just Just get a good pair of supportive running shoes and put your best foot forward.
- It’s free. Unlike a whopping great gym membership, or a ‘have I got £7.50 down the back of the sofa for the step class’, a run will cost you nada. Zilch. Zero. That means no subscription guilt, or should I shouldn’t I procrastination, and definitely no blaming the lack of cash for the lack of fitness.
- It’s flexible. Possibly my fave big-up for the #Mumsthatrun squad. Spontaneity may not be our friend when it comes to days out with the kids, or nights out without them, but spontaneous runs are the best. No planning required. No rushing to be there for the scheduled start time. No traffic or car park to mess with. In fact, no commute at all. My running is nearly always spur of the moment. The kids got you up at 5.30? Leave them with Dad while you go out on a weekend 7.30 run. Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back by breakfast. Mid week mayhem causing the point of breakdown? Let Daddy bath the kids while you do a swift 5K, and restore that nicer you for the remainder of your evening. He’ll thank you for it.
- It’s you time. No bags, no drinks bottles (well unless you want a water hit en route), no push chair, no car keys, no phone (well actually, my phone is essential as I like to track my run and listen to music). On that note, when else do you get to listen to a whole album of music YOU like uninterrupted? I’m no expert in mindfulness, but when I did scan read the book, it talked a lot about embracing maintaining a healthy hobby, and living in the moment. In addition, I find no better time to appreciate the present than when I’m running – the birds flying overhead, the lichens on the pavement, the amazing view from the road that I never noticed when I drove past a thousand times before…Maybe it’s the meditation lifting my mood as well as the dopamine released as I run.
So ditch the fear of ‘being seen’, tell the non-believer in you to Jog on, and see what you can achieve when you just do it.
On your marks, get set…GO