I love going to the gym. I'm writing this letter to moms because I think there are hidden benefits for us in the gym, that we might not be putting enough emphasis on. Sure, it can be said that we benefit more from consistent exercise more than our childless counterparts, as we've got pregnancy pounds to work off, but there's so much more to it... some of these things you're already aware of, I hope, but if not, give it a try. Seriously, throw on some yoga pants, turn your iPod to something sassy, and get in there! I highly doubt you'll walk away regretting it.
1) Endorphins. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which produce feelings of happiness and euphoria. This is all good. I don't care who you are, you can always use more endorphins (just don't overdo it there, She-Ra), and euphoria in your life.
2) Exercise boosts self-esteem. Reaching a goal, whether it be shedding pounds or hitting the mile-mark on the treadmill, does wonders for one's self-worth. On a larger scale, though, society appreciates a well-toned body, which generally is the reason most women head to the gym in the first place. There's lots to be said for being able to throw on your skinny jeans for girls night out! Improved self-confidence also has a domino effect... less feelings of anxiety and/or depression, more motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle, increased sex drive... All of this is very good.
Last but certainly not least- in fact, this is what I consider my biggest motivation for frequent exercise...
3) You tend to start feeling a little pampered when you get in the habit of doing something for only you, especially something physical. No kids, no phones ringing, just you focusing on you. Its addictive! I feel lucky that when I get to the gym, Bean girl RUNS to the childcare room, anxious to see her little friends and the sweetest kiddo-keeper ever. I don't have to worry a bit about her while I'm working on me, which is possibly the best feeling ever. For one hour a day, I can go completely within myself, and do something that's super good for me. Its amazing.
So moms, go to the gym. Not because I think you're doughy, lazy, or out of shape, go because you deserve it, dammit. As a mom, we never put ourselves first... feel free to do that, and not experience one ounce of guilt because when mama's happy, everyone else is too.
Enjoy those endorphines!