Why I’m Motivated to Get Fit as a New Mama


Now you know where you can get fit in Nashville—with your kids in tow (either in the class WOO! or in on-site childcare. Let’s talk motivation for fitness. I’ll not dwell on the weight loss element here. That’s a touchy subject. And for me? It’s simply not my greatest motivator. So let’s get to the good stuff!

Motivation for getting fit comes from many sources. For many mamas, there may be a variety of intrinsic or extrinsic factors pushing you toward fitness. I’m sharing my top four!

My Fitness Motivations as a New Mama

Being Fit Makes Me Feel Like Myself

Overall, this encourages me to work toward fitness more than anything else—even in these crazy baby days. I work full time, I commute, and simply put? I don’t have time to work out as much as I would like. Working out means sacrificing time with my baby and my husband. I hate that. But you know what I hate more? Not feeling like myself.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some sort of exercise-crazed person. Far from it! What I am though, is madly in love with running. When I started running in junior high, I could barely run a whole cross country race without stopping to walk. But I was hooked. And I went on to run on my high school and college cross country teams. Seventeen years later, I’m still running.

Partway through my pregnancy, I had to stop running. It was just time, and my body knew it. But my heart missed running. I missed the endorphin high (aka runner’s high) that comes after a good run. Even though I knew this break was temporary, it was still tough. When I could resume running, it was summertime in Nashville. Yikes, heat. Yikes, humidity.

I wanted to feel like myself again. So I bought a cute new running outfit, made a new playlist, and got back into running—one step at a time. Slowly, but surely. I’m still not all the way “there” yet, but I’m trying. Part of learning how to be a mom involves meshing the old with the new. And for me, fitness is one of the toughest areas yet. I look forward to the day when my son can hop into the jogging stroller and come for a run with me!

Health Benefits of Fitness

Sounds cheesy, but is it not true? Exercise has SO many documented health benefits aside from improving your fitness and toning your body. Disease protection, increased lifespan, better mental health, and more!

As moms, we certainly want to be there for our children. And caring for ourselves is one way to do that. It’s great for the little ones to see their moms caring for themselves as well.

Financial Benefits of Fitness

I’m not exactly meaning reduced long-term health costs here. Your insurance might offer discounts/incentives for individuals with gym memberships, or your employer might have wellness programs. Mine does. Extra cash OR a tax-free contribution to your Health Savings Account. Yes, please!

If these options aren’t on the table for you, think outside the box.

Look into how apps can pay you to get fit. Or, simply invest in yourself. Pay for a gym membership, sign up for a race, buy a Groupon deal for a class. And follow through with what you paid for! As long as you don’t lose money because of fitness (or your lack therof), it’s a benefit in my book!

If money is tight, don’t despair! You could make an exercise contract with friends. Instead of money being the motivator, maybe it’s childcare. Or dinner prep. Or cleaning. Whatever it is, make it count.

Social Benefits of Fitness

Friendship and fitness are a natural pairing! Make plans for standing fitness dates, stroller walks, classes, etc. Over the years, running with friends motivates me to get out the door when I’d rather stay in bed. I don’t want to let people down!

Or maybe you’re in the season of #momlife where you want some solitude. Fitness is doable on your own! An exercise break in your day (where the kids are with dad, or a friend, or the lovely daycare folks at the gym) can give you that much-needed boost to get through til bedtime.

No matter your preference, exercise can have social benefits and allows you to bond with others and yourself.

As 2017 launches and you consider how to reach your goals and keep your resolutions, why not make fitness one of those? It’s never too early—or too late—to start!

What are your fitness goals?

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Sarah Keil
After three years in Nashville, Sarah still doesn't consider herself a Southerner—though she loves it here in Middle Tennessee. Maybe that day will come, but until then, she is still a proud Indiana girl married to an Ohio State-obsessed man, Ben (who has banned the term "y'all" at their house and will be utterly devastated if their baby develops a Southern accent). Sarah became a mama in May 2016 upon the birth of their first child, a son (online persona=#BabyVolde). Though she loves her three cats, they are most assuredly not her children. By day, Sarah is an academic librarian. By night, she loves to cook, bake, read, run marathons (well, not every night...), be involved with her church, and explore Nashville's many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops with her little family. You can find out what Sarah is up to in the kitchen by visiting her blog, The Pajama Chef (thepajamachef.com), or by following her on Twitter or Instagram (@thepajamachef).


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