A Fitness Plan for Mother's Day

Mothers, Enjoy Your Special Day with a Boquet of Fresh Fruit
Mothers, Enjoy Your Special Day with a Boquet of Fresh Fruit

Give Mom a Gift that Keeps Giving

It’s almost Mothers’ Day and what better way to celebrate than to talk about female fitness. When mothers are young they are very active. By the time they reach mid 30’s and the children do not require mom chasing them around so much, her fast pace of daily exercise diminishes and mom begins to experience some adverse effects. The benefits of exercise include: Relief from tension and stress, Maintenance of stable weight, Appetite control, Boosts self image, Improved muscle tone and strength, Lower blood pressure, Insomnia relief, Increased “good” cholesterol, Reduced risk of diabetes, and Positive mental stimulation. When mother slows down and doesn’t exercise as much those benefits go away. So, what’s a mother to do?

Deep down, mother knows that she needs to get back to exercising and wonders what exercise should she do? No one can prescribe a fitness program that works for everyone. Even a moderate amount of exercise can improve your health, but consistency is the most important goal in exercise and fitness. Mother needs to select something that she enjoys doing so she will keep doing it. Exercise is supposed to be done a minimal 30 minutes three times a week. Exercise can be whatever mother wants but should include some aerobic fitness (brisk walking, running, stair climbing, biking, swimming, and aerobic dance), weight training (muscle strengthening, lifting weights for resistance), and flexibility (stretching).

How hard Mom needs to exercise is determined by the “talk / sing test”. If you can’t talk when you jog you are going too fast. If you can talk while you are jogging you are probably doing okay. If you can sing while you jog, you need to speed up because exercise is most effective when you can talk but not sing.

Flexibility stretching to increase the bodies Range-of-Motion and reduce stiffness and pain of arthritis include: calf stretch, triceps stretch, Latissimus stretch, hamstring stretch, groin stretch, quadriceps stretch, and hip flexor stretch. Reiki exercises are one of many slow movement flexibility training exercise routines. Reiki teaches students to stretch slowly and gradually to maintain continuous tension on the muscle. Hold tension for count of 10 and release. Remember, if something hurts, you are doing something wrong.

Weight training includes resistance work with free weights; and other weight training equipment. Exercises include, bent knee, curl-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, side leg lifts and others focusing on the ads, neck, arms, shoulder, and legs. There are multiple books available at Borders Bookstore to help you formalize a simple home weight training routine like the famous Pilate’s Exercises.

Aerobic classes at minimal cost are offered in many Community Centers and Junior Colleges (no credit classes) and at reduced cost for seniors. You also might look at purchasing a year’s fitness program for Mother’s Day at a National Fitness Centers or the YMCA. But before you get mom signed up, check with her doctor. There are medical conditions that prohibit physical exercise or limit the choices of programs she might enjoy.

Just like the annual runs for whatever cause, all exercise begins with warm ups so your muscles have a chance raise your heart rate slowly and ends with a cool down period. The chart below shows a rule of thumb to figure your own heart rate maximum by taking 220 and subtracting your age. Check your heart rate and compare it to the chart below after exercising for 10 minutes to see if you are doing okay. Don't forget to Cool Down after exercise slowing your pace gradually, drink some water, and do some Flexibility stretching.

Age . Rate

20 20-27

25 20-26

30 19-25

35 19-25

40 18-24

45 18-23

50 17-23

55 17-23

60 16-22

65 16-21

70 15-20

A mother’s work is never done” so mother might want to put off exercising. Don’t let mom get away with those typical excuses:(1) I’d be embarrassed, or (2) I don’t have time. Her overall health and positive mental attitude depends on her having strong muscle tone. Tell her that once she starts it will become easier to push away her fears, and she can begin to live her life they way it should be. Life matters and instead of living in fear, it is important to look at the beauty, the little things that make you happy everyday and realize that you can take a walk and smell the roses today, but what about tomorrow if you let your body atrophy. But, if Mom is really a very private person, get her one of those standing exercise machines she can use at home and a private trainer, or get two and you can exercise with her. Don’t recoil from things that can not only help your mother but help you too. Remembering you are important too let your muscles tone and let your self-esteem grow. Take that first step toward strengthening your muscle density and start exercising. Remember, consistency is the most important goal in exercise and fitness so, “never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” 

Happy Mother’s Day!

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