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[00:00:00] Krista: This is Secret Mom Hacks episode number 23. My name is Krista and I am your host. It's July 12th, 2023, and today's episode is about running, how I developed my love for running, why it's a great workout and self-care hack, and ultimately why I think running actually helps me be a better mom. But before we get into that, thanks for tuning in, mama.

I started this podcast because babies don't come with instructions. As of this recording, I'm chasing around an almost five year old that no amount of Googling mom groups or what to expect books were able to prepare me for. There's a lot of stuff people don't talk about when it comes to pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, postpartum, and as someone who was previously terrified of all of the above, I'm here to help you pull back the curtain on all of it, and every now and then it may get a little messy. We may share a little tmmi, but that's why you're here, right? My goal is you'll leave every episode feeling refreshed, inspired, and hopeful, knowing you are not on this mom journey alone. Now, there's a lot of subject matter to cover when it comes to mom life, and we are covering it all. So let's dive into the world of running Now.

I'll admit, I think it's a little funny that I am doing an entire episode dedicated to running. I feel like I've never really had an athletic bone in my body. My entire childhood, teenage years, and even my younger adult life was primarily spent on stage either in marching band, choir, musical theater, or on the speech team.

Which side note, go back and listen to episode number nine with my friend and fellow mom, Alicia, who was on my college speech team with me. Go forensic Falcons. I didn't grow up in sports at all. As I've gotten older, I've developed an appreciation for athleticism and I figured out the importance of staying active and eating leaner and greener.

My daughter was born in July, so throughout that second and third trimester especially, I made sure to get out and move and get in as many steps as I could each day. Apart from walking though, I didn't really have an activity that I could lose myself in.

I took a few Zumba classes, some bar classes here and there, and every now and then I'd get into Pilates. But I was equally good at coming up with excuses for not making it out to those. Classes. Oh, it conflicts with dinner plans, or they only do that one super early in the morning, or insert any other random excuse here.

Well, fast forward to about two years ago, I was scrolling through Facebook one night and an update from a high school friend that I hadn't seen in years popped into my newsfeed. He looked like a completely different person. I don't know how much weight he lost, but it had to be 80 or maybe a hundred pounds.

I don't know. Somewhere in that ballpark. Not only had he lost weight, but he was toned and he was muscular. Now I was stalking his profile. What changed? Well, I found out he had actually started running about a year or so before that. He cleaned up his diet and shortly after he started weightlifting. So reading his story about running and how it changed his life motivated me to order my first pair of running shoes.

I decided if running could help him in such a life-changing way, maybe it could be something I could learn to enjoy and help me become consistently active. So just a few days later, my running shoes arrived and I took them for a spin. I ran for about 20 or 30 minutes. I don't know how far I went, but I remember loving how I felt during my run and after. My head was clear. I had one goal, and it's impossible to multitask when you are running. So any other multitaskers out there, and I'll admit, I, I kind of have a love hate relationship with my multitasking abilities, but I love that during a run it's impossible to multitask.

So anyway, I laced up those shoes again a few days later, and I took another short run. Finally an athletic activity. I actually looked forward to that aside from the cost of shoes was free and that I could do on my own terms without having to drive to the gym or be at the mercy of someone else's schedule.

It was a win-win, win all around, and I was actually having fun. So to keep my excitement up, I decided I needed a goal to work towards. So I asked my husband if he would run a 5K with me, so he agreed and I started training for it. So fast forward to today, I ran that first 5k. It was so much fun and I loved it.

I ran my first 10 K this past April, and about a month ago I ran my first 10 mile race, so, Which is just about three miles away from being able to run a half marathon. A half marathon is 13.1 miles, so now I'm about to start training for a full marathon, which for those of you who don't know, is 26.2 miles.

Crazy. So, so crazy. But I am pumped. Well, now that I've shared a little bit of my running journey with you, let's talk about how I think running helps me be a better mom. So we all know as moms, it can be challenging to find the time and the energy to take care of ourselves between work or business, taking care of our families and managing household chores.

It can feel like there are not enough hours in the day. However, incorporating a regular exercise routine like we've talked about, such as running, can have huge benefits for both our physical and mental health. For me, running has been a game changer.

Not only does it help me become more physically fit and able, but it also has a positive impact on my mental health, which absolutely helps me to be a better mom. But first, let's talk about the physical benefits of running. So it is a high intensity cardiovascular exercise that can help us improve our endurance.

Build muscle and increase our overall fitness can help us maintain a healthy weight, which is hugely important for our long-term health. However, the benefits of running go far beyond the physical benefits. Regular running has been shown to have a positive impact on our mental health. It can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Improve cognitive function and boost overall mental wellbeing. It provides a time for self-reflection, helps to clear the mind and allows you to focus on yourself leading to improved mental resilience. Not only that, but running regularly can boost your energy levels, which is crucial for those of us moms who need to keep up with super busy schedules.

It helps cardiovascular fitness like we've touched on. It increases blood circulation and enhances oxygen flow throughout the body, leaving us more energized and ready to tackle all of our daily responsibilities. Running is also an incredible stress reliever. US moms, we often experience high levels of stress and pressure, and when you run, your body releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosting chemicals.

These endorphins help reduce stress and promote a sense of wellbeing, allowing us to better manage the challenges of motherhood. Another reason I think running helps me to be a better mom, is because of enhanced sleep quality. How many of us struggle with getting enough quality sleep due to the demands of caring for our families? Anyone else raising their hand running can help regulate those sleep patterns and improve sleep quality.

It can tire our bodies in a healthy way, making it so much easier to fall asleep and promoting more restful nights. Another reason I think that it helps to make me a better mom is because it's role modeling healthy habits. As moms, we play a vital role in shaping our kiddos habits and behaviors. We all know that kids are like sponges.

They're like mirrors. They often do what we do and say what we say, and so by incorporating running into our daily, or at least a couple of times a week routines, we're setting a positive example for our children. Our kids see us prioritizing our health, engaging in regular exercise and valuing self-care, which can inspire them to adopt similar healthy habits as they grow up. Another reason I think running helps me to be a better mom is because it gives me some time for myself. Again, we talk about this a lot here on Secret Mom hacks, talking about me time talking about self-care.

The fact of the matter is running provides valuable me time for moms. It's that opportunity to step away from the demands and responsibilities of the house and of motherhood and focus on yourself. Whether you're running alone or you're in a running group, it allows you to have dedicated time for self-care and personal reflection.

Ultimately helping me to be a more balanced and fulfilled mama. One of my favorite things is to just, when I know it's time for me to run, I put my phone on Do not disturb. I turn my running app on, I get my earbuds in. I've got all my running gear on my shoes, my running belt, and so on.

But I know that when I step away again, I can't multitask when I'm running my goal. Is to just complete the run. It's to enjoy the run and to complete it and to complete it. Standing up, not slumped over on the street somewhere. So I'm not necessarily trying to like best a certain time or anything like that.

I am just moving my body. I am running. And so I know that when I do that, however long of a run I'm going to take, whether it's. 30 minutes or an hour or, or whatever. Or if I have a distance goal, whatever it is, I know that that is going to be uninterrupted time. That is me time that I am solely focused on myself.

Again, I'm not multitasking. I can't do anything else. I'm listening to some great music. I've got my running jams on, and I know that when I come back from that run, I am going to be in such a better headspace, so hugely important. To have that me time and just time for myself. I know that certainly helps me to be a better mom.

And then another reason that I love it, that I feel like it helps me to be a better mom too, is because of increased confidence, this is something I had never done before. So running can absolutely boost self-confidence as we achieve running goals, whether it's completing a race or improving. Our pace, you will gain a sense of accomplishment and pride, and this confidence can carry over into other areas of life.

Helping you to tackle challenges with a positive mindset and inspiring confidence. In your role as a mom. I know that 100% has been the case for me. I'll never forget running that 5k, so I've only done one 5K so far. I've done the 5k, I've done the 10 K, I've done the 10 mile. Besides those three races, everything else I've done has just been training. As I'm running using my, I use Runkeeper, that is my favorite running app, and it will tell me, oh, this was your fifth fastest, or this is your fastest, or, or whatever the case may be. And seeing how far I'm running, seeing how fast I'm running, seeing how many times I have run that is such a boost of self-confidence. And knowing too, like when I did those different races, those were such exciting milestones.

Running each of those three races that I've done so far has been so fun. Now I've done each of those. Once I know what those run times are, so now next time I do a 5k, I can say, well, hey. Let's go check out what your first 5K time was. Maybe you'll be able to beat it this time. Or when I did the 10 k, what was that time?

Let's see if I can beat that time and and so on. But at the end of the day, it is still just a huge milestone and accomplishment to have even done those. Period. Okay. The final reason that I think running helps me to be a better mom is also just social connections. Joining a running group. Now, I'm not a part of a running group currently, but I know there are some out there and some that are even specifically geared to moms.

But joining a running group or participating in running events like I've talked about, the five Ks, the 10 Ks, the, the marathons, the Hals, and so on, participating in these events can help us connect with other moms who share similar interests, building that supportive community of fellow mother runners can really provide encouragement, motivation, and a sense of belonging.

Sharing those experiences and challenges with like-minded individuals can be incredibly valuable for our overall wellbeing as parents. So those are some of the reasons why I think running helps me to be a better mom. Incorporating running into my life has had such a transformative impact on my physical health and my mental wellbeing.

Taking care of ourselves is an essential part of being a great mom. So whether it's running or pickleball or cycling or gardening. I encourage you to explore something that gets you up and moving if you're not already. And if you are, I'd love to hear about it, especially if you're another mother runner.

Shoot me a and tell me about some of your favorite running gear or races. I'd love to hear about them. Well, as we conclude, I just wanna say that I appreciate you spending some time with me today, and I hope you found this. Information this topic. I hope you found it helpful. If that's the case, please subscribe for free.

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