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Recharging Your Mommy Batteries

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As the mother of two sons, I know there are days where you just don't know where your next ounce of energy will come from or how you will do the next 900 things that your kids require.

Woman excercising

JJ Virgin: Just like the Energizer bunny, mommy is expected to keep going...and going...and going.

Let's be honest here, ladies. That's not going to happen if you eat a diet that is high in the wrong kind of carbs, full of sugar or you exist on caffeine highs that create even lower lows. Many moms also tell me that they barely have time to put on lipstick and can't find half an hour to workout.

I have some wonderful ways to keep your mom energy on max mode and beyond:

1. Make sure that you move it.
Perhaps you're pregnant right now and feeling really low on energy. Did you know that a recent study at Case Western University found that 30 minutes of exercise a day when pregnant not only will give you more energy, but will combat depression (of course, check with your doctor first before beginning any program)? My point is that pregnant or not, those who exercise have more energy, burn fat better, build muscle and even enjoy a better self-image. Please don't think of your private exercise time as time spent away from your kids, but time spent for your entire family to have a mom who can cope better both mentally and physically.

2. Cool it on the sugar.
The last thing you need is blood sugar levels that feel like you're on a flying trapeze. Eat high-fiber carbs such as berries and steel cut oatmeal, but say no to the cookies, cakes and muffins and all of that fluffy white stuff.

3. Stop being a victim of broken sleep.
There are reasons beyond your own sanity to work towards your little ones sleeping through the night. You need your rest, too, and it must be unbroken sleep that allows your body to go through all the restorative sleep cycles. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost 60 percent of humans wake up feeling tired because we wake up once or several times a night. Your job is to de-stress and relax and hour before bedtime (tea, a bath, a boring book, no TV, no cell phone) and then get your rest. It's important that your child understands that everyone must sleep all night long and he or she should stay in their own rooms and not wake mommy and daddy unless it's a true emergency. Wanting to watch "Little Nemo" at 3 AM isn't a 911 moment.

4. Don't drink alcohol as a way to wind down. There are some moms who think a glass of wine is a good way to relax, but it actually has the opposite effect on your body. Alcohol goes right to your liver, which must break it down. The result of this bodily action is that the liver creates a stimulant that's like drinking coffee and can increase your heart rate by 12 percent and double your alertness. That (seemingly) relaxing glass of wine will wake you up later, so skip it and opt for some herbal tea instead. Just don't drink a lot in the hours before bedtime because you don't want to break up your sleep with a 2 AM pee run.

5. Get out in the sunshine ... pronto! Even when the weather is cold outside, you need to experience a little fresh sunshine on your skin. Why? You need to elevate your vitamin D levels, which can plummet in winter when you're indoors. The more D you bring into your body, the better you're protecting yourself against cell-damaging free radicals (which also make you look older). Vitamin D is also one way to protect yourself against several chronic illnesses and doctors have found that it even helps combat cancer and heart disease. By the way, Aussie women have a very long life expectancy of 84.7 years and recent studies indicate that's because they soak in the sun and have amazing vitamin D levels! I'd suggest doing your cardio outside for exercise plus a boost of sun. Your goal is 20 minutes a day of sun on your arms and legs without sunscreen.



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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
bathroom sink faucets February 23, 2011, 12:47 AM

I am not really sure if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your great job is clearly identified. I was wondering if you offer any subscription to your RSS feeds as I would be very interested and can?t find any link to subscribe here.


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