Thirty years ago, Jane Fonda came out with her first workout video. It became a sensation. Every woman over 30 wanted to look like Jane. Aerobic exercise was all the rage, and people started flocking to gyms to get themselves fit and trim. My mother watched all this with great interest. Having 5 kids, she did more than her share of housework. Her statement at the time was….”I don’t have to do aerobics. I run up and down those stairs a million times a day!” Now that I am in her position, I know exactly what she means.
I have it easy compared to my mother. I only have 2 children, and appliances have gotten more advanced in terms of cleaning. That doesn’t mean I enjoy it, but there is less scrubbing and rinsing than I remember when I was young. Still, there is a certain amount of energy and movement that is required for doing these chores. Lifting, bending, pushing, and stretching are what this body of mine experiences every day.
I have tried many forms of exercise. My past workouts consisted mostly of swimming and walking, but I also have lifted weights, used machines, and have done some yoga. I was in the best shape of my life when my girls were babies and toddlers. Your arms and abs get fully toned from lifting baby carriers, and taking kids in and out of car seats, shopping carriages, cribs, etc. You are constantly running after them when they learn to walk. Now that they are older, the lifting has stopped (not the running), but the work goes on. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, cooking, food shopping, being a taxi never ends, and never goes on vacation.
I once had a doctor ask me what I did for exercise. At the time, I was walking the dog 2 miles a day, and taking yoga classes. HE didn’t seem satisfied with my answer and kept pressing for more. I finally said…”I never sit.” That ended of the conversation. I still walk the dog, try to fit in yoga, and yes, I still do housework. This being a long winter, the snow blower became my best friend, and I used the shovel so much that my arms didn’t hurt after the third storm.
I often see groups of women running up and down Main Street where I live. They have on the all the gear, headbands, running shoes, and seem to do it every day. They are in perfect shape and look good even when exercising. But to all the moms out there, who feel they should do more to stay fit, don’t worry about it. You are all beautiful. Years later, Jane admitted to surgery. Take out that vacuum, run up and down those stairs, and know you are great the way you are.