This article is part of a series in collaboration with ParticipACTION. Discover how "Everything gets better when you get active!"
Moms are pulled in so many directions that they often put taking care of their own health and wellness at the bottom of their to-do list. That’s not an ideal situation for women or their families, because when moms put their mental and physical health on the backburner, they open themselves up to a cascade of negative effects, including burnout, fatigue, increased risk of illness, anxiety and depression. That’s why this Mother’s Day, show your mom you put her health, happiness and overall wellbeing at the top of your priority list with the gift of physical activity.
What’s so great about physical activity? For one, it’s the gift that keeps giving, with benefits guaranteed to last much longer than a box of chocolates or bouquet of roses. Regular bouts of daily physical activity can improve mood, reduce stress, and boost immunity. It’s correlated with greater long-term happiness and life satisfaction, and can help prevent everything from heart disease to depression.
To reap the many benefits of regular movement, adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week. (If 150 minutes sounds like a lot, keep in mind that’s just 20 minutes of heart-pumping movement a day.)
Here are some fun ways to give Mom the gift of movement:
• Try this short Mom and Me workout or invite Mom to join an impromptu dance party.
• Remind her how fun physical activity can be. Take her ice skating or roller skating, or visit a climbing gym. Do something novel as a group. Group or family movement can help forge stronger bonds of affection, and families that are active together are also just more active, which means they’re healthier and happier too.
• Take her bike for a tune-up and plan a fun family biking excursion along a scenic trail or waterfront area.
• Plan a day around her interests. If she likes nature, find a nearby conservation area with scenic trails. If she’s a flower fanatic, take her on a walk through a botanical garden.
• Surprise her with a new pair of running shoes and smart watch or activity tracker. Now she’ll have a simple way of tracking her activity to make sure she hits her weekly target.
• Make a walk after dinner a nightly ritual. A brisk walk is a great way to kick up your heart rate while at the same time decompressing after a long day.
• Give her a hand outdoors. If she loves to garden but finds the upkeep exhausting, pledge to help her out more. Yard work is a great way to get your heart rate up, and it doesn’t feel as arduous when you’ve got a helper.
• Make housework a family affair. Put a smile on her face by committing to a weekly group house cleaning activity. You’ll work faster and harder (vigorous housework counts as physical activity!) and you’ll free up more time to get moving outdoors.
• Buy her passes to one of her favourite physical activities – the one she always says she wishes she had more time to do – and let her know you’ll pick up the slack on whatever domestic responsibility keeps her from doing it.
• Invest in some fitness equipment. If getting out of the house regularly is an obstacle to mom getting her daily or weekly sweat on, then do her a kindness and get her an exercise bike, treadmill, or weight set.
• Create a designated Mom Wellness Centre for her in the house where she can get her move on comfortably. Make it clean and cozy and accent it with candles or cushions and a yoga mat.
• Sign up for a family fun run or 5K, and make a plan to train together. Make a commitment as a family and download the ParticipACTION app to track your progress.
Sonnet and ParticipACTION have a commercial marketing partnership.