Mama, why are you so strong?
“Mama, why are you so strong?” My son’s question caught me off guard as I carried in the last load of items from the store. I smiled at him and said, “Great question! I’m strong so that I can take care of you and our family.”
As a mother, I want to be the best role model for my children. I want them to see that being healthy and strong is important, not just for physical fitness, but for overall mental health as well. According to the World Health Organization, physical activity can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve cognition and memory, and boost self-esteem and confidence.
I’ve always incorporated strength training into my workouts, long before it caught mainstream attention. As an 18 year old female, I was intimidated by free weights, but I quickly learned that strength training has many benefits as I watched my performance on the athletic field improve year after year. I used my confidence to train and help other women so they could reap the benefits of strength training, like building muscle and increasing bone density, improving posture and balance, and reducing the overall risk of injury.
Not only has strength training helped me physically, but it has also improved my mental health. Exercise is a great stress reliever, and I find that when I work out, I am able to clear my mind and focus on the task at hand. This translates into other aspects of my life, like my work and my relationships with my family and friends. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or stressed, I use this as a signal to make time for a workout no matter how busy my day is. Sometimes, that means just a quick 20 minutes of moving in my garage with my kids by my side. I want my children to see me workout, see the struggle, and see me taking time to prioritize my physical and mental health.
As a parent, leading by example is crucial. Our children learn from our actions, not just our words. I want my children to see that being healthy and strong is important to me, and that it should be important to them too. By showing them that fitness and strength training are a priority, I hope that they will adopt these habits as well. My kids will never feel that initial intimidation I did as a youth walking into the gym.
In addition to fitness and strength training, mental health is also a priority in our family. We talk openly about emotions and feelings, and we practice self-care regularly. I want my children to understand that taking care of their mental health is just as important as taking care of their physical health.
I am grateful for my son’s question. It reminded me of the importance of leading by example and instilling healthy habits in my children. I want them to know that being strong, physically and mentally, is important for their overall well-being.
As a mother, I believe that being strong is not just about physical fitness, but about mental health and leading by example. By incorporating strength training and fitness into my routine, I hope to show my children that being healthy and strong is important. And by prioritizing mental health and self-care, I hope to instill these habits in my children as well. This all helps me show up as the best version of myself each and everyday for my family. At the end of it, isn’t that what we all want?