Slow is the New Fast

Wife & mother of 5 kids, I share my ups & downs of being a relatively new runner & how I lost weight by running. I'm embracing the fact that I'm not the fastest runner out there. I believe it doesn't matter how fast you go,as long as you're moving...

Gina is a winner of Top 25 Health & Wellness Moms - 2012

What's one tip you'd give to moms struggling to make time for physical activity?

If you have small children, try to get your exercise in while they are napping or after they've gone to bed at night. Also, try taking them with you! If you have a stroller, strap them in and take them for a brisk walk around your neighborhood or your local walking trail. Sometimes breaking your routine up into smaller workouts make it easier. Fifteen minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening will get you 30 minutes in for the day. If you have older children, invite them to exercise with you or go outside and play tag. They'll love it and I bet you'll get in plenty of cardio! On the weekends, make it a family affair and find something active for everyone to get involved in.

What's your best advice for moms trying to get healthy?

Take it one day at a time. Make a list of things that you'd like to accomplish and work on them one at a time. Trying to do too much at one time might overwhelm you. Celebrate even the smallest goals that you meet because it's still an accomplishment! If you're having an "off" day or even week, don't beat yourself up. Realize that this is an ongoing process and tomorrow is a blank slate. Find a workout buddy to go to the gym or go walking/running with. If you don't have someone nearby, find a long distance buddy. Find a friend with a common goal, then, keep each other accountable and encourage one another by email, text messages Facebook or phone calls.
Also, when you're modifying your diet, don't go to the extreme. Your body still needs food or it can't function the way it needs to so look at your food as fuel. You want your body running smoothly! Don't forget that water is a huge part of that equation. Keep healthy snacks around so when you do get a little hungry, you're more likely to reach for something good for you instead of reaching into that bags of potato chips.

What motivates you to stay active while raising a family?

I have children of all ages so I'm constantly on the move. I not only want to be able to keep up with them and their activities, I want to be a good example too. They know I'm not perfect and I don't expect them to be. They have witnessed firsthand my struggle of being overweight/depressed and they have also seen how hard I've fought to become a healthy person again. My youngest daughter (3yrs old) has only seen me in a healthier state. I want to continue to set an example for her and the other children as well. I also want my children to know that just because your life is going in a bad direction doesn't meant it has to continue that way. I want them to know that you can always decide to make improvements in your life. You have the power to turn your life around.