Why Running Makes Me a Better Mom

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Crossing the finish line at my very first half marathon.

I know, I know. You either love it or you hate it. Running, and exercise in general, are very polarizing subjects. There was a time when running wasn’t my thing. In fact, pretty sure I loathed it. But, I stuck to it. I started training for 5Ks, then half marathons, and eventually a full marathon. Before I knew it, I was officially in love with running. It became a part of me, gave me more energy, and made me a more confident person overall.

There are many things I love about running. Obviously, weight loss and physical fitness in general are great reasons to run. In addition, there are many ways running makes me a better parent. I know many moms are on the other side of the spectrum and totally hate running. If you’d rather eat sandpaper than go for a run, maybe I can convince you to hit the road with these reasons running makes me a better mom.

It gives me time to relax.

I’m home with my two-year-old three days during the week, and, sometimes those days can be long, long days. When I’ve been struggling with my son all day to nap or share his toys or not hit the dogs, I need a break. The second my husband gets home, I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. For me, a 30-minute run clears my head and gives me just the break I need to return to my boys refreshed. After I’m able to sweat out the stressors of the day, I feel like I am a more patient and understanding mom. 

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Nothing motivates me more than this cheerleader at the finish line.

It helps me sleep better.

The days when I go for a run, I feel like my head hits the pillow at night and I’m almost instantly asleep. On days I take a break from running, I can definitely tell a difference in the quality of sleep I’m getting. I think being physically tired, combined with normal exhaustion from raising a toddler, makes me ready for a nice, early bedtime. And, I’m totally ok with that. Hitting the sack early, instead of staying up until midnight binging on Gilmore Girls, ultimately gives me more energy for the next day. A well-rested mom makes for a happy-mom.

It gives me a goal to work towards.

Whether my goal is to beat my last race time, or simply to run for ten minutes on an especially tiring day, setting a goal and accomplishing it always makes me feel really good about myself. Nothing beats the feeling of doing something you never thought you could do. Plus, when your self-confidence is though the roof, it’s bound to rub off on your little ones

It’s a social outlet.

Not only do I love running to relax by myself, but I also love to run with a group. It’s especially motivating, and such a nice opportunity to meet new people and have some adult conversation. One can only have so much talk about Thomas the Train and zoo animals before they need a break. My running team, JA Team Achieve, gives me the opportunity to make new friends, makes me stick to my goals, and motivates me to push just that much harder. If you’re a beginner looking to start running or a seasoned runner searching for a group to run with, check out their website and come along for the ride!

One of my very favorite quotes ever is, “When all else fails, go running.” It’s basically the mantra that I live by. When I’m sad, I run. When I’m stressed, I run. When I’m angry, I run. Then, somehow the world becomes so much brighter. 

So…what’re you waiting for? Go for a run! If you’re looking to sign up for a Milwaukee race in the coming months, check out one of these.

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