Good morning! I am trying to start something new here. I hope to highlight a different momma every week. I know a lot of fantastic momma’s out there and I wanted to let you get to know them too.
Name: Laurie Coulter
Where do you live? : Grand Rapids, MI
How many children do you have?: 3 Ages?: 12, almost 9, 3
How long have you lead an active lifestyle?: Regularly active since Halloween 2012, almost my 1 year anniversary! Before that, it was for a few months at a time here and there. Never regularly active as a kid or teenager.
Has your focus or priorities changed about exercise since having kids? Explain: The first time I exercised regularly was when I was pregnant for my first child. I did yoga for 6 months and loved it! I didn’t do much other than walk/hike after he was born. The next time I regularly exercised was when I was pregnant for my second! I did prenatal aerobics for the entire pregnancy and postpartum as well. We also lived in a very hilly area and did lots of walking up and down those hills (we were college students!). I started running regularly a few times when the boys were little but only ever enough to do a 5k and then I would get out of the habit. When I got pregnant for my daughter I happened to be running regularly and kept it up until I was about 7 months pregnant. After her birth in 2009 I totally fell off the wagon and did not exercise at all. I used every excuse in the book: I was too tired, the kids didn’t want to go, it was too cold out, I wasn’t in the mood, etc. I finally got fed up with my own laziness and lack of energy in the fall of 2011. I have been addicted ever since! My priorities have completely changed since then. I know that in order to be a good Mom and wife (and a sane person!) I need to get my workout in. Exercising IS my priority! I try not to schedule anything during the times that I like to go to the gym and make it a priority to run regularly with my whole family. I have felt so much better in the last year that I know I have to keep exercise a priority, for my sake and the sake of my family.
What is your favorite type of exercise? : I love group exercise at the Y. My favorites are Cardio Sculpt and Spin. They both hurt so good! The energy in the room is great and it totally motivates me to push myself as hard as I can. I have learned to love running as well. It is quick (sometimes), easy to do anywhere, and I can do it almost anytime. The adrenaline rush of racing is unbeatable! Last summer I started road cycling for my first time and I think that could be a new favorite too 🙂 .
What have you taught your children about exercise? : I have really tried hard in the last year to show them what a positive difference exercise can make in your life. Being healthy, fit, strong, and fast feels good! The more I exercise, the more energy it seems I have. I try to make it fun too. My oldest is in soccer and we play together as often as we can. My younger son is in cross-country and we try to train with him as a family so he has more fun. My 3-year old daughter does gymnastics and we have her put on “shows” for us all time. Cross-country skiing, dancing, hiking, sledding, biking, running and good old “playing around” at the park are all regular activities for us. I want them to know that they can be outside and active any time of year and have fun doing it.
How do you stay motivated to keep fit/active? : Accountability is really important for me. If I know there are friends keeping an eye on my activity level and involvement at the gym and in running races, I know I will work hard to be there and put in my best effort. Visualizing the rewards is helpful too. When I have to do an interval workout or get up really early to run, I never really WANT to do it. But if I think ahead and visualize how much it will help me to achieve my goal or how good I will feel when it is over, it helps me to get out there and do it.
One tip or piece of advice you can offer other moms to get their kids moving? : Do it wherever and whenever you can. Dance in the kitchen while cooking dinner, walk to the market, ride bikes to school, play at the park, etc. If you make it a priority and do it together it is something they will love to do! And schedule in one activity per kid per season. Don’t take on too many sports/activities at one time or they will look at it as more of a chore than a fun thing to do.
I met Laurie at the gym ( where else?? 😉 ) It has been fun to witness her make so many gains in her confidence and her fitness. They really do go hand in hand. She is a very strong competitor and we have been planning our race schedules for 2013 already. Thanks Laurie! 🙂