Our Get Active series continues today with an interview with April Wood, a 28 year old business owner and mum of 2 who is clearly active, every day!
Tell us a little about yourself…
I am 28, I have two children (3.5yo and 11m) so spend most of my time at home with them. I also run my own business from home Nurturing Life- Acupuncture and Birth Services. I offer all of the services myself- acupuncture, doula support, childbirth education and breastfeeding counselling. I also am a doula trainer for Childbirth International. Needless to say- I keep very busy!
How do you stay active?
I am not a sporty person, I have never enjoyed exercise and avoid it as much as possible. However when you are a Mum you get so much “incidental” exercise that for me it hasn’t mattered at all. When we go out I carry my 11m old in a baby carrier (my beloved ergo), rather than using a pram. I encourage my 3.5yo to play chase etc, as well as generally just chasing him when we are out and about (he walks- no pram). So really I stay active just by going about my day. Not to mention doing the housework while wearing you baby of course!
About how much exercise do you get a day through that?
It would depend how much I am doing- some days more than others. I would say that I carry my daughter (11m and approx 8kg) for on average 4-5hrs a day. During that time I am generally walking, cleaning, bouncing or dancing (to keep her entertained).
What are some of your favourite ways to stay active you wish you had more time for?
I would really love to find some more time to do yoga, however at the moment it isn’t practical for me to attend regular classes. I sometimes get to spend some time doing it at home, however I much prefer to do it with a class.
Being healthy is not just about physical fitness, it’s about mental wellbeing as well. How do you stay sane while running a business and raising two children?
It is hard to find the time for not only myself, but also time one on one with my partner. Generally we try to get the kids in bed by 7ish so that we have a couple of hours each night that we can either spend alone doing our own thing, or together. It doesn’t happen every night but every night it does happen, it is wonderful. I also try to make sure that we make the most out of any time we spend as a family together (my partner works 50+hrs a week), so on Saturday afternoons and Sundays we generally do something fun- go to the beach, go out for breakfast, spend time with friends etc.
For me it is all about making the most of the time that you do have. It is amazing how revitalised you can feel after a 30minute bath that you had to yourself.
It’s vital to teach children about being healthy so they can make good choices all their lives. How are you introducing these ideas to your kids?
The way all kids learn- by observation. I try set an example for my kids so that they know what the “right” thing to do is. Both kids have eaten what we eat from day one, as we eat lots of vegetables there is never any issue with them not eating them. In fact, when we go shopping at the fruit shop my son (3.5yo), will often ask for a carrot, mushroom or apple to munch on rather than the lollies or chocolate that are also there.
With regards to exercise, my partner enjoys staying fit, so the kids see him doing exercise in the afternoons when he gets home from work, or see him riding his bike home.
Do you have any advice for new mums about how to stay active?
Don’t think that once you have kids you are relegated to staying at home in the house and watching daytime TV! Enjoy your kids, interact with them and involve them in what you do- they love it, and the more you do the more incidental exercise you will get. Whether this is housework once they get a little older, wearing your baby while they are young, or taking them to something like “mum and baby” yoga, or just playing outside and chasing eachother around. Children love spending fun time with their parents, so make the most of it- they are small for such a short period of time.
In relation to wearing your baby, there is plenty of evidence to say that this is the most beneficial thing for your bub as they are warm, secure, and next to your heartbeat, they will be more comfortable, calm and cry less so it really is a win win- your life will be easier, you will be holding your baby but have your arms free, and they will be happier (and you get the benefit of carrying extra weight to keep you fit).