Become a Supermum in 15 minutes

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Just 15 minutes could be all it takes to transform into a “Supermum” – 15 minutes of daily running that is, according to new research.

Bupa surveyed 1,000 UK mums and found that, as well as the obvious health and fitness benefits, those who go for regular jogs say they have more quality time with their children.

Nearly four in five mothers (79%) feel that running for just 15 minutes a day improves their parenting, with 65% saying they find juggling everyday tasks easier.

A further 40% say that, on average, they feel full of energy all day long, compared with just 13% of non-running mums.

They also have more time to spend with their kids, averaging two to three hours of daily quality time, while the non-runners say they only have one hour.

Whether or not you enjoy – or are physically able to participate in – running, these findings are interesting.

Ripple effect

The great thing about running, of course, is that it’s cheap and you can do it anywhere, any time of day – so ideal for hectic parents.

But other forms of exercise could offer many of the same benefits.

The point is, prioritising regularly doing something “good” for yourself, improving your health and re-charging and re-balancing in the process, has a positive ripple effect that follows through into your whole day.

Bupa physiotherapist, Simon Fairthorne, says: “There’s emerging evidence that regular exercise helps regulate stress and energy hormones in a positive way. We believe the phenomena ‘runners’ high’ during exercise, and feelings of reduced stress and greater energy levels after exercise, relate to a rebalancing of our hormone levels.”

Reducing stress

As well as the surge of mood-boosting hormones, another effect is that blood pressure’s lowered, which can also help towards feeling less stressed.

“As your heart muscle gradually becomes stronger with each successive bout of exercise,” adds Fairthorne, “the entire system becomes more efficient, promoting the virtuous cycle – you feel as if you have more energy so you want to exercise more and experience the feelings that exercise brings, and so on and so on.”

Cheryl Rickman, author of The Flourish Handbook, says: “Just 15 minutes of ‘me time’ can have a huge impact on your productivity and wellbeing for the rest of the day, depending on what you do during that 15 minutes.”

Ms Rickman is also creator of the , which sets challengers tasks of between five and 15 minutes to boost their wellbeing.

‘Gratitude walks’

One of the main things Ms Rickman suggests her clients try, are 15-minute daily “gratitude walks”.

She says: “Starting your day this way has a great impact over how you work and how present you are.

“Walking releases feel-good chemicals, while gratitude boosts positive emotion, one of the five pillars of wellbeing, according to positive psychologists.

“So, by stepping away from your daily life, connecting with nature and devoting a few minutes to expressing gratitude by listing a few things you are thankful for, you can boost your level of happiness.”

You can also, she says, come up with solutions to problems, plot out your day and return feeling ready to take on the world.

Ms Rickman adds: “Each morning, I walk away from my worries, and I have my best ideas on my daily gratitude walk, which I do after the school run every day, rain or shine – 15 minutes spent in this way really can change your life for the better.”

If running isn’t an option for you, other super-speedy ways to recharge include doing yoga or Pilates or even running around after the kids in the playground. Now there’s no excuse not to get active!

Copyright Press Association 2014

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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