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Parenting is not a sedentary lifestyle

The other morning, before my husband left for work, we had our usual morning talk about the day's events to make sure that we were both on the same schedule. One of the items of business included deciding when the two of us would be able to get in our workouts.

Thinking that I would be able to go running after he got home from work, I had slept in. My husband was quick to remind me that he and a friend were going mountain biking after school. Remembering that he had scheduled this a few days prior, I began to scan my day to see where I could fit something in. Nothing came to mind, so I came to the resolve that I would not have any time to exercise that day.

With the kids all waking up, I began my day, still bummed I would not be able to exercise. With a quick run up the stairs to fetch a crying baby, then back down to tend to another, then back up again, I quickly found myself breaking a sweat.

With the kids asking for scrambled eggs for breakfast, and with only minutes to accomplish this task, I was whisking like nobody's business. My arm was tired.

Trying to keep the kitchen somewhat clean, I was going from fridge to pantry to dishwasher, putting and throwing things away. With the twist of this hip and step of that foot and reach of my arms, I was dancing. It may not have been anything pretty — and I would have been laughed right off the Zumba floor had it been at Gold's Gym — but it was quite the workout.

As I loaded six kids into the car to drive to school — one in a heavy car seat and one an uncooperative child — my arms and back were burning and I was once again breathing hard.

The fun didn't end there. I needed to take my youngest daughter to gymnastics. Surprisingly, it was looking like we would be a few minutes early. No time to waste in this busy mom's schedule. So I took that time to run into the store to grab some much-needed milk.

And, of course, my daughter spotted the “car-cart” — those things are a beast to maneuver. So there I was, driving a bus — by hand — through the maze that is the grocery store. As luck would have it — and it was lucky — as I got to the dairy aisle, the grocery worker was discounting all of the half-gallons down to 26 cents. With my baby in one arm, I squatted down to pick up each half-gallon of milk — eight total. After loading all of that milk into the cart, I was keenly aware of the fact that I had quadriceps.

When the shopping was done, the drive to gymnastics was quickly followed by a sprint to the classroom.

I was pooped.

As I sat down for the first time at 11 to watch my daughter somersault and jump, I once again tried to see where I could find time to exercise, and with a wipe of my brow and a deep breath, I was quickly reminded that I had already done it.

So, you parents who think that you are not in shape, think again. Parenting is not a sedentary lifestyle. You are in better shape than you think you are. I can guarantee it.

Arianne Brown is a mother of six who loves running beautiful trails. For more articles by her, like her Facebook page by searching Writer Arianne Brown or visit her blogs, or