This was created in partnership with 24 Hour Fitness, which has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
I exercise at least five times per week. Even — especially! — when I’m super busy, I make a trip to the gym, a jog in my neighborhood, yoga video at home, soccer with my kids, or a bike ride around central park a priority.
Why? Some of the reasons are universal, and I don’t need to mention them (though I will: health, appearance). But there are some single-mom specific reasons why you must put your health above all else. Yes, that is right: Your health is more important than your kids and your job.
Why? Because if you’re unhealthy you can’t work. If you’re chronically sick, you can’t be a fully engaged mom. If you’re dead you can’t do shit.
Here are 6 reasons why health is uber-specifically critical for single moms:
- Your kids really, really need you. Yes, kids need married moms, too. Yes, there is a small minority of dads who live separately from their children who are actively involved co-parents. But the vast majority of single moms are really solo moms — parents who cannot count on the other.
- You need to date, and that involves getting naked with a man. I’m not saying that women of each and every body size is not datable, lovable, sexable, wonderful sensual and deserving of a fabulous dating and sex life. I’m saying that you feel your best when you look your best. You know what that means for you, and it involves a weight that is healthy.
- You need more energy. That solo momming thing? Takes some mojo! More exercize = more energy.
- It’s important to be a great role model for your kids. Yes, you kill it at work and tell your kids about it. Yes, you have healthy relationships that you make sure your kids see and can one day emulate. And your children see you going to the gym, eating healthy and prioritizing nutrition because that is really, really important.
- Because you are grateful. When you’re going at the single parent thing — especially in the beginning — it can be really hard to focus on how abundant you are. After all, two-parent familes ostentiablly have more resources: More adults, more earners, more lawn-cutters and garbage-taker-outers, more huggers and more dicipliners and more running-kids-to-gymnasticers. When you priortize your health, you tell the Universe and everyone around you: I am grateful I have a body! I am grateful I have a gym and fitness classes! I am grateful I can afford healthy food — food that is readily available at the market down the street! I am grateful I have (reasonably) healthy water to drink — right from the tap!
- You do not want to be a burden on your children. Your kids know that you do not have husband. They know that parents get old and need care. They know that if and when you one day need care, and do not have a romantic partner, that care will almost certainly fall on them. If you do not do everything you can to maintain optimal health, they see you taking steps to thrust your care into their hands. Don’t do that.
I get that getting into a fitness routine can be overwhelming — especially if you have been out of one for a while (Trust me! Been there!). Luckily, there are so many options for busy single moms.
One of my favorite ways for moms to meet their health goals is 24 Hour Fitness, with its 400+ locations nationwide, there is likely to be a club near you, and one where you can use your membership when you travel.
Right now 24 Hour Fitness is offering a couple of great promotions—you can choose between a $0 initiation fee (based on club type and location) or monthly dues as low as $29.99 (based on membership type, club type and location).
Whether you’re into yoga, Zumba and strength/conditioning (like me), or hitting cross fit and taebo (note to self: try that last one), 24 Hour Fitness is a fantastic, affordable option.
Plus, I really like that 24 Hour Fitness isn’t just for hard-core gym rats, rather will customize a balanced, truly wholistic approach to your fitness goals, incorporating the company’s commitment to mindset, movement, nourishment and regeneration. I especially love 24 Hour Fitness’s 24 Day Smart Start program, an interactive digital course customized for your goals — whether it is to gain energy, build muscle, lose weight or enhance performance.
Get your FREE pass here:
Ready to sign up? Find a 24 Hour Fitness club near you:
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.