Maybe you’ve heard of Anna Arsenault or her fitness movement, MomStrong. Maybe you haven’t and you’re about to find out! I met Anna just a few weeks ago while filming NBC’s season 1 of Spartan Race down in Atlanta and thought she was up to something pretty cool.
Anna, for a few years now, has been an elite Spartan athlete, obstacle course racer, a brand ambassador for Bowflex and FitAid (among others), champion of the #womenofspartan social campaign, and founder of the MomStrong movement. This last inspirational tidbit about Anna is what I thought truly set her apart and what I wanted to learn more about.
Read on to see how Anna is motivating moms to introduce a little more fitness in their daily mom duties!
How did you get started with Mom Strong?
Simply stated, MomStrong grew out of my passion for people. Friends, family, and even women I never met kept asking over and over, “How do you do it? How do you make time to stay fit with all the other things you have to get done in a day?!”
Having 4 children of my own, I understand the tricky nature of balancing marriage, work and family, with personal goals. My message to moms and to all women is, “Get moving. No excuses.” Don’t feel like it today? Get moving. House is a mess, or the kids are sick? Get moving. Don’t have a gym membership? Get moving.
What inspired you to take this from something you were doing around the house with your kids, to really growing a movement?
Tuscaloosa, Alabama is a community with all manner of sporting activities. I see many of the same people at races and events. After about the 50th mama asked me to write them a workout or help them with a meal plan, I realized there really was a need I could fill. So I began formulating the vision for MomStrong. It started with my friends, then grew nationally from there.
You were talking to me about the “boiling water burpee” down in Atlanta. Want to tell the readers about it? Or any of your other favorite original workouts?
I don’t like to waste time so when I have a free min or two I take advantage of it. When the water is boiling I do burpees in my kitchen until it’s done! When I am walking through the house with a laundry basket I lift it over my head and do lunges. While doing the dishes I will do calf raises! It’s all about getting creative with your routine surroundings, and after seeing me, my kids have even started joining in!
How important do you think integrating fitness with your daily mom duties is for your physical and mental health? And what message do you think it sends to your kids?
Whether you run, climb, swim, hike, practice yoga, or even just walk the dog, I believe you will be a better friend, partner, mom, co-worker, etc. When I carve out time in my day for a workout, I am building strength physically, emotionally and mentally. We prioritize the things that are important, and for me, physical activity is important. If you are too busy to workout, then you’re too busy.
Sometimes women think it is selfish to take time for themselves. I tell people all the time to give themselves permission. I believe it is the most self-LESS thing a mom can do because of all the benefits she will receive. And those benefits spill over to the family.
My kids participate with me as often as possible. The message to them is that we are a strong, healthy, energetic family.
Any start of year tips for all the mom’s out there jumping into their New Year’s resolutions?
Small changes make a huge difference. When you take the kids to the park, don’t sit on the side park bench. Go climb the monkey bars, or walk around the park. Maybe get a dog! That will require you to take a walk in the mornings and evenings, getting some exercise and fresh air as a result! Take a yoga class. There’s tons of ways to get started. Just get moving!
To follow Anna’s MomStrong pursuits, connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And this year, whether you’re a mom, a dad, a brother, a daughter, or a grandparent, you heard Anna – just get moving!