sheSTRENGTH Warrior: Lifting the Mother LoadAnna Woods
Lifting the Mother Load
Mother of Five Finds Time to Workout at Home, Sets Example for Her Family
The biological changes of pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s body, but the demands of motherhood are another challenge entirely. Constantly busy and seldom not at someone else’s beck and call, mothers often struggle to find the time to exercise. But mother of five (that’s right, five) Jenni Ehling has found a way to focus on her physical health:
“I started working with Anna Woods and SheStrength a little over two years ago now. I had previously gone to a gym about 20 minutes away, but I was starting a new job, had recently had my fourth child, and I just didn’t have the time. Someone told me that I could get good workouts done at home with SheStrength, so I contacted Anna.”
Jenni has been fairly active most of her life, did sports in high school, and did various workout programs on and off between pregnancies–even MMA and CrossFit.
“I really liked CrossFit and lifting, but I struggled with blood clots during pregnancy, so I wanted to be careful about what I took on. I didn’t want to injure myself, and wanted to lift properly.”
As a nurse anesthetist, Jenni is very familiar with the mechanics and technical aspects of the human body, so she especially appreciated Anna’s approach.
“I felt like I kind of knew what I should and shouldn’t do, especially when working out while pregnant. But Anna was probably the one that helped me understand more than anything else. She knows so much about the importance of intra-abdominal pressure, bracing, injury prevention, and diastasis (a condition caused by pregnancy). She could tell me why I shouldn’t push myself as much as I wanted to. She just really knows what she’s doing.”
Jenni might have to get up at 4 a.m. to get her workout in before her kids are up and her day is off to a running start, but to her, it’s worth it.
“I’m feeling stronger. Even going up the stairs at home, I can tell. My body is changing, I’m showing definition, which is nice. I’ve never been overweight necessarily, but I’ve been soft. I’m faster and stronger on my runs, and am feeling really good by mile 3 or 4. It’s been great.”
Jenni isn’t the only one benefiting from her health and wellness journey, though. Her kids are watching, and learning that physical fitness should be a priority.
“My kids know I’m out in the garage working out in the mornings, and on Saturdays they come out there with me. It’s fun. My 2-year-old tries to roll on the foam roller, and I even got him his own dumbbells. They’re only 2 pounds, but he likes to do the stuff I do.”
Jenni isn’t the only one in the family that’s modeling healthy behavior. Jenni’s husband is the assistant athletic director at Newman University, and his brother is also an athletic director in New Mexico.
“My husband and kids went to visit him and see where he worked, and my kids said, ‘Mom, you would love this weight room!’ They know it’s an interest of mine, and that you need to take care of your body. They see that it can be fun, and they do it with me.”
Jenni is close to completing 400 workouts in the SheStrength app, and we applaud this mother on a mission to improve her health and be a role model to her family!