Editor's Note: This is part of a new GoodHousekeeping.com series, Month of Me. This January, we're officially banning "should" (as in, "I should go on the treadmill," or "I should clean the garage") and encouraging you to give yourself a break after the holiday season. During the month of January, we'll be sharing personal essays and more inspiration to help you take time for yourself. Here, 12 Strong actress and mom of three, Elsa Pataky shares how she finds time to stay in shape — even while on set with her husband, Chris Hemsworth.
Exercise has always been my safe space. It's a time for me to completely unwind, push myself, and discover my inner — and outer — strength. As a mom to three young kids, it can be hard to get through a workout without an interference or two, but I try my best to push through it.
While working on set, I have a lot of down time. Sometimes I'll read a book (I'm loving right now!), catch up on the latest news stories, or best of all, make time for a workout. For me, it's even harder to squeeze in a workout while I'm at home because I constantly feel pulled in a million directions between cooking, cleaning, and chasing my kids around the house. Sometimes it's hard to leave my kids, so it's best when I can convince them to tag along. I'll go to the gym and let them have fun playing around while I work out for an hour. Now, that's multitasking at its finest.
Since becoming a mother, I've learned just how strong us women are. Seriously, it's amazing what our bodies can do! It's a shame if we don't use our bodies to their full advantage, and I've found that I feel better about myself — as a wife, mother, and actress — if I exercise.
When I'm in the gym, I'm fearless. A lot of women are scared to use weights and bulk up — don't be! Our bodies are strong and it's important to take advantage of that. It's obvious that I love strength training (seriously, give it a try!), but I also incorporate yoga into my routine. Yoga, in particular, is great for toning your booty.
Before I call it a night, I try to use my last bit of strength. At that hour, the kids are tucked in bed and I have some time to myself before I go to sleep. I'll either do a quick, heart-pumping exercise or a rela yoga flow — it depends on how I'm feeling that day.
Believe me, I know there are a lot of moms out there who'll say that they don't have enough hours in the day to work out. But here's what I know for sure: There's always time for yourself. Get your kids involved if you have to. Trust me, most kids can have fun just about anywhere, including a gym. Exercise is not only essential for physical fitness but also mental clarity. I'm a better mom and wife because I take this time for myself — and I believe that wholeheartedly.
SHOP ELSA PATAKY'S "MONTH OF ME" KIT:
No Drama Discipline ($11, )
Yoga mat ($33, )
Dumbbell set ($25, )
, a war drama, is out in theaters on January 19.