This Girl Can celebrates active women: those who are doing their thing no matter how they do it or what they look like. The campaign has encouraged women of all ages, shapes and abilities across the country to get involved. Mum-of-two, Andrea, 37, from Seaham in North East England, is one of them and has chosen to share her story exclusively with Female First readers.

Andrea

With two little ones aged three and under, my days are filled with everything from colouring books to alphabet spaghetti - and I love every moment of it. Spending quality time with my family is of paramount importance to me. My husband does shifts and often has to work unsociable hours, which makes our time together even more important. There's nothing I enjoy more than visiting our local park to push the kids on the swings, or settling down to watch a film together.

I know it's important to have a bit of 'me' time sometimes - whether that's reading a book, having a hot bath or enjoying a cup of tea and some peace and quiet - especially when I've had a busy week. But there's nothing quite like exercise to help clear my mind and de-stress.

For many new mums, exercise takes a back seat to more pressing concerns - like sleep, for example. But on a more serious note, we often feel guilty about spending time away from our family to exercise. So, why not do something which gives you the best of both worlds? I've done exactly that by creating my own makeshift bootcamp at home.

If it's a sunny day, I'll set a little assault course out in the garden using basic household items whilst the kids play in their sandpit. It's funny, as they often join in - it's a fun, active way for us to spend time together! It's a great way to get fit and spend that all important time with my little ones.

I save on time by focussing on short bursts of high intensity exercises - such as burpees, press ups and jumping jacks - to really get my heartrate going. I know when I've had a good workout when my face goes bright red and my hair is all over the place!

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Wonder Woman. Exercise doesn't get easier, you just get stronger. Start off small and build it up. You only need to do 15 minutes worth of exercise two or three times a week to start seeing a difference. You could weave the exercises into your daily routine when the kids are having their snacks or taking a nap.

It's a great way to teach your kids the importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I also get them involved with making healthy, nutritious snacks in the kitchen, such as helping me pick which fruit and vegetables to use. We then rollout a blanket in the garden and have a picnic in the sunshine. It's bliss.

I have been hugely inspired by the This Girl Can campaign as it shows women that it doesn't matter how you do it or what you look like, the fact you're doing something is the most important thing. I hope my story inspires you to believe you can do the same!


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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