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  • Last modified 1222 days ago (May 20, 2015)

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Mother of 3 fits in fitness

Staff writer

Kids are great, but most parents know they take a surplus of energy to raise. It can be easy for parents to let their own health slip in favor of providing their children the attention they deserve.

Stay-at-home mom Brea Hett, 24, of Marion, has found a way to exercise almost every day while caring for her three young boys.She involves them.

“I don’t have other child care options,” Hett said. “I have no free time. So I switch it up to keep the kids entertained, and so I don’t get bored.”

She runs about two to three miles almost every day and does CrossFit three times a week and yoga one or two times a week.Workouts help her feel energized and make it easier to keep up with her boys.

“I had to make exercise a priority for my own peace of mind and sanity,” Hett said. “It’s ‘me’ time — something I can do for myself with the boys. I think it’s important they see me taking pride in staying fit.”

She hopes leading by example will help establish the basis of a healthy lifestyle for Aiden, 5; Jackson, 3; and Charlie, 1.

Still, regular exercise is not always easy. Sometimes, she goes two or three days without it, but she doesn’t give up. She reminds herself it is OK and tries not to beat herself up for missing a day.

The enjoyment she gets from exercising gives her the willpower to keep trying.

“When I get overwhelmed, I know I need to get out and go for a run,” Hett said. “It just makes me feel good about myself. It really has been a trial-and-error sort of thing. I have to keep a schedule. Things fall apart without one.”

She has found the process to be easier if she goes with her boys’ schedule. Before she loads them in the stroller and heads out for a run, Hett tries to pick a good time — a time when her boys are calm, like after they’ve been playing. Naptime is another good time. Conversely, “rambunctious times,” when her older boys need to burn off energy, also work well.

“My youngest is used to falling asleep in the stroller,” she said. “My oldest likes to run with me sometimes.”

After researching exercises online, she started CrossFit with her boys about three months ago as a way to do weight-bearing exercise.

“We had a weight machine in the garage, but it made me nervous because the boys would climb on it when I was using it,” she said. “I was worried they might get hurt. CrossFit lets me utilize my own body weight as a tool for exercise.”

Hett and her sons do box jumps, jumping jacks, and exercises that incorporate body as its own weight-resistance tool. They also do lift weights..

“I have my own little weight bar and I got wooden dowel rod for them, so that Aiden and Jackson can pretend they have their own weight bars,” Hett said. “Charlie usually just smiles or laughs while we exercise.”

When her two oldest sons get tired or lose interest she tries to get them to count her reps, which she said they find “surprisingly entertaining.”

“They keep me honest,” she said. “If I miss a rep, they tell me and say, ‘Mommy, you need to do one more.’”

For Hett, yoga is a cool-down exercise or something she does when she can’t take the kids outside.

“It’s relaxing,” she said. “We turn off the TV. I will do my poses. I’ve taught them some poses that are good for children.”

When doing errands while her husband, Colby, is at work she often elects to walk with the kids instead of drive. They also walk to the park and “go adventuring.”

“I don’t know how many times we have gone up and down that trail behind the museum,” she said. “They love it.”

Last modified May 20, 2015

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