Balkan Med J. 2019 Aug 22;36(5):257-262. doi:10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2019.2018.12.87. Epub 2019 May 29.
Basically, it's true. Or at least, in mice in a 6-week study to measure anxiety, oxytocin, and empathy. The female mice expressed more empathy, boosted brain and serum Oxytocin levels, and decreased their anxiety.
As I type this, it's the week before Christmas. Our kids are 2 and 1, they don't sleep, and we live far away from family. There are a million reasons to skip the gym in favor of shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning, decorating, attending holiday parties, and creating Christmas magic for our babies. However, I really don't want to end up on snapped. I made a choice this year to make it to the gym for an early cardio workout at least 2x per week, and do my strength training and core exercises in our basement during naptime 2-3x per week.
My workouts are in my planner. They don't always happen, but I book my day around my exercise time. Sometimes it's only 15 minutes of strength training or 20 minutes of cardio, but I feel the mental benefits almost immediately.
Whether it's your busiest time of year or you've got tons of downtime, make your workouts happen. All the daily tasks will be a lot easier to swallow if you're in a better mood. You'll have more energy, less stress, and be a happier, more empathetic mommy.