“I would not have the mental or physical wherewithal to do what I do if it were not for working out!” Suleman wrote in a new candid post
Nadya Suleman is getting candid about her health since giving birth to her octuplets in 2009.
On Tuesday, the 47-year-old mom opened up about her fitness journey on Instagram since welcoming her eight children: Noah, Josiah, Nariyah, Maliyah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Makai, 14.
Sharing several gym selfies and a video of herself in action, Suleman wrote in her caption, “I’ve been asked for years how I stay physically strong and healthy (and mentally sane 😵💫), in spite of my stressful, busy lifestyle with such a big family.”
Related: 'Octomom' Nadya Suleman's Family: Everything to Know About Her 14 Kids, Including Her Octuplets
“Lifting weights has been my method of constructively channeling stress, consistently, for over 30 years,” she continued. “Weight training has become even more of a priority subsequent to birthing octuplets, to maintain my strength and mobility alone.”
She further revealed: “As a repercussion of the pregnancy, I sustained three more herniated discs (had one herniated disc from a work related injury decades ago); bilateral sciatica; damaged sacrum and peripheral neuropathy (and a torn abdominal cavity to top it off 💁🏻♀️).”
“Such disabilities would render me incapacitated if I were to lead a sedentary lifestyle. Though it seems counterintuitive, the more active I am, the less pain I experience,” Suleman shared. “Several days without weight training exacerbates my already excruciating back pain and near immobility.”
“I strive to strength train 3-4 days per week, plus one hour of cardio 4-5 days per week (switched from the stair master to stationary bike years ago),” she said of her workout routine.
“Fortunately, my kids have adopted the same active lifestyle. My oldest three weight train, far heavier than I, and more frequently,” noted Suleman, referring to her sons Elijah, 21, and Joshua, 19, and daughter Amerah, 20. She is also mom to twins Calyssa and Caleb, 16, and son Aidan, 17.
“Ironically, my oldest son Eli, who has been training consistently for three years, has surpassed what I’ve achieved in 30, and loves mocking me at the gym lol,” Suleman wrote. “He has encouraged me however, to lift heavier, using proper technique, which has improved my strength and performance.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Related: See 'Octomom' Nadya Suleman's Octuplets Through the Years
She then shared the following words of encouragement. “To my fellow busy parents out there…never compare yourself to anyone else!” Suleman wrote. “Your current fitness level and fitness journey is unique to you, so only strive to be the best version of yourself.”
“Focus on setting personal goals and aim to achieve them, progressing at your own pace,” Suleman advised. “Lead by example so your children learn to prioritize physical activity, and encourage them to workout with you!”
“Do not feel guilty for taking time to renew and recharge,” she concluded. “Your family will benefit immensely when you take care of your mind and body, as you will have more positive energy to give. I would not have the mental or physical wherewithal to do what I do if it were not for working out! #ParentsLetsLeadByExample 💪🏽.”
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.