Monday, September 20, 2010

Finding Time to Exercise

Ask most mothers about their fitness routine and they'll tell you it's non-existant (unless you count running after the kids as exercise).

Previously, I had some good excuses for not exercising. I had the kids with me through the day, dinner needs to be started when hubby gets home and well, I'm just too bloody tired once the kids are in bed. Excuses. If you wanted one, I'd find one.

I knew that I could no longer rely on my youth and fast metabolism to keep my weight in check. Eating well is a great start, but there's no denying our bodies need physical movement for a healthy heart, increased flexibility and strong bones.

If you need a little help finding time to exercise, here's some tips to get you started.

* Have your workout clothes and joggers ready to go. This way, you can simply wake up, get dressed and get going.
* Do as much incidental exercise as you can. Find a car park a little further away. Take the stairs. Carry a shopping basket instead of pushing a trolley. Look for ways to burn the calories.
* Include the kids. Go for a walk. Put bubs in the pram or baby carrier or use your growing toddler as your weights. Raise them above your head or do some leg curls. The kids will have a ball, they'll learn another healthy habit from you and is a great way to hang out together.
* Come up with a plan of attack in your very own Health Journal. Define your workout goals and work out the steps you'll take to get there. Your goals should be specific, realistic and measurable. Write down why exercise is important to you. Keep all this information in a little book to track your progress, record your food intake and log your exercise time. Include your own before shot and if it'll help, include some images of people with a healthy body image to keep you inspired.
* Try doing bursts of exercise. Haven't got 30 minutes or an hour to spare? Try breaking the workout into 10 minute lots. Do what you can, move on and come back for more later.
* Join a team sports or organise a meet up with friends. If you don't want to let people down, working out with other people is a great way to stick to your exercise appointments.
* Re-evaluate your daily schedule. I found by going to bed at a decent time, I could wake earlier and do any exercise before the kids got up. It's also a great mood lifter to know my workout has already been done for the day.
* Find what exercise appeals to you. Love stretching? Then look into Yoga or Pilates. Love team sports? Then call your local sports club and sign up.
* Workout at home. Do some star jumps, grab a skipping rope, do some lunges, run up and down your stairs, do some sit ups, dance. Whatever you can, whenever you can.
* Trade exercise time with your partner, a neighbour or a friend. One looks after the kids, the other does their thing and then the next time, you swap. Simple.

Some movement is better than none and it helps to remember that this is a long term committment. The healthier you are, the happier you are and that can only be a good thing for your whole family.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips! Having everything ready to go is very helpful.