Tip 1: Schedule Your Workout
This is my biggest piece of advice. I always recommend choosing the same time and day, each week, to work out. I’ve seen that consistency is key. If your schedule changes and that isn’t an option – write it in your planner, put it on the calendar, let your husband and family know when workout time is! Not only will scheduling it take the guess work out, it will help you stay accountable! If you have it written on your calendar that you’re going to Bootcamp class at 5:30 after work, then you’ll know exactly what to pack in your gym bag, what kind of dinner to plan for after, and there’s none of the “well I don’t know what to do, so I’ll just go home”. Planning it out will help you stick to it!
Tip 2: Utilize Your Time
You’ve got to find the right time that fits your schedule. If you work full time, it might be utilizing your lunch hour. Pack your tennis shoes and a change of clothes, change in the bathroom at work and hop outside (weather permitting) to walk or go to the park. If you’re close to a gym, go there for 20-30 minutes. I always used my lunch hour for 20-30 minutes of weights because I didn’t sweat that much. I could wipe down, freshen myself up and get back to work. Then, I’d head to the gym after work or later in the week to get some cardio in. If you’re a stay at home Mom, utilize nap times! All you need is 20-30 minutes of high intensity exercise to see change – that’s totally doable in a nap time. And I recommend doing it FIRST. The laundry and dishes will be there after. If your kids don’t nap, maybe they go to a preschool or mother’s day out program and you can use that time. Maybe you pack everybody up and go to a local park to walk the trails together or you grab the dog and head out for a walk in the neighborhood. Maybe you even pop in a workout DVD and have the kids do it with you or have quiet time while you knock it out. Whatever it looks like for you, find that time and USE IT!
Tip 3: Think Smart
I’ve learned this one the hard way. Think smart about your day’s schedule. If you usually exercise in the morning but can’t get it in that day because your schedule is different, or you have a doctor’s appointment, wear your workout clothes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn workout clothes to playdates or appointments. And hey, workout clothes are CUTE now so you can get away with it! That way, I’ve already got my workout clothes on and all I have to do is get the workout in as soon as I can. I’ve found far too many times that if I get home, have to change clothes, realize there’s laundry to fold or toilets to clean, my mind is going to go to those chores and say “ahhh, I need to do those”. If I’m already wearing my clothes, I fight that by saying “nope, my clothes are on, I’ll get it done first and then hit my to-do list after”. Maybe you work and you can’t wear your workout clothes – my advice: pack your gym bag and go straight to the gym! If you’ve already done tip 1 and let your family know it’s workout night, they’ll know dinner will be on table a little later so nobody will freak out. That means you’re freed up to head straight to the gym without heading home first! Less chances you’ll skip! If you workout at home, get it done before work or change into your clothes at work before you head home so you have to do it first thing when you get home!
Tip 4: Prioritize It
It has to be a choice. You have to prioritize it. I realize that not everybody loves working out, but if you want to see change in your body, mindset and energy, you’re going to have to work at it. You have to prioritize it. You have to be diligent about it. It’s just not going to happen if you’re not actively doing something to make it happen.
Tip 5: Get a Buddy
Until I had a workout partner in college I didn’t truly make it a lifestyle change. Once I had her to workout with, check in with, and keep me accountable, it became real. Knowing that I had somebody waiting at the gym for me or waiting to hear from me, post workout, was motivation to get it done! You can choose a coworker to go with you at lunch, you can meet your best friend at the trails for a run, you can call up another stay at home Mom and meet her and her kids at the park for a walk and picnic lunch after. You can even have somebody you text after you workout to check in that way! Get a buddy and do it together! I host monthly challenge groups that offer an easy way for motivation and accountability and have seen the importance of it first hand. I’d love to have you in a group! Just find what works for you!
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