Make Exercise a Habit & Have a Fitness Goal
It’s weeks into the new year now, and a good time to check up on your fitness goals. Some have started out strong in January and kept to their weekly regime. We are busy women and moms and life is getting busier. Kids are asking for your time at the end of the day, work deadlines are creeping up again, just more demands on life. We all started January saying many things. It could have been “I will exercise more”, or “I will slow down life”, or, “I will spend more time with my kids”. Whatever it is, unless we plan on it, it won’t happen. What gets scheduled gets done!
Let’s focus on the exercise for today. We know it’s good for us. It’s not only good for our body composition, but also for our brains, our hearts and our cells! People talk about it all the time. ”I have to get back to the gym”, or “I have to get out for my walk.” As a fitness instructor, I see and feel first hand what cardiovascular exercise can do for us busy moms. Of course we read and hear about heart disease in women – growing numbers are getting a little crazy! Regular physical exercise is needed to keep this condition away. And don’t forget how a good workout can relieve stress…oh how we love to let the sweat roll off; it’s more than just droplets being released. All the bad energy, that stress of the day can just be released. And the emotional and mental benefit – we forget about all our concerns in our life and concentrate on the workout.
The big question is how to fit exercise into our busy lives. How do we get into a fitness habit and make it a routine? Some of us have small kids and are physically tired and find it hard to find the time in the day. Others have older kids, and are working during the day and find ourselves mentally tired and again find it hard to find the time in the day.
I have experienced this all first hand. I was on the exercise roller coaster for years. I would be diligent for months then life would happen and I would take a break. So how do you get back into that routine after taking a break?
Here are some suggestions to get you going:
- Try a few classes at a gym or private classes close to home (proximity to your home or office is key);
- I am a huge cheerleader for Zumba. Dance fitness classes are not only fun but also the music and the moves get you energized. There is a boost you get from dancing to fun music, clapping your hands to the beat and smiling during a class. I hear women say they are so focused on what steps to do that for the hour their mind is not thinking about everything else happening in their lives.
- Ask friends where they workout (always a motivator to have a friend pick you up); find a walking partner or sign up for a class with that friend, the accountability factor is a sure winner.
So maybe getting out of the house is not the option right now, as that means time away from the kids, whether young or old. Or maybe you don’t have an hour a day to workout. No worries, I also am a huge cheerleader for creating a morning ritual of 10-12 minutes of exercise a day. If you start small and simple you are sure to have success.
Here are a few ideas of what to do in the morning before starting your busy day:
- Stretches – Yoga sun salutations for example are a great way to get you moving.
- Jumping jacks: do a series of 1 minute of jacks followed by 30 seconds of rest; do this 10 times and you have a 15 minute workout done!
- Squats and push ups! You can do this in your home, yes you can. Do 10 squats then 10 push ups right away. Repeat 2 more times with a 15 second rest in between each set.
I truly believe in the morning exercise ritual. Exercise in the morning, for adults and kids alike, do wonders for our day. You will feel more energized and be able to give more to the people around you.
So pick one thing, one thing you can do starting tomorrow, put it in your calendar and go get it done! And remember, consistency is the key. We all know it; we just have to do it. If we practice we get better. So if you practice showing up at a class or going for that walk everyday, or doing jumping jacks in your kitchen, it will be easier to do it each time. It may just become a habit!
Like this post? Read more tips from Binu’s “Shape UR Life” column.
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