We’re all guilty of putting things off – especially when it comes to exercise and keeping fit.
For the past ten years I have been on a seemingly endless cycle of being pregnant and breastfeeding and now, with four young kids, lack of time is my number one excuse. It’s hard enough getting time alone, let alone finding time to get out for regular exercise.
I can’t just duck out to the gym or head off on a run whenever the mood strikes me.
But you have to start somewhere. But where? And how?
1. Be kind to yourself: Post baby bodies need looking after, as do those who haven’t exercised for a while. Start slow and easy and build up as your strength and confidence grows.
2. Keep it fun: Hate running? Join an indoor netball team, or start swimming. Or is bootcamp more your thing? As long as your body’s moving, you’ll start to see results.
3. Choose exercise that you enjoy: It doesn’t need to be hard work. And if you can try to work in incremental exercise while spending time with your children, even better. Although I have discovered that the plank is that much harder when a three year old climbs on your back.
4. Consistency is key: Don’t impose a tight schedule which you can’t stick to. Even twice a week will make a big difference. Perhaps you could go for a run while your kids are training? Do a few laps while they’re having swimming lessons?
5. Be flexible: Planning a set time and locking it in is great in theory but sometimes your children will have other ideas. The ability to move your workout to a later time or another day will give you the peace of mind to make your workouts manageable.
6. Bring a buddy: Train with a friend or in a group – support is the best motivator. This year I am making a comeback to football (soccer). Being part of a team that depends on you is the biggest motivation I could find!
7. Make your workouts work for you: Seek out guidance. The most effective workout begins with the right instructions – you need to know what to do and why to reduce the risk of injury and work smart.
8. Choose a full body workout: It increases your metabolism and helps to burn fat faster while incorporating ‘problem areas’ with designated machines and exercises.
9. Be realistic: It takes time! Set small goals so you can see your progression and then be sure to celebrate your successes!
What’s stopping you from getting started?