Back-to-school shopping is complete, temps are falling — at least into the double digits, and fall is right around the corner. Now is the time to dust off those well-intentioned fitness resolutions from January and jump start your workout routine.
Sticking with a regular exercise program is difficult. We all have jam-packed schedules. But for moms, it can seem impossible. Between caring for the children, workplace demands, errands, household chores, school, doctor’s appointments, and everything in-between, it’s easy to skip working out.
Virginia Slicker, head trainer at Milestone Lifestyle Fitness, a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer, and mom of two, share her best tips for making exercise a priority, and more importantly, a reality.
Consistency is Key
Consistency brings results and also makes exercise a habit. It doesn’t have to mean five or six days a week. You can begin slowly and gradually add to your routine.
“If you can commit to that times a week, that’s great," Slicker says. “Just aim for consistency.”
Sitting down with your calendar and scheduling exercise is a great way to be consistent and make your routine a priority.
“Look at the calendar and write it down," Slicker says. "Treat exercise as you would any other appointment. Schedule it as part of your day and make it non-negotiable.”
Have a Plan
It’s one thing to know when you’re going to work out, it’s another thing to know what you're going to do when that time comes. If you’re taking a class or working with a trainer, then this part has been done for you.
If not, it’s helpful to write down what you want to accomplish in advance to avoid wasting time.
Not sure what to do? Hire a trainer to devise a program for you that can be implemented on your own or search online for routines.
This can mean signing up for a class, finding a committed workout partner or even joining a running club. It's far easier to skip workouts when no one is waiting for you.
Slicker says, “Finding community with other like-minded people is more than a great motivator. I see it all the time in fitness classes and small group training sessions, people find inspiration, encouragement, and a great support system.”
Choose Exercise That You Enjoy
With so many fitness options available, there’s no reason to do a workout that you dread.
“When you find something you enjoy, you’ll look forward to working out, even if it’s tough,” Slicker says.
Make the Park Your Boot Camp
Slicker suggests throwing some weights in the bottom of the stroller and doing bicep curls with one arm while pushing with the other, then switch.
“Walking lunges while pushing the stroller will work your legs. Stop at a bench and do some triceps dips or push-ups. Add some hills to your walk.”
Ditch the Guilt
“I sit high on the mom guilt," Slicker says with a grin, “but we need to ditch it. Working out produces all the feel-goods by stimulating the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, brain chemicals that play an important part in regulating your mood.
"You’ll have more energy, patience, and be happier overall."
With so many options and opportunities, it's easier than ever to make fitness a part of your life.
Many gyms offer childcare. You can include the kids and make it a family affair. Sneak in a
home workout during nap time. The hardest part is deciding to do it.
Tami Brooks is a freelance writer based in East Texas.