Monday, February 6, 2012

10 Tips to Fit Exercise Into Your Schedule

Multitasking with my iPad

Happy Monday - or, shall we say, Motivation Monday.

How many of you made time for yourself today to exercise? Especially those of you with kids?  Are you following your New Year's resolution to exercise more?

Well, February is American Heart Month so it's the perfect time to motivate yourself to make sure exercise becomes a regular part of your life. Need more motivation besides wanting to stick to a goal and follow it? According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. So, let's get rid of the excuses and find some ways to fit exercise into your life.

Here are ten tips to help you get motivated:

1) Find Something You Enjoy:

There are so many different options when it comes to exercise that if you try something and don't like it, try again! Run, bike, walk, swim, Zumba, pilates, bodypump, yoga, kickboxing, Jazzercise, water aerobics, bootcamp, rowing, etc. Ok, you get my point, the list could go on and on.

2) Get Into A Routine:

Schedule your workouts just like an important work appointment and commit to 3-5 workouts a week for a month. (When just starting out, if you're really sore continue to stick to your commitment even if just exercising easy for 20 minutes.) You'll be surprised at how exercise will become a part of your routine.

3) Change Into Your Workout Gear:

I'm not sure why but simply putting on my workout clothes gets me into the mindset to workout. Sometimes I'll just put my workout clothes on first thing in the morning even if I'm not planning to exercise for a while. I always end up working out no matter how tired I am or what comes up that might normally dissuade me from exercising.

4) Start Moving:

If you don't feel like exercising, tell yourself you'll just exercise for 10 minutes and if you don't feel like continuing you will stop. Sometimes simply telling yourself is enough to get you moving - and once you're exercising you'll more than likely continue to exercise past those 10 minutes.

5) Get A Workout Buddy:

I've blogged about it before, but by committing to another person you are much more likely to stick with a workout program. Plus it's just that much more fun to chat with a friend and makes the time pass more quickly.

6) Invest In Exercise Equipment:

Eliminate the excuse that it's too far or you're too tired to drive to the gym. I recently purchased an indoor stationary bike and it's been a great investment. I can ride while I watch a TV show at night or while my kids are napping and there is no need to drive to the gym.

7) Don't Get Stuck:

Some people get a set number in their mind as to what a "good" workout is (for example, at least a 5 mile run or a 45 minute workout), and if they don't have time then it's not worth doing. Get rid of this negative thinking.  Even a 15 minute walk is better than nothing in the long run.

8) Set A Goal:

Set a goal for yourself and tell someone about it - whether it's running 3 miles without stopping or signing up for a fun run/walk.  A goal will motivate you to continue to exercise especially if people know about it and will hold you accountable. Better yet, get someone to do it with you! 

9) Use Technology:

With technology there are so many possibilities. Download some music that motivates you to workout and keeps you moving by taking your mind off of the task at hand. Or download your favorite movie/series on your phone but only allow yourself to watch it while working out. You'll be surprised at how quickly the time passes when watching an episode of your favorite show. 

10) Don't Use Kids As An Excuse:

Yes, things get more complicated when you have kids but you can still find the time to exercise. Find a gym that has a daycare included in the monthly fees or put in a workout dvd and exercise during naps or before the kids get up in the morning. Even better, exercise with your kids and show them how important it is to stay healthy. The Wii Fit can become a fun family time while getting in some exercise. Jump rope with your kids and see who can do it the longest. Get creative and have fun! Also, take advantage of family if they offer to watch your kids. My father-in-law comes over two times a week on a regular basis so that I can exercise. Not only does it get me out the door, but he and my girls get quality time together.

Get out there and get your heart pumping!

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