We’ve all gone through phases where our health and fitness was on point. We were motivated, we worked out hard, we ate right and felt amazing. And at some point we’ve stopped working out because…well, life happens, and we can’t seem to get back into the habit. For me, it’s the start. The first few days are the hardest, but if I can be consistent I can keep going. Just getting started can be hard for many of us though. We’re busy, our calendars are full, our kids have 35 different activities we have to drive them to, our baby was up all night. As mom’s, we are constantly being pulled in a million directions and one of the first things to fall off our agenda for the day is exercise, when really it should be one of our top priorities!
Here’s how to make working out a habit.
Find a workout buddy // Not only is finding a workout buddy a great way to stay motivated, it’s also a great way to stay connected with friends! As mom’s we often lose contact with our friends, and it’s so important for us to keep those friendships in tact. Find someone who will hold you accountable to your exercise routine and schedule. We never want to let our friends down. Or workout with your significant other! My hubby has always been a huge motivator for me and he’s so encouraging. So when we plan to work out at a certain time I know I need to make it a priority. Even if he’d be okay with me taking a day off, the thought of letting him down is motivation enough for me to put on my sports bra and gym shoes and get moving.
Use a calendar // Schedule in your workouts people! I write out my daily tasks and one of them is always exercise. Sometimes it ends up getting cut short, but I got moving and I didn’t let other priorities outweigh my “me” time.
Stop the excuses // Y’all know how I feel about excuses from this post, and it 100% applies to exercise. We must hold ourselves accountable if we want to make working out a habit. No more excuses people! We all have 20-30 minutes a few days a week to focus on ourselves and our health. Of course we all have other things we could be doing, like watching that show with our spouse or sleeping in an extra 30 minutes. Why not workout with your spouse instead, and get up early if you don’t have time in the afternoons/evenings to work out. I’ve found that when I’m tired I sometimes get the best workouts in. And I come out feeling amazing. No one ever regrets a workout, but they do regret sitting on their ass for the 5th day in a row eating takeout.
Be ready for the unexpected // Sometimes life happens and we can’t make it to our favorite barre class at our studio, or we don’t have time to drive to the gym and get in a decent workout. When situations like that come up, instead of using it as an excuse and doing nothing, use it as an opportunity to improvise. I love at home workouts (I only workout at home….I don’t have a gym membership) and have created quite a few that are simple and take less than 30 minutes to complete. Just search under my health & fitness category and you’ll find some easy to do at home workouts.
Utilize childcare options // Almost every gym out there now has childcare. Take advantage of it! It gives your kids a chance to play with other little ones and it gives you some time for yourself. And get them going their young. We waited too long with Little A and she struggled to adapt to the childcare situation (since we had a nanny) so it made it hard for the hubs and I. We also went to a private gym for a while that didn’t have childcare, but we were able to bring her and she sat and watched me workout. Most kids can handle a movie, game or coloring for 30-45 minutes while you get your sweat on. And don’t be afraid of leaving them with strangers. I’ve found that most gyms require their childcare workers have background checks and be CPR certified.
Celebrate your successes // This one is huge. You made exercise a priority 4 days in a row. Be proud of yourself! You improved your 5k time by 30 seconds. Celebrate that! Don’t forget to celebrate the small accomplishments you make. We often get discouraged because we don’t see instant results. “Oh I tried the gym for a week but I didn’t lose any weight, so I quit going.” I’ve heard that SO. MANY. TIMES! It takes time and consistency to get results; not to mention good eating habits and hard work. So even if you aren’t seeing immediate results, don’t give up. Celebrate your successes along the way.
I remember how I felt last summer, right when I get pregnant; I was in amazing shape, my diet was on point and I felt awesome! And I know I can get back there again. That right there gives me motivation and makes me want to get back into the habit of working out.
We all have slip ups, but being able to get back on the fitness train and not let those excuses stand in our way will keep us motivated and help make working out a habit.
What helps you keep your fitness routine going so it becomes a habit?