We all do it without even thinking about it. Every day. You get up, take care of your family, do whatever needs to be done, and get through the day. Why? Well… because you have to. You are the Mom. I call that Mom-ivation. It drives you to take care of business, even when all you want to do is lay in bed! I think it is great. It ensures our children are always taken care of and have what they need, but what about us? Do we have that same drive to take care of ourselves? Most of us don’t. But we need to….
If you hop out of bed in the morning and eat a great breakfast, then head off to the gym or to go for a run…. good for you. You are a step or two ahead of the herd. I consistently work out 4-5 times a week, but let’s be real, it isn’t because I am driven to do so. I eat a relatively poor diet, I drink beer and I’m over 40. So for me, it’s about keeping the balance. If I didn’t exercise, I would be a mess. I have forced myself to maintain this balance for years… and now, I’m actually starting to enjoy it. Maybe it’s because I feel good, I’m getting stronger, or… it just gets addicting if you do it long enough. Wherever you are on the spectrum of workout motivation, we would probably all agree, it’s not our top priority. There are always barriers, always a reason to skip it, and so many other things that need to get done. Me too, I get it. But we need to make taking care of ourselves a bigger deal… if for no other reason, than to be able to keep up with our kids! To be active, fun, involved and chase them around the yard! If the result is that you feel and look better too…. Bonus 🙂 I have put together a basic guideline to help you get started, or to get you moving if you are just a little stuck.
- Doing ANYTHING is better than doing nothing. If you are not very active, that’s okay, start with some thing small, like going for a walk or a 20 minute cardio routine.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself. Know where you are at physically and work from there. If you haven’t worked out in years, you shouldn’t start with P90X or CrossFit. Both get great results, but you’ll want to get your muscles stronger and used to moving before you dive in to something this intense. But if that is the level you are at… then kill it!
- Write a workout schedule. You are more likely to stick to it, if it is planned in advance. I write mine for a month in advance, then make adjustments as I go if needed. I recommend planning a week at a time if you are just starting!
- Work out at least 3 days a week to start. Add a fourth day for yoga or a good stretching routine to keep your muscles from being sore.
- Challenge yourself. If your work outs are too easy, kick up the intensity or level of difficulty. Or add in a run on a day you don’t have a work out scheduled.
- Track your progress. You can use a fitness app or write it down in a journal, doesn’t really matter, but it is rewarding to watch your progression and see the number of work outs you’ve completed grow.
- Set goals and reward yourself. Make your goals achievable, but not too easy. (lose 5 pounds or complete scheduled workouts for 2 weeks) Then treat yourself when you meet your goals. That doesn’t mean binge and undo all the effort you have put in… But let yourself feel rewarded. Get a pedicure or buy yourself new yoga pants!
- Have fun!
I’m attaching a copy of my work out schedule for this month to give you some ideas. This isn’t my easiest schedule, nor is it my hardest. Personally, I do the bare minimum all winter… Then bump it up a notch in spring when I’m feeling a little bit more motivated and to start preparing for hiking season. In the summer, comes my most intense work out schedule as I start to prepare for Tough Mudder in the fall.
Hope this helps. Be well…. go out there and get moving!!