I get a lot of questions about my exercise routine on instagram stories, so to keep it simple, I thought writing a post about what I do would be helpful!
This is NOT a post on how to lose weight by working out, how to get rock hard abs, or a kick ass butt (my butt is actually what I am working on but lol the post wont go into that)
I am a work at home Mom of 3 kids, one of them a baby that is home with me 24-7 (he just is such a little mooch) My workout routine has changed numerous times over the years with the kids as my schedule has to align with theirs, which can be super frustrating and it took me a long time to find what works best for me. I now have a consistent workout schedule (4-6 days a week) and here is what finally worked for me, and its’ been three years so I feel like I can finally say I got this.
(also, during the newborn stage and suffering from utter sleep deprivation, I gave myself a long break, but was able to maintain my workouts while pregnant, Please listen to your body and make those judgment calls yourself and with your doctor)
So what this post is about is how to make exercise a consistent activity in your life. My goal is not to be a body builder, workout 2 hours a day or lose a ton of weight. I workout to remain healthy, active, strong, to stay in shape and it helps my depression. Never say never, but I am not super obsessed into working out and do not see that as ever happening. Exercise is just one essential part of my health routine. Although I do have baby pounds to lose, my overall goal is not to lose weight. (losing weight & toning is a great side effect though) I for sure kick up my exercises when I am more concerned with extra pounds or indulgence but it is not my main goal.
So, here we go:
- 1) Making myself and the workout a priority. Skipping a workout is no longer an option.
This is the number one reason why I did not workout consistently. I believe you will never workout consistently until you make it a PRIORITY.
What parent doesn’t struggle with making themselves a priority? Pulled in a thousand directions, I felt guilty choosing something that directly benefits only ME. However, after reaping the benefits of consistently working out (feel good about myself, more energy, looking better and helping my depression) I realized working out makes me a better Mom, wife and person. I was (and still am) bogged down with kid schedules, Mom duty, and work, so working out was the first thing to go from the to do list. Now my duties at home and work duties are a lower priority. I always have laundry backed up, what is one more day (or ten days ha)? I may have to stay up 30 minutes later to meet my work deadline. Skipping a workout is not my go-to option to get more time in the day. Working out ALWAYS gets done and I figure out how to handle the other responsibilities (& try to ignore piles of laundry and dishes).
I know we are all busy and we all have limited time, but if you want to make it work, working out has to be penciled in, added to a to do list, or however you manage yourself. Make it a priority and it will happen.
2. Choose a minimum, OBTAINABLE goal to reach.
Now that you have chosen working out as a priority, the habit needs to be established. Studies say it takes 66 days to establish a habit and routine. When I started at the gym again, I chose an easy exercise that I could do because I wanted the gym to become part of my daily routine. I knew it would give me an excuse to skip if I dreaded a workout or a class that was hard and instead of excusing myself, I chose a simple workout. So my goal, no matter how I feel, is 30 minutes on the exercise bike. It is easy, doable and I can look on my phone and space out- am I getting a good workout? Probably not, but it established the routine of me going nearly everyday. And those days I really didn’t feel like going, I said ok, I will scroll instagram and go on the bike for 30 minutes, I can at least do that. This is not to say I do not do other workouts; I do tons of different workouts- the objective here is to find something you will do no matter how you feel, no matter the time crunch, no matter any bullshit excuse you give for missing a workout- you choose something you CAN do no matter what.
Your goal may be your favorite 15 minute ab workout video. I have no idea what you may like but if you decide to stick to a very obtainable goal, you will meet it, find ways to make the time for it, feel good about yourself and continue to workout more and for longer. I recommend choosing something you enjoy or something easy. Depression gives me very low energy, so my minimum is 30 minutes on an exercise bike because even on my low energy days I can ride slow on a bike. ( I actually have 30 min workouts in my routine with interval training that kick my a$$, but with my depression I may not have that energy level, which is why I have that 30 min eeyore bike ride I insist on doing)
Once the daily habit is established, it becomes an easy, no brainer thing to accomplish. I do not workout 7 days a week and I still do have to miss a workout because my kids get sick or I had an event to be at or baby kept me up for 3 nights in a row, but my habit is now very established, so I can easily miss it without feeling bad and know I am picking it right back up, this is why I average 4-6 days a week. (Another rule for me is no less than 4 days a week working out)
3. Workout as early as possible and/or get dressed in workout gear first thing in morning
I am a work at home Mom, so I can be dressed in workout gear all day, which is not the case for a lot of people, but if it is an option for you, I say go for it, it helps me. Athi-leisure is very popular to wear these days, so hopefully you can find ways to work for you.
Sometimes, due to baby skipping naps or basically anything with the kids, I may not know when I can squeeze in my workout. So, I am always prepared! As soon as Cole goes down for his nap, I immediately start my workout. That way if he naps too short, I at least got my workout. Prior to Cole, I went directly from school drop off to the gym. I need to have my workout early in day or I do not have the motivation or energy to do it.
One of the most frequent questions I get on stories is how do I find the time to workout with the kids, life everything in general. That will be my next post- I fit in more exercise with weird tricks etc… But, I first wanted to write this post, because as I said in beginning, I believe that until working out is a priority, it just wont get done consistently.
I hope this helps you, I started 3 years ago and its worked for me and I did lose weight, maintained a healthy weight pregnancy at *ahem* an advanced age *ahem*, and I still have those days where I DO NOT WANT TO WORKOUT AT ALL. But, I get on my bike, probably am as slow as a turtle somedays, listen to Armchair Expert and I get it done. Good Luck!!
Me pregnant at gym 4 days before Cole came 🙂 Is it weird I kinda miss that belly?