Great intentions are easily dashed by poor planning and last minute schedule zappers. It is so hard to go through your week and add the 150 to 250 minutes of exercise that you should be getting. Below are some tips to keep you on track and reaching your health and fitness goals.
Work Out in the Morning. I’ve learned from owning a Pilates studio for 11 years that the best way to get your workout in is to do it first thing in the morning. If you’re an early bird this could be simple enough, a slight adjustment to your schedule. If the idea of getting up an hour early to drudge around your neighborhood is painful, consider a quick 15 minutes of yoga or stretching or light cardio and then you’ll have less to fit into your day later.
Get Your Support Group to Buy In. Your friends and especially your family need to be on board with your plans. You’ll need your husband to watch the kids while you’re at the gym, or to set up a baby-sitting swap with a friend. Even better instead of meeting your friend for your usual cup of tea and fattening muffin, how about taking a fitness class together instead?
Combine activities. Take the family on a hike for a weekend activity instead of to the movies. How about exercising around the soccer field with another parent instead of sitting on the sidelines with a cup of coffee. If you live close enough walk to do some errands instead of taking the car.
Assess your schedule. Look at your usual weekly activities and how much time it takes you. How much time for work, family activities, cleaning, etc. Where are you wasting time? Do you have a spare afternoon that you can squeeze a workout in?
Turn off the TV. It’s been proven, the more TV you watch the fatter you are. The average American watches over 6 hours of TV a day!! Just reduce that by an hour a day, workout instead and you’ll easily get your exercise time in.
Have a backup plan. You had to work late and missed your Zumba class at the gym, drat. It’s ok if you have a backup, hop on the elliptical if you can still get the gym or tuck away a few fitness DVDs at your house so you can workout when you finally do get home.
Start Small. If you’re transitioning from couch potato to a whole new lifestyle don’t try to do 150+ minutes of exercise right away. Start with small 15 to 20 minute exercise sessions and gradually built up to 30 minutes. It’ll give your body and your mind time to adjust to the exercise. Once you’ve got a routine down then add 5 minutes per week until you’re at the activity level you want.
Pick a few of these strategies and see how they work for you. I’d love to know your results! If you have any other tips, please share them.