My dad, an avid runner, used to have a t-shirt with a picture of a bowl of spaghetti on the front and the phrase “Run to Eat” on the back. I don’t remember what it was for or whom it was from, but I always loved it because it’s so true. Because I love to eat so much, I’ve had to find a healthy balance between food and exercise. Lucky for me, I’ve always loved being active so this hasn’t been too hard. For me, exercise is truthfully just as important and as a part of my routine as brushing my teeth or taking a shower. That being said, life does get busy (especially as a mom) so some days it can be a challenge to fit it in. Here are some things that have helped me stay on track:
Find something you enjoy doing! Exercise won’t seem like such a drag if you find an activity that you really enjoy. Make it fun! Ask a friend to walk with you so you can chat while you’re burning calories. Classes are great too because you’re often meeting new people at the same time. Do you like to dance? Try Zumba! There are a ton of different types of exercises out there just waiting for you to try.
Schedule in the time. Treat exercise like an appointment. Schedule it in to your day and stick with it. Make it part of your routine and you’ll be more likely to keep it up.
Every little bit counts! Don’t have an “all or nothing” attitude. If one day you can only fit in a walk around the block instead of your usual hour, don’t beat yourself up. Do what you can. The important thing is that you do SOMETHING as many days of the week as you’re able to.
Be creative. After my son was born, I had discontinued my gym membership. In those first few months, my exercise routine consisted of taking him for walks, but unfortunately the weather did not allow for me to do that every day. I started to get stir crazy! Instead of wallowing on those cold snowy days, I turned up the music, strapped on the Baby Bjorn and walked up and down our stairs for about 20 minutes straight. Sounds a little ridiculous, but it made me feel a lot better when I was done (and it was a great workout for my quads!!).
Train for something! I don’t know about you, but I love to set goals for myself. Having something to work towards is great motivation. For me, it has been training for triathlons each summer. But, there are all sorts of road races and charity walks out there. Sign up for one! Trust me, there is nothing better than the feeling of crossing that finish line J