“I’m so tired”. “I can’t get off the couch”. “I think I’m coming down with a fever”. “It’s too wet to jog outside”… do any of these excuses sound familiar? Making the call to ditch your workout seems far too easy when life and parenthood gets in the way. However, having kids should never be an excuse why you shouldn’t keep fit.
If this is happening to you more often than you’d like to admit, it can end up being a vicious cycle that sees your exercise routine fall to zero. To avoid dusty trainers, keep these things in mind to get you back in the game.
Focus on the end
Instead of thinking about those first minutes of exercise (where your body is just getting used to the idea), think about how you will feel when it’s over. Even though you might be sore, sweaty and red-faced at the end, you’ll also be experiencing the high that often comes post-exercise.
Find a fitter workout buddy
If you want to push yourself more, a great idea is to find a friend who is a bit fitter than you are to train with. You won’t be able to slack off when you’re running with someone faster than you, so it’s a good motivator. There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to spur you on – who knows, you may beat her one day soon!
Fake it till you make it
A bit of roleplay can be helpful when it comes to getting in the right mindset for training. By acting like a person who loves exercise, you can trick your mind into thinking that you really do. Simply tell yourself that you’re fit, toned and powerful (or whatever your goal is) and act accordingly.
Try something fun
Exercise doesn’t always have to fit into a traditional box, such as running or an aerobics class. Finding something that you can actually enjoy is a sure-fire way to keep you going back for more. Why not give something completely different a go like indoor rock climbing? You might just find yourself really enjoying it.
There’s nothing like the promise of something special to keep you focused on the bigger picture. By setting up some kind of treat or reward for completing workouts or achieving specific goals, you may find your motivation kicks in. You could treat yourself to new trainers when you beat a personal best for a 5km run.
Track your progress
Most people don’t think to make any notes about their training. But by keeping track of how fast you ran 1km or how many push-ups you can do without stopping, you’ll have some really interesting comparisons to make in three or six months’ time. It’s the only real way you can see that you are improving – and seeing improvement is a powerful way to push yourself even further.
Break it down
As a busy parent it can be really tough to fit an hour-long session of exercise into your usual day, especially if you don’t have daily support for child minding. Instead of full exercise sessions, break it down into 10 or 15-minute sessions instead. This way you are more likely to fit them into your busy days whenever you can.