Keeping fit as a busy mum can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the energy or motivation to exercise regularly. To get fit, feel good, be healthy, and act as an inspiring role model for your children, it is important that you learn how to motivate yourself, so you can exercise.
Exercise is not just an activity you should do to lose weight. Instead, it should be an activity that will enable you to look after your body, improve your health and wellbeing, boost your endurance, and live a happier life. If you are healthy and happy, then you are going to have more energy and time to spend quality time with your children. Not to mention it makes it much easier to run around after them, get involved with games, play with them at the park, and tackle daily chores that keep the house afloat.
It can be hard to find the motivation to exercise, but when you get started, you will only increase your energy and motivation. While you can find yourself in a catch 22 type situation, you can easily break out of the cycle and create good new habits.
To help you get started, here are some top tips.
#1 Don’t rely on motivation
It is a huge misconception that everyone is motivated to work out and that motivation drives their exercise regime. This is not always true for everyone. Instead, discipline is what pushes people to exercise on a regular basis. While there might be times you are motivated to work out, for example, because you have the energy or you want to reach a goal, you cannot rely on motivation to get you started.
Instead, you should make a commitment to exercise, and stick to it. This commitment should include what you are going to do, when you are going to make time for it, and how often you are going to exercise. Write it down, and make sure you follow through. The more you push past your inner critic and take a step towards exercising, the easier it will become. The first few weeks will be hard, but if you can stick to it, you will rewire your brain with your new task and create discipline for yourself. Start with small exercise commitments to help you build the habit. After a month, you can increase this if you wish to do so.
#2 Equip yourself
If you are not fully prepared to exercise, you will spend more time procrastinating and stressing, which will lead to making yourself feel overwhelmed, and ultimately, give up. Make sure you fully equip yourself to exercise.
You don’t need a lot to get started. The amount of equipment you obtain will entirely depend on your time, goals and budget. You can easily get started with sports clothes, a yoga mat and a small space to use. Alternatively, you can invest in dumbbells, a barbell and resistance bands. Make sure all of the items you intend to use are in a space and you can easily access them. You could also prepare them the day before, so they are ready for you to exercise straight away.
You should equip yourself with knowledge. Make sure you understand the basics of the activity that you are going to complete, and even watch some YouTube tutorials, or attend a class. This will ensure you are giving yourself the best chance to follow through with your commitment.
#3 Find something you enjoy
Exercise can often feel like a chore. This can make it much harder to get on with. Instead, you should find something that you enjoy.
You may wish to experiment with different styles of exercise, to begin with, so you can truly discover what you like and what you don’t like. Examples include weight lifting, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), barre, pilates, yoga, horse riding, gymnastics, Zumba, and much more. Fortunately, there is an endless list of exercise and physical activities that you can get involved with. You can also make it a family thing if you prefer, which means you have other people to do it with and make it easier to show up to and stick to. This could be a regular game of rounders, dance classes, or swimming. You could also pair up with a friend, to help keep each other accountable.
This will then make it easier to stick to a commitment, and you can equip yourself with the relevant tools and knowledge to give yourself the best chance. It is also extremely motivating when you are looking forward to exercising.
#4 Track your progress
Exercising can be demotivating if it feels like you are not getting anywhere. Think about why you want to exercise, and set yourself a goal. Exercise goals don’t have to have anything to do with weight. Instead, it can be related to the way you feel, your strength, or your endurance. You can set yourself small tests to complete to track your progress and small milestones that you can meet along the way. You should then reward yourself at each milestone so that you are positively reinforcing your actions. This can be anything from a spa day to a new outfit.
Make sure you write down your goals and keep them in a place that you can easily see on a regular basis. Review your goals and your progress regularly, to help you keep your eyes on the prize. Your goals can be flexible and adapted if your lifestyle changes.
Finding the motivation to exercise is not always about waiting for that feeling to come along and push you to work out. Instead, you need to learn about yourself and what you need and tailor your activity to best suit you. This means creating a routine and being disciplined, equipping yourself and removing any barriers to exercise, taking part in an activity that you enjoy, tracking your progress, and rewarding yourself at each milestone. If you follow these top tips, you’ll give yourself the best chance to exercise on a regular basis and feel happier, and healthier.