5 Simple Steps to Get Started with Exercise
– created for my fellow busy moms!!!
The New Year is literally just around the corner, and with it comes resolutions. For many people, this means 2 weeks of drastic change followed by 50 weeks of broken promises to ourselves. Then we count on making a fresh start the following year.
Being untrue to our convictions leaves us feeling defeated, frustrated, and just plain bad about ourselves. It’s almost worse than if we’d just decided not to change at all.
Here’s a truth you might find hard to believe, (I didn’t believe it for a really long time myself). The more we exercise, the easier it is to do and to actually like it!
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There are a few tricks to getting started, and that’s what I want to help you with today! Here are five simple tips to help you get started with exercise right now:
1) DECIDE what you want your results to be
Think about it like planning a road trip. Before you gather your map, fill the gas tank, pack your bags, and start the ignition… you first choose a destination!
So the easiest way to decide on a starting point is to know what you want to get out of it in the end. Then make sure your activities align with that. Is your goal solely to run a race and feel the exhilaration of crossing the finish line with your family & friends cheering you on? Or are you more concerned with losing that extra 10 pounds you can’t seem to shake? The workouts and lifestyle adjustments for one goal likely will not be the same for the other.
2) Find an activity you LIKE
If you’ve always hated running, don’t start off by deciding to train for a 5K. Likewise, avoid swearing to get on the treadmill daily if you get bored easily. You’ll dread the monotony of your sessions, and it will be a lot harder to stick it out.
Instead, try something new you’ve been interested in trying. Alternately, think back to activities you enjoyed as a child and reflect on what aspects you liked.
Did you enjoy team sports or prefer solitary activities? Did your favorite pastimes take place inside or outdoors? Did it feel more rewarding to get recognition or to know you had reached a personal goal?
Were you too timid, nervous, or unsure of yourself to really enjoy any activities? (That’s how it was for me as a child, so it took me awhile to figure out what types of exercise I like most. It’s been mostly by trial & error that I’ve found what works best for me and is most enjoyable. Sometimes trying new things and enjoying the process of learning about yourself is fun too!)
3) START at a manageable pace
Start in alignment with the level you are at right now (no judgement). Then gradually increase the challenge level/length of your workouts.
Going from zero to 60 right from the start can burn us out before we even get to see any results – which is pretty much a death sentence for any type of attempt at living healthier. Instead, choose a steady pace that’s doable and you will stay committed to, like 30 minutes 3 days a week to start versus 1 hour daily 6x a week.
Whatever you decide on, it must fit within the scope of what you are honestly able to keep up with for longer than just a couple of weeks if you want to feel the benefits of doing it at all.
4) COMMIT to a schedule
Once you’ve decided on the type of activity and duration/number of sessions for each week, the next step is to pencil it into your calendar and make it non-negotiable!
Choose a time that works best with your energy levels and current schedule. For example, I like to do my workouts first thing in the morning, before my kids wake up – it gets it out of the way for the day, helps boost my energy, gets my head clear for the rest of my day – and, honestly, I like to not have that hanging over my head all day as something I still need to get done! When my kids wake up, I feel hugely accomplished for the day already!
5) Don’t allow yourself to feel selfish
It’s easy to feel like there are SO many other things we should be doing, with mile-long to-do lists and a home full of people vying for our attention. But that’s precisely why it’s vital that we do this! [Tweet “Self-care is NOT SELFISH”]
It benefits us AND our families when we’re healthy, calm, and energetic. We can show up more fully when we feel rejuvenated and just plain happier in our own skin.
We also teach our kids the value of self-care and healthy habits, not just to look good but to FEEL GOOD and to be good to ourselves.
Let’s NOT make empty promises to ourselves. Instead, let’s resolve to make a simple change to our daily routines that will benefit our health and our families for decades to come!
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Happy HEALTHY New Year!
I’m on a mission to help you be healthier and happier in the most simple and fun ways possible. If you’d like help creating wellbeing habits that last, check out my self-paced online course that makes it easy with microsteps!