For the mere mortals like my self, when it comes to exercise the main issue is how to overcome the saboteur in me, that inner voice telling me ‘what’s the point, you won’t keep it up’ or ‘One day of exercise won’t make a difference’. That voice is even stronger when the exercise plan is to take place at home - ‘but you are comfortable on the couch’ or ‘you can’t leave Charlie alone’.
My problem has never been about sticking though the workout once I actually start, it’s making sure I come back time and time again to develop a consistency to finally show that inner saboteur that she has no idea what she is talking about.
Whether you are a new mum, stay at home mum or working from home and going to the gym is just not possible then let me help you motivate your self to exercise from home.
Equip your self
When it comes to exercise equipment you can have as little or as much as you like. I have an elliptical trainer for cardio, TRX and some loose wights for resistance training.
But if you are just starting out you could use what is available to you without spending money. You could do cardio by skipping rope, running up and down stairs or dancing. You could use different objects in the house for resistance (milk cartons, food cans, etc). I have a couple of favourite DVDs with workouts that I use but if you don’t want to spend money on it you can always find things on YouTube.
Know what to do
One word ‘Pinterest’. As I’m not a PT but wanted a meaningful workout I went online and searched. There is so much free information out there! I have two boards on Pinterest if you’d like to see what I like. One is called “My Fitness Mission” and the other is a more equipment specific board called “Bosu Ball, TRX, Bands Workouts”. The other place I go for work out plans is YouTube. I highly recommend Blogilates!
Make a Plan
Plan your exercise around your life not your life around exercise.
Make living your life the focus and you will surprisingly find your self with time to exercise. I have a calendar where I look at what my commitments are for the week once I have planned it all then I look at where I can fit in 1 hour (including shower) to do my exercise. If you plan your day around exercise you will be talking your self out before you started. But if plan your life, you will be amazed when you all of a sudden find your self with a spare hour to do exercise.
The leotard!!! How good were the 80s? Make your self a uniform. You will need: Shorts, trackies, t-shirts, a hoody, a great exercise bra and some comfortable runners. This could be some old baggy cloths to start off or you could reward your self with some brand new exercise cloths. The most important part of your uniform is to be comfortable (not too tight) AND look good. You want to look forward to wearing the outfit!
I have resorted to every trick in the book, if I’m on the elliptical trainer I will put on my Netflix or YouTube, anything to keep my focus, so that the exercise is executed as I focus on my show. This technique has helped me last longer on the cardio part of my work out. Music is a great way to set a faster pace. I have motivated my self to do stairs at home for 10 min longer because I’d had two great songs playing which I wanted to hear to the end. You can follow my play list on Spotify if you are after some fast pace exercise music. For Spotify list click here, sign up it's free and follow me.
Problem solve the excuses
Make a list of all the excuses you make. Once you have the finished list go through each item and find at least two solutions and implement them.
Some common excuses for mummies in particular are around kids & lack of time.
Did you know that there are many exercises you can do with kids, such as running on the oval with them, incorporating them into your routine they think it’s play time.
You can work out a schedule with your your hubby so he watches them of the hour it takes you to exercise and shower.
You could get up an hour earlier or go do it after they go to bed or for a nap. Can you get a baby sitter? Ask a friend, or family member to help look after them for an hour.
If your excuse is lack of motivation then surround your self with motivating information. I follow several people on Facebook that upload daily, as well as YouTube and Instagram.
When I’m sitting on the couch and talking my self out of it I go to Instagram and look through my feed.
Variety is key
I don’t know about you but I will not stick to any plan if it’s not interesting. I need to be challenged and stimulated to ‘look forward’ to the exercise hour. Actually that goes for both food and exercise in my case. In addition to the exercise regime you have to do, find something you like to do, such as dance, hiking, yoga, walking, swimming or paddle boarding.
Go at your own pace
Listen to your body and not your mind!
Your body will tell you if you're truly pushing your self, if you are over doing it or simply not doing enough.
Your saboteur will always insist you take the path of least resistance. But your body can not lie!
If you are doing an exercise and you feel your muscle burn then you are doing the right thing. If you feel sore in your joints then re-assess what you are doing as you may not be doing the exercise the correct way and if you feel nothing then up the KGs you are lifting or do more repetitions until you feel the muscle burn.
Change one habit at a time
They say it takes 21 days to change your habit.
First change one habit at a time. I use the visual method to help me change my habits. Take 21 posit notes. stick them to the fridge. Each posit note represents one day of your new habit. Every time you complete your exercise hours rip off one of the notes off the fridge.
Recruit some cheerleaders
Enlist the help of others to keep you motivated and on track. Ask you husband, mother, sister, brother or next door neighbour to help you get out of a rut or to push you to stay on the path. Find positive people in your life, find people you look up to who can help push you by example or people who will help by proactively offering to look after the kids.
I am not a fitness coach or personal trainer but I am the expert on self sabotaging any and all efforts to reach my fitness goal. The above list is one I use on an every day basis and it has helped me get back to regular exercise. It has not been painless and it is not over yet, but it is what helps me stay motivated and push my self to change my habits and exercise at home.
I hope this has helped you and I would love to hear from you. What are some must haves on your exercise music list? How do you overcome moments of self sabotage? AND What is your most used excuse not to get going?