This post is from contributing writer Jen from Forever, For Always, No Matter What
A couple of years ago making exercise a daily priority wasn’t on my to do list. I don’t know about you, but as a homeschooling mom of a busy family (is there any other kind?), my to do list is overflowing most days. Thankfully, I got motivated and determined to make a change. Since that time exercise has become part of my daily routine, a permanent part.
Exercising is not about trying to look like a swimsuit model on the cover of a magazine. Exercise is about having increased energy and better health. While we all know exercise helps in controlling weight, reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, as well as lowering the risk for both breast and colon cancers, exercise also gives a boost to our mood, our memory, and our immune system. Those are some pretty good reasons to exercise for me.
It’s not easy to carve out the time in the beginning, but once you start feeling the benefits and seeing the results, it’s a no brainer. Here are some ways that I have found to make time for exercise even on the busiest of days.
1. Exercise First Thing – The best time for me to exercise is early in the morning. I can get up, exercise, have quiet time for my daily readings/prayers, and hit the shower all before my children are up for the day. Then I have the rest of the day to devote to them.
2. Lay Out Your Clothes – Before you go to bed for the night, get out your workout clothes. Lay them on your bed or put them in the bathroom, which ever is easiest for you to find in the morning. When you get up, put them on! It’s not necessary to have fancy workout attire, whatever is comfortable works. Don’t let not having the right thing to wear get in the way of exercising.
3. Plan Your Workout for the Next Day – Before you go to sleep, plan what exercise you are going to do the following morning. If you go to bed with a concrete idea of, “tomorrow I’m going to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes” instead of “tomorrow I’m getting up to do something” it is less likely you will hit snooze when the alarm goes off. I’m usually using a specific program, so my calendar is already laid out for me each day. I love that it really helps me to stay on track.
4. Find a Workout Buddy/Accountability Partner – I’m fortunate that my workout buddy has been my husband. We help to keep each other motivated and accountable with both our fitness and eating healthy. We enjoy working out together and encouraging one another.
Find a neighbor or a sister to be a walking buddy or even find an on-line friend that you can e-mail or text on a daily basis, each sharing what workout you did for the day or what goal has been reached. Which brings me to my final tip,
5. Write Down Your Goals – We’ve all heard “A goal isn’t a goal until you write it down”. It really does help to jot down small things like “for the next 30 days I’m going to exercise 4 times per week”, “I’d like to lose 5 pounds,” or “I’m not going to eat ice cream for the month of July.” Share your goals with your workout buddy and then you can share your successes too!
Exercising and eating healthy can both prolong and improve quality of life. We have lots of people who depend on us for many things. We owe it to them and to ourselves to be good stewards of the body God has entrusted us with.
We also need to set good examples for the rest of the family. I think it’s important that our children see us make exercise a daily part of our routine, hopefully it will stick with them to make exercise a life long habit too.
Jen is a wife to one amazing husband and mom to six energetic kids. Visit Forever, For Always, No Matter What where she blogs about their Catholic faith, homeschooling and adoption. All while trying to fit in exercise and healthy eating.