Guest Post By Liz Donnelly of www.FamilyFitnessGuru.com
1. Put on that fitness-minded personality
Wether you desire a flat belly or just the time to workout, you have to start it all with your attitude. If you are determined to improve your fitness “no matter what,” the you will most likely be successful. Usually this takes the manifestation of anger with your appearance or lack of energy or poor health. Once you’ve made up your mind to be fit, then it’s time to don that “fit-minded personality.”
This is where you tell yourself multiple times daily that you have a tight mid-section, that you deserve a flat belly, if that’s your goal, for instance. Promise yourself that you’ll do something every day to work to that end. Your subconscious will listen to you. It doesn’t decipher between good and bad affirmations, it will simply apply what you always tell it. Are you saying or letting others say that you’re “fat” or “overweight” or “thick-waisted”? Time to change those words into “slender” or “sleek” or “tight”.
This is also part of changing yourself from the top down, so to speak. What you think about yourself has great impact on your esteem, performance and outcomes. For example, becoming more aware of your body will get you to focus on changes to make like sitting or standing tall to prevent your belly from popping outward. You can apply fixing yourself from the top down in all aspects of your life not just fitness. (For example, telling yourself to have patience will help you be more inclined to notice those times when you are losing your temper.)
The big lesson here, especially if you’re the kind of mom or dad who puts him or herself last on the priority list, is that you do need your self-improvement time and that you do need the increased energy, self confidence, strength, etc. to help you meet your many demands, especially keeping up with your kids, right?
So the next step is just as important:
2. Get educated on fitness
So many people lose their desire to workout and eat well because they either tune out the important messages that tell them why they must do so, or they possibly are not aware of the reasons. So the more you educate yourself on exercise and nutrition, the better off you’ll be to be inspired to keep yourself and your family health and active.
This website is a good place to start. In particular, you can get FREE downloadable booklets on exercises for children and for yourself by subscribing to FamilyFitnessGuru updates. Look at the upper right side of the page above the side margin.
There are also a host of books on the topic of fitness and articles in the paper on almost a daily level. Scour what you can and be informed. After all, you know yourself and your family best and you will remain motivated to stay fit the more you keep in touch with good information.
3. Now, it’s time to make time for fitness
Getting a better working body does take time. If your particularly out of shape, then you must realize that it probably took some time for you to degenerate to this level. Even if you relatively fit, you still need to build in time for your workouts. Talk it over with your spouse, partner or own brain (if you’re a single parent like me) and literally write down and schedule your workouts.
For me, I have to do some of my workouts during the week before I teach my 5:45 a.m. Fitcamp class. At other times, I have to schedule evenings after the kids go to bed. If you are with a partner, then you can alternate times to best suit your schedules, especially if the kids are awake and need supervision.
If you’re a single parent and you are the residential parent, meaning the kids are with you the majority of the time, then you will have to do a little creative planning and think outside the box as to how you’ll get child care and get the freedom to work out. Many gyms have daycare-style facilities at which you can leave your kids for the duration of your exercising. Of course, if you don’t belong to a gym, then your next course of action is enlisting babysitting help with neighbors, friends or relatives. The next step is to join a local civic group that has a lot of parents as members (like a Junior Women’s Club (for moms) or Early Childhood PTA or regular PTA (for moms and dads). Some times making inquiries within groups like these will give you leads of fellow parents who are in a babysitting network. There is typically no charge for something like this. Your only payment is being available to watch someone else’s kids.
There are options for just about any situation in terms of finding time (really its making the time) for your workouts. If you really want it, then you will make it work for you. (I hope you really want it!)
4. Do it!
Nike has it right, if they still use that old tagline, that is. You really just have to start exercising. Your body was made to move. So, if your parts seem the Tin Man’s after a rain storm, then it’s all the more reason to continue to do your workouts consistently and stay “oiled up.”
“What’s ample?” you might ask. Building an hour and a half weekly is a good place for beginners (30 minutes 3x/week). From there, you can add an additional 30 minutes. Ideally, you want to put in 5-6 days of movement. And it doesn’t have to be in the form of a formal workout. Schlepping things around in the garden or shoveling snow are excellent ways (depending on how intense) to move and burn calories.
“What exercises do I do?” Well, start by signing up for FamilyFitnessGuru updates (look at the upper right area of the side margin) so you can download the “Top 5 Exercises for Moms & Dads.” You’ll get tons of details on how to perform those basic exercises to help you get on the road to fitness.
My hope is that you’ll be consistent with your plan and notice results to help you stay motivated. Good luck and keep forging ahead!