I used to exercise quite a lot before I had the children.
I would go to the gym several times a week; for classes and to use the equipment. I would go for jogs along the seafront. And I would do exercise DVDs at home.
Then I had Rhys and it all stopped. I just lost my motivation to do any formal exercise, and was happy with pushing the buggy everywhere as a way of keeping fit.
In the last few years though I’ve got back into the habit of doing exercise DVDs at home. I think they’re the best option for me at the moment, it’s so much easier than trying to get myself out to the gym. The thing is though, it can be really hard to get into the habit of exercising when you’ve taken a break from it. Or when you’ve never really done it before.
So here’s a little trick I’ve used that you can try to make it more likely that you’ll get started with a new exercise habit.
Do whatever you can to make it almost impossible to not do it.
Make it so easy to do whatever kind of exercise you’re going to do that you simply can’t not do it. How’s that for a fun double negative!
If you want to start fitting exercise into your life, but find that you can quite easily talk yourself out of actually doing it then you need to make the whole thing as easy as possible for yourself.
So if you’re planning on doing an exercise DVD at home once you’ve dropped the children off at school then put your exercise clothes out ready to change into as soon as you walk back through the door. Better yet, wear them on the school run so you don’t even need to change once you’re home.
Put the DVD in and ready to go so all you have to do is hit play. Or if you’re doing a workout from YouTube then get it all lined up ready to go as soon as you get in.
The trick here is to not give yourself time to overthink it and talk yourself out of exercising.
Make everything so simple that before you know it you’ve already started.
This isn’t just something that works for stay at home parents of school age children.
It can be applied to pretty much any situation.
If you plan to get up a bit earlier and exercise before heading to work, then the same thing applies. Put your workout gear out so you can pull it on as soon as you get out of bed. Have the video lined up ready to simply press play.
On the other hand, if the best solution for you is to hit the gym after work then the principle is still the same.
Pack your gym kit the night before and have it ready to go by the front door. Pick a gym that is either close to work or close to home if you can, so you don’t have to go too far out of your way to get there.
Make exercising a no-brainer, the easiest thing you’ll do that day.
If you still find that you’re coming up with excuses not to start, then take a look at them one by one and do whatever you can to bust them. If you feel you don’t have time to fit an hour-long exercise session in to your day, then look at the alternatives.
There are some great 20 minute workouts that deliver the same results. Or you can change up your routine a bit to squeeze in tiny bits of exercise, if your schedule really is jam-packed.
The main thing is to make it so easy to start exercising that you don’t have a chance to decide not to do it.
I also know that coming home from the school run and seeing my exercise clothes out ready makes me feel like I’d rather just get on and do it, rather than feeling bad about packing it all away again having not worked out.
Have you been wanting to start a new habit of exercising regularly?
Hopefully this trick will help you get going with it, and if you have any other bits of advice or ways to make it easy as possible please do leave me a comment and let me know!
This post has been linked up with KCACOLS