Getting Started: Six Strategies to Fit Fitness into Your Day
Posted Apr 29 2013 12:00am
I spoke to a business group last week about "fitting fitness in" and at the end of the presentation, while taking questions, someone asked
"How do you start?"
In the book I co-wrote, Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom , we tackle this early on. If you are someone who isn't active, getting started can definitely be harder than what any perceived physical challenge you expect to get from exercise. For this we have a chapter on how to make exercise a habit, even a 28-Day Exercise Challenge, and once fitness becomes part of your life, a "Sweaty Decision Tree," for those days when you're asking the question: "Should I workout or not?"
But even for someone who mostly, usually, somewhat exercises regularly, a good funk can set in. Sometimes the funk is a micro blip of blase. Sometimes the funk can settle in and take hold. That slippery slope where one missed workout becomes a week or possibly months of inactivity. We address all that in the book, too. The most effective way to keep from sliding down that slippery slope is to keep from taking an "all or nothing" attitude with fitness. Just because you don't have a full hour to devote to your Plan A workout, doesn't mean you can't fit in 10 minutes. But you read this blog, so you know that's what Mama Sweat is all about .
Still, some days, even the best intentions get stymied. So here are six strategies for getting started
1. Forecast weekly workouts. Before your week begins, look at what's scheduled. Where does fitness fit in? Which mornings will be most conducive to getting your sweat on? Where can it slide into the schedule? Or, as we put it in Hot (Sweaty) Mamas, how will you Make Time, Take Time, Share Time, or Snare Time?
2) Triage your day. As we all know forecasts can change. On those days when fitness doesn't happen early in the morning when you're most likely to get it done (and often half asleep so that sometimes you forget you've worked out already) go through the "must do" items for your day and decide when and what you will do for fitness.
3) Get dressed for it (literally or figuratively). If you work from home, either head of your domicile or have flexible employment, and can choose your "uniform," make it something that can easily transition to a workout. If you work in an office, pack your workout bag and make sure it goes with you (put it in your car the night before!). This is a huge mental step. Your brain is being conditioned to make room for fitness.
4) Offer a bribe. Speaking of getting dressed. Sometimes treating yourself to some new piece of workout wear is all you need to get moving, inspired to put that new outfit to good use.
5) Involve someone else. If you don't trust yourself to follow through on your workout plans, recruit a workout partner so you're held accountable to something beyond your own intentions.
6) Give yourself an out. When the time comes and you feel like making excuses, tell yourself that as long as you start you can stop if you want to. Just start. If after 10 minutes you still don't feel any love for the workout, you can give it up. I say this to myself quite often. Give myself an out and suddenly starting doesn't seem so overbearing. Once I start, chances are I'll keep going.