You have to be able to take care of yourself if you want to take care of your family. I believe that I am a better mother because I take care of myself and it sets a positive example for my kids. If you aren't doing this for you, you aren't as likely to stick with it either. I can;t stress this enough. If you want to be fit and in shape you have to make yourself a priority.
2. Find what works for you.
I started by using my ellitpical while the baby was napping and doing a few moves with my free weights. When I got a jogging stroller I started taking my workouts outside more when the weather was agreeable. Luckily I also have a lot of family around happy to watch the kids for me while I run.
3. Don't do fad "diets".
Make lifestyle changes. Cut out sugary drinks, drink water instead. Don't like it plain? Flavor it! Eat more fruit and veggies. Watch portion sizes. You don't have to deprive yourself of the things you enjoy or eventually you may just freak out and eat the whole cake instead of one piece.
4. Use the internet!
There are so many online resources. I started getting bored with my routine a year ago and wanted a boost through the winter. I discovered Bodyrock.tv and a whole new love for working out. You have to find what works for you, if you are going to stick with it. Don't be afraid to try new things!
5. Log your workouts.
This makes it easy to track your progress and see that you are improving. It helps keep me motivated. I love looking back through my notebook even for ideas on what to do today. Sometimes I mix old workout together.
6. Find support!
It is so much easier to get your butt off the couch when you know someone is going to hold you accountable. Friends not supportive? Find some who are! Use the internet to connect with others.
7. Use the 5 minute rule.
Put on your workout clothes and tell yourself all you have to do it 5 minutes. Usually once you get started, you don't want to quit. My motto when I am feeling lazy is "I have never done a workout I have regretted, but I have regretted all the workouts I have skipped"
This is a picture of me from last May after spending the winter doing nothing but bodyweight exercises, running and using the elliptical. You can work out at home for cheap, four times a week and look good and feel good. I went on to run a PR in a 5 mile race after this picture.
What tips would you give to a newbie?