Thursday, February 17, 2011

Less than Super Woman: Exercise

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"How do you do it? You have two little ones and you exercise!" I've been getting this question a lot lately. The truth is, it hasn't always been like this but I can think of the steps I took to get where I am now. I'm not ashamed to tell you my life is not perfect. I still dread getting out of my warm bed at 4:30 a.m. I arrive at the gym late a lot of times. I don't go and have to make up for it some days. Other days I don't do much. What I am working on is establishing a lifestyle where exercise is always present. Here are the baby steps I took:

You Better Think. Sounds silly but it worked. Before I had kids I used to see myself exercising as a mother. I often thought, "I have to get it done before everyone wakes up" and that's what I strive to do most days of the week. The battlefield does start in the mind. Before you do something you have to contemplate it. Think on purpose.

What's Your Minimum. The least amount of work I'd like to do in order to get results is my goal. For example, my minimum is exercising 4 times a week. The least amount of time I'll exercise is 40 minutes. The fun thing is to add all these minimums. In a year, 1 hour and 40 minutes of exercise per week turns into 5 hours and 20 minutes a month which turns into 62 hours and 40 minutes per year. Depending on how much effort and consistency I have, that translates into less pounds, better health, a more toned body and a mom that can outrun her kids - now that's an accomplishment!

• Involve Someone Else. In grad school, my roommate and I went to the gym together at 5:30 a.m. If she was up, I often felt bad for not being ready so that gave me motivation to go. When moms are going to the park together, the principle is the same. I like to take my kids for a walk and that counts as getting someone else involved. Everyone wins: I get an extra 1.3 miles and they get some outside time. 
Sleepy Kids and Excited Parents after a Family Walk
I am no super woman. I'm far from it. I have made so many mistakes I decided to learn from them and make life work for me. Thinking positively, establishing my minimum and getting my family involved have helped me exercise several times a week. Let's Move for better health friends! 
What are your tips for getting out there and taking care of yourself by exercising? 
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