Finding the time to regularly work out was very much on my radar as we went into the new year. I had two attempts at kick starting my fitness in 2015, but ultimately wasn’t successful. Previously I’ve used a home work out DVD, and found that it was exactly what I needed at the time. Nowadays, with three children in tow and being a home educating family, my trusty video just didn’t cut the mustard.
Then came my pitiful attempt at couch to 5k. I’ve always been intrigued by the program, and liked the idea of a gentle start eventually leading to a 5k run. The great thing about this of course is that it’s completely free.
I started in the summer, and managed to stick to the three half hour sessions per week. I would get the kids to bed and head out once hubby got home from work, and I surprised myself by actually enjoying it. It wiped me out though, and with my sleep being as bad as it was back then, getting up multiple times every night was a killer after a run. I had to concede half way through the three month program that it wasn’t going to work at that point in my life.
For me there are five main elements that have to be carefully considered to ensure that my working out works for the entire family. I thought I’d share them with you, in case someone somewhere is lacking in the motivation department, and needs a little help.
Take the time to figure out the exercise that suits your lifestyle
As I said above I had a couple of false starts last year, and what worked previously just doesn’t now I have three kids to consider. When I went on a fitness drive in 2007 (pre-children), I bought an exercise bike on eBay. It’s basic and only set me back around £50. It has nine levels of difficulty, I always start on four and work my way up. After just a fortnight I am on level six, which is where I’ll probably stay for a few weeks.
I’ve used my bike on and off very sporadically over the last decade, and cannot recommend it highly enough if you have the space (not that we do in our house to be honest, but it’s incredible how much space you can create when you have to). It provides a simple cardio work out, which I find works well for me in the first instance. I also do the odd bit of yoga, and I’ll add some toning exercise to my routine once I get a bit fitter. I guess the point is you have to start somewhere, figuring out your optimum place to start is a huge battle won.
Set yourself achievable goals
There are some brilliant apps around to help you set these goals and stick them, such as Kiqplan’s Slim + Trim. This app is essentially your very own personal trainer, nutritionist and motivational coach all in one handy place. It helps you set goals, then tracks your achievements via your phone. It also advises you on making healthy choices and creating good habits for the long term. Slim + Trim aims to help you trim, tone and tighten over a 12 week period, leaving you feeling amazing. Certainly worth checking out if you need a little assistance.
My favourite time to work out is in the morning, always has been and in my early twenties I would hit the gym at 7am before going to work. I have managed to do a half hour bike workout every other day this year, which might not sound much to some but it’s great considering I haven’t done anything more than walking since the summer.
The biggest factor in ensuring that I actually get on my bike is making sure the kids are entertained for the duration. Some days they’re happy to be set up with activities and will play, others they’ve watched a bit of telly. I work out in my pyjamas (who needs fancy gym gear?) and am done and dusted before we’ve even gone upstairs to get ready for the day. I find that it sets me up fantastically and I feel energised afterwards, rather than wiped out which is how I feel if I exercise in the evening. Everyone is different, my hubby is the other way around.
Reward yourself without food
I remember being told off when my 6yo started nursery when she was one, because up until then we had pacified a lot of tantrums by giving her snacks to eat. Apparently doing this can lead to the child creating unhealthy associations with food for their entire lives. Who knew? Not me as a first time mum, that’s for sure. This is exactly the same, so start thinking of ways to treat yourself without eating. Or drinking 😉
Try to enjoy it
This is probably the most challenging for many, but getting into a positive mind set about the actual exercise is half the battle won. When we approach any task with an “I hate it” attitude, it makes it so much harder than it has to be. Check out this lovely video for a bit of inspo.
What are you waiting for?!
**Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post, click here for my full disclosure policy**