“How do you keep fit?” “How do you have the motivation to exercise?” “I could never do what you do.” “I don’t have time to keep fit.” “It’s easy for you.”
I get asked and told these things so many times by people wanting to “get fit” or find out how to “get in to shape.”
People want to know how I keep fit as a busy single mum-of-two, Vlogger, dancer and business owner. So I want to share with you my fitness transformation secrets (because I haven’t always been this way)….
Fitness has never been a ‘hobby’ or an integral part of my life up until recently where it has become a positive coping mechanism to deal with life’s challenges, test my resilience and push me to achieve goals that I never thought possible.
They say “health is wealth” and I have realised just how this quote is because last year I had one of my worst years yet (which says a lot) but I have ended up in the best shape of my life.
So YOU certainly CAN keep fit, enjoy exercise and find time to meet your health goals and here’s how….
- Planning and scheduling: Plan your diary with all your work, household chores, fitness classes, childcare (if applicable), social dates and any other commitments that are important to you. Book your fitness in as you would an important meeting.
- Preparation: I always lay out my gym kit the night before so all I have to do is get changed into it in the morning without thinking. I’ll often book in classes too so that I have to go to them and I can’t convince myself otherwise.
- Make keeping fit and exercise an integral part of your life: We are all busy so if you’re struggling to “find time to go the gym” or to fit in a sports club or fitness class, look at how you can incorporate fitness into your day. Can you run or cycle to work? Can you walk on the school run instead of drive? Can you take the steps instead of the lift at work? I also use the Move GB app so that I can put in a time and location to search for fitness classes near me when I am free (more on that at the bottom, or to join the multi-venue membership, click here: http://bit.ly/mamameiblog).
- Motivation tips: I try and exercise in the morning to get it out of the way but it also helps my mental health to kick off a positive mindset for the day ahead. When would suit your schedule best? If I have the school run to do I will walk there in my gym kit and then run after either to work or to the gym to do a quick workout.
- Buy the right gym and workout gear: By this I don’t mean you have to buy expensive designer gear, and you certainly don’t need to invest much, but being comfortable is important and so is dressing for the right weather. I for example HATE the cold so I would never leave the house in the cold so I have invested in thermal clothing and I wear lots of layers on my runs to the gym so I have no excuses.
- Find exercise that you love: By love I don’t mean that you will always LOVE every aspect of a workout or fitness class but after trialling it a few times you will crave the buzz and feeling that that exercise gives you. I love dancing and I always want to dance whereas my HIIT class (High Intensive Interval Training) I don’t always love going and I rarely want to go but i love the after effects it has on my body. I love how it is a short class and I really feel it after. So find things that make you feel-good.
- Vary your workouts: I have been dancing for most of my life and will continue to do so but I also know that my body has become used to dance. I could bellydance for hours without breaking a sweat so I know that I need to vary my workouts so that I am challenging myself. They say ‘no progression’ isn’t just stagnating, you’re actually going backwards. So I constantly experiment by trying new classes, workshops or even just increasing the speed I am training at or the weights I am lifting.
- Adopt a positive mindset: I rarely ‘fancy’ leaving the house to run to the gym or a fitness class but I visualise how good I will feel after. I also know how important all our little habits are in order to achieve our big goals. So if I convince myself to ‘cheat’ on reps nobody will know but me… But it is that mindset and focus that will see you develop yourself mentally and physically.
- Convince yourself: Tell yourself you ‘can’ do this and reject the word ‘can’t.’ I love listening to podcasts with my AirPods in to block out the world and I focus on what I am listening to rather than running or jogging or walking. I like to exercise alone or in classes where I don’t have to talk but you may be the opposite. Either way having an accountability buddy is always great for motivation.
So I encourage you not to wait until ‘tomorrow’ or ‘Monday’ and start today. Remember “anything is better than nothing,” so any exercise is better than none.
You may look at me and think that I find it easy, but I really don’t. That said, the more I workout the more I want to and these days rather than looking for excuses to not train I am always trying to find excuses to exercise. I actually have to stop myself from exercising too much because I love how good it makes me feel and I love seeing/feeling the fact that I am constantly growing and reaping the rewards of sticking to all these healthy habits (that said, if you slip up don’t be hard on yourself we are only human, just pick yourself up and try again!).
Feel free to chat to me on social @mamameiblog and if you’re a woman looking to boost your holistic health goals, I have a free facebook group you can join called “Women’s Health Club.”
I am also a brand ambassador for Move GB as I use this app lots to find fitness classes to attend, as part of the membership, wherever I am in the UK, you can join here: http://bit.ly/mamameiblog