EDITOR'S NOTE: Diet-to-Go guest blogger Mia Redrick has made it her mission to help harried moms everywhere learn how to take care of themselves -- mentally and physically. Today she turns her attention to helping you create the perfect exercise routine.
Creating an exercise routine that works for you is very important because it helps keep your health on track. It's also one of the most difficult things you will ever do, especially if you feel like exercising is all about punishment.
However, keeping a few things in mind while you are planning will allow you to create an exercise routine even you can stick with.
1. Be consistent!
The problem many people encounter when it comes to planning an exercise routine is the fact that they do not have consistency. The only way you will be able to stick to a new exercise routine is if it becomes a regular part of your schedule.
Plan to exercise five times per week so that it becomes like a regular part of your day. Schedule work, meals and exercise time, all like they are a normal part of your routine. Just like you have to eat, so you have to exercise.
2. Do things you like to do!
Many people who are just trying to start exercise feel like they have to do certain types of exercises. They may feel like they've got to chain themselves to the treadmill for 30 to 60 minutes each day.
Cardio is certainly important, but there are so many different ways you can get your cardio workouts in. Not only are there different types of machines that will give you a good cardio workout, but going for a brisk walk will also get your heart pumping.
If it's nice outside, hit the trails outdoors so that you don't feel caged in by the walls of the gym. Perhaps a class is more your thing. Taking a class is a great no nonsense way to get in, get your cardio done, and get out. You've got a trainer there to push you, and you've got a set time to exercise, which is important for your daily routine.
3. Invite others to exercise with you!
Nothing makes exercise more fun than inviting others to join in. All you need is one other person to find the motivation you need to keep going.
Whether you have an exercise buddy or you have a whole group of friends who exercise together, being social about it will help wake you up and help you begin to look forward to your daily exercise routine.
Also, on days when you feel like just giving up, your exercise buddies will pick you up and put you right back on that track where you need to be. It's much more difficult to keep exercising when you are alone, so make sure to find someone else you can meet your goals alongside of.
4. Make exercise fun!
Exercise is not a penalty. As with anything in life, if it's not fun, we won't want to do it, and exercise should be no different.
Exercise is a gift that you give your body, hopefully every day, and there are plenty of ways to make it fun. Of course doing the type of exercises you love is an important part of this, but there are also other ways you can make it fun.
If you and your friends are up for a bit of friendly competition, set some personal goals and see who can get there first. Sometimes making exercise fun is simply a matter of changing your perspective on the issue.
Keep reminding yourself that exercise is not a punishment, and soon you will discover that you actually agree!
5. Track your goals!
The only way you can ever know how far you've come is to keep track of your goals.
Write everything down in a notebook, including your milestones and the dates when you want to be at each of those milestones. Then as you meet each one of those milestones, write down the date when you achieve them.
Writing these things down instead of just tracking them in your head is important because it gives concreteness to them. You're able to see in black and white exactly how you're doing, and you get to check off each goal as you pass it by. There are few things in life as satisfying as checking a goal off of your list.
6. Reward yourself!
It's also important to reward yourself every time you meet your goals. Weight loss is a reward in itself, but it's not enough to keep you on track.
A reward can be something like buying a new shirt or taking yourself to a movie. Just remember to do things you enjoy as a reward so that there is so much more to enjoy about exercise than just losing weight.
The more positive thoughts you have toward exercise, the easier it will be to keep doing it.
Exercising is about moving your body and keeping yourself in top shape. It should be a part of your daily routine, just like eating and sleeping. Whenever you allow any areas of your life to get out of balance, you can't be truly happy.
By making exercise a part of your daily life, you make happiness a possibility because you're giving your body everything it needs to be healthy.
Diet-to-Go blogger Mia Redrick is author of Time for mom-Me: 5 Essential Strategies for A Mother's Self-care and the creator of the national Time for Mom-Me support group. When you start a support group, you have access to a free six-week turn-key program that empowers you to create and grow your own community of mothers who commit together to make self-care a priority. Our mothers agree that when mothers are happier they are better mothers. For more information, go to www.timeformom-me.com