I don’t know about you but for the most part, I kind of like exercise. I don’t HATE it. I just never feel like there are enough hours in the day to workout. Especially now that I have a kid. Exercise can work into your life and it doesn’t have to cost hours. To make something stick, it just has to flow in your lifestyle. I’m writing this post about making exercise work in your busy life to inspire you with some ideas that might make help you make exercise into a real routine in your real life. Again, I’m not a trained exercise professional. You should always check with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise routine to see if it is right for you.
1. Find Something You Like-
- If you like it, you will probably do it!
2. It Needs to Fit Your Life-
- Pretty much after having a baby I resorted to walking around my neighborhood or local mall.
- I recently joined the YMCA which has excellent child care and now I go to my Zumba class almost everyday.
- The childcare aspect of joining the YMCA filled a high need in my fitness life. Now that is taken care of I’m finally getting in shape.
3. Find Some Motivation-
- Money- Some people find that signing up for a gym motivates them since they are paying out money every month for the membership. It sort of obligates them to workout.
- Rewards- Have you ever considered setting up a reward system for exercise? After walking so many miles or consistently doing an activity for several days set up a reward for yourself. Like a manicure or a massage. Maybe just a coffee from your favorite coffee house. Let it be something that motivates you. I add excercise as a line item on my chore chart and get paid each day that I do it for 30 minutes. (Read my post about Chore Charts for Husbands and Wives here.)
- Do It For You- This may be a hard one for some moms because we get so used to putting our families before ourselves that trying to do anything for your self seems a little foreign. But you are important and valuable to your family. Exercise helps build your immune system and keeps you healthy so you can keep up with your family.
4. Free to Low Cost Exercise-
- Walking Outside- Walking is something that just about everyone can do with little to no cost. I like to put my 2 year old in his wagon and take laps around the block. I drove my car around my neighborhood to figure out how far a mile was.
- Walking Inside- Now that it is winter my best friend and I meet up at the mall to walk. It’s great because it’s exercise (especially when we follow the kids trackless train ride with our strollers), it can be retail therapy and it’s really nice just to hang out with my best friend walking and talking. It’s a time to laugh, vent and share! Getting out of the house is nice as well.
- Walking Videos- This may sound bizarre but if you live in an area without a mall or an area where walking is kind of difficult due to roads or other conditions consider paying around $10 for an Indoor Walking Video by Leslie Sansone. She is light-hearted, uplifting and can help you walk anywhere from 1 to 5 miles in a 3 X 3 space in your living room. Her video seems to go by kind of fast because she mixes the walking in with other easy moves to keep things interesting.
- 20 Minute High Intensity Interval Training- AKA HiiT Excercises- These are boot camp style workouts that take about 20 minutes. You can find tons of these routines on Pinterest. Just search for Hiit exercises. They are supposed to give you the most bang for your time. They usually involve a 20 minute rotation of cardio mixed with some kind push up, burpee or other muscle strengthening exercise. You just set a timer and go! The only equipment you usually need are light hand weights.
- Hiit Videos- I really like to try HiiT on my own which tends to require that I hang up and follow a chart that I print out of the exercises and times. The trouble is, my focus kind of stinks and what should be a 20 minute workout becomes 40. That’s why I just went ahead and bought a video. I like Jillian Michael’s workout videos because they keep me going and tell me what to do. When I’m done, I know I’ve kicked my own butt because I’m drenched in sweat and can’t move the next day.
- Zumba- If you like to dance, you will love Zumba! It is really a ton of fun. It’s a mix between several types of dance. Your first class will probably be hard and make you feel silly. KEEP GOING! By your 5th class you’ll have the basic moves they use in most Zumba routines down and you will start feeling liking a dancing queen! I look so forward to this class that I now go 4-5 days a week at my YMCA.
- Kickboxing- With kickboxing you get this exciting confidence! Like you could beat someone up if you had to. Kickboxing is sort of an empowering workout even though I know it would never work for me in a real life fight or flight scenario. It burns calories and doesn’t make you feel like you might die doing the activity.
- Cycle- Cycle is a unique kind of class. When I used to take this class I took it during the day and it really surprised me how many 60-70 year old adults were in the class and keeping up with the instructor. It goes to show you that it’s a great workout that just about anyone can do as long as you don’t have chronic knee problems. When you are done, you will have burned major calories and had some fun in the process.
6. Fitness Class Videos-
- When I can’t make it to a class I do a video. I’ve heard good things about the Zumba videos and I love kickboxing at home.
- 20 Minute Kickboxing- I like this kickboxing video by Jillian Michaels because they are only 20 minutes long and there are 3 different workouts. This way I don’t get bored. I simply do the rotation for 3 weeks and start over again.
7. Video Game Workouts-
- I’ve only done these a few times but I always have fun.
- Moving is moving right?
- If you’ve got a game system read some reviews of fitness games online and see which one you might enjoy most. You may be able to rent the games online just to try them out first.
8. Fast Burn Fitness Equipment-
- Elliptical Machines- I used to do a 3 machine rotation at the gym that included the elliptical runner, the treadmill and the bike. After comparing the calorie burn on these machines for the time I was at the gym I dropped the treadmill and the bike and started doing the elliptical runner exclusively. It burns major calories in a shorter amount of time and seems easier on my joints and body than the others.
I hope this post inspires you to find a fitness routine that you enjoy that fits into your busy life. Please feel free to share any other exercise outlets that you enjoy in the comments section below.
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!