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5 Tips for Busy Moms: How to Exercise at Home

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5 Tips for Busy Moms: How to Exercise at Home

Getting into an exercise routine is tough, and even more so as a mom. There’s never enough time in the day, and when you do exercise, your body aches the next day and you feel like no progress has been made. But, we all know the benefits of exercising regularly: better health, greater happiness, and a reduced risk of disease. Thankfully, you can still get in regular exercise without having to hit up the gym. Here are five things you can do to make your at-home workouts a little easier.

Set a Goal

goal-setting

    Without a goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You need to have something to work toward, and having the vague, undefined idea of exercising every day can lead to slacking. So, it’s best to figure out why exactly you want to get in better shape.

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    Do you just want to increase your flexibility, or are you looking to burn off some fat? The reasons you want to work out will affect what exercises you set out to do and how long you’ll have to spend on them each session. Do your best to come up with an attainable goal and write it down. This will help keep you accountable.

    Pick a Good Workout Routine

    the-perfect-morning-workout

      Once you have an idea of why you want to start exercising, you’ll next want to find a workout plan that allows you to reach your goal. For example, if you want to lose weight, you’ll want to find some good cardio routines you can do. If you’re trying to get toned, bodyweight exercises might be the better option. When doing research on a suitable routine, the internet is going to be your best bet here. Also, keep in mind that you’ll want to find routines that you can do in the space and comfort of your home. For example, this Lifehack article has more than a dozen stretches and low-intensity exercises you can do at work and that are easily adaptable for home workouts.

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      Set Aside Time

      Set-Aside-Time-Read-Each-Day

        Obviously, you’re going to need some time to work out at home, whether that’s three times a week or every single day.

        “But,” you might say, “I don’t have any time!” While this is certainly true in some rare cases, there’s almost always a way you can make more time. Whether you choose to carve in a little time while everyone is in bed or you multitask exercising while cooking dinner, there’s always a way you can fit exercising in. Try your best to block out a regular part of the day and your habit will become much easier to fall into.

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        Get a Workout Buddy

        Get a Workout Buddy

          If you need some help committing, or you just want someone else to share the pain of exercising with, having a workout buddy can do wonders. Not only do you keep each other accountable, but you also motivate each other. By pushing each other to succeed, you’ll have more fun and you’ll progress much quicker and easier than if you were working out alone. If you’re having trouble finding someone to work out with, perhaps the kids can get active with you. Not only would it be a great way to connect with your children, but it’d also be a great learning experience for them as well.

          Map Your Progress

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          Track-Your-Progress

            Nothing’s as motivating as seeing yourself make progress toward a goal. If you’re doing some simple exercises, consider keeping a workout journal and writing short entries about how the day’s workout went. In a short amount of time, you’ll be able to look back and see the progress you’ve made. If you stick to your routine, what once seemed so difficult will be laughably easy. Even better is if you can keep track of any quantifiable data, such as how many pushups you’ve done or how long you can hold a plank.

            Featured photo credit: 7 Simple Exercises Busy People Can Do Anywhere, Anytime via lifehack.org

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            Last Updated on September 8, 2021

            10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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            10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

            “You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous

            Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.

            Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.

            And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.

            Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.

            In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.

            Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.

            Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.

            1. I don’t have enough time.

            This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.

            First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”. 

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            Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?

            A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.

            Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.

            2. I’m way too tired to workout.

            Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.

            If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.

            You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.

            If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.

            3. But exercise is so boring!

            You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?

            So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.

            The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.

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            If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.

            4. I have no motivation to workout.

            If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.

            What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit.  Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.

            That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s  backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.

            The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.

            Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.

            5. I have kids to look after.

            One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.

            Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.

            If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.

            You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.

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            6. I don’t have anyone to train with.

            What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.

            Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.

            By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.

            7. I don’t feel very well.

            After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.

            At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.

            If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.

            8. The gym is too expensive or far.

            If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.

            The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite.  Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.

            There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.

            If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.

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            9. I don’t know how to train properly.

            If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.

            However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.

            People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.

            10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.

            This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.

            The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.

            Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.

            Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.

            Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)

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