5 Ways for Busy Mamas to Stick to An Exercise Routine

 Exercise and I have a love/hate relationship.

While I HATE the thought of it and hate actually getting started (believe it or not, the hardest element of working out for me is actually getting in my workout clothes!) once I get started I usually LOVE the way it feels and I have a great time.

Time. That is my biggest enemy.

It's not that I do NOT have the time in my day, but when I do have time, I've got a list of about a million things that need to be done. And with three small children, there is almost never a time that one of them does not need something.

So, months went by, and I did not exercise. Who am I kidding? Years went by with little to no exercise.

I promised myself when I was lying in my hospital bed for weeks on end, not able to barely even get out of the bed and absolutely miserable, that one thing I would do more of when I was physically able to do so would be to exercise. Yet, fast forward a year and I still had no regular exercise routine.

My body is getting older, I am so tired, and I have no energy to keep up with my munchkins. I am crabby. I don't sleep well. I feel like crap. And it's so stupid that I could fix many of these issues by being in better shape and eating better! It's a no brainer!

I needed a plan. Because obviously I was not going to just become a fitness star overnight. Time is of the essence, and I needed something that would keep my interest.

The following list is not magical, but by instituting it I have exercised between30-55 minutes every day for the last 7 days and I feel AWESOME!!!! I present to you my

FIVE Awesome and (mostly) FREE Ways for Busy Mamas to Stick to An Exercise Routine!

1. Join A Support Group. I am motivated by other people's success and by competition. I love to see that other people like me (in this case mothers with young children driving them crazy!) are finding ways to be successful. I like to see how and how much they are doing. I thrive off the mantra "If she can do it, I can do it!" I joined the Slim By Summer campaign at Raising Reagan and these ladies, through Facebook, link ups, and other interaction are really keeping me on track!

2. Pick an Activity you LOVE to do. I do the same thing pretty much every day. "Just Dance" on the Wii. It is SO much fun, I don't consider it even a workout! And sometimes it gets me so fired up, I put in another workout video, or add in squats or lunges to get more muscle toning. Between "just Dance" and "Zumba" I can burn hundreds of calories doing something that I don't dread! If you don't have a Wii or video games, just turn on the radio and dance around the house.  The crazier you dance, the more fun it is.  And oh look, you just burned 200 cals while having fun with your kids!

3. Do An Activity Your Kids Can Also Do! This is especially important if you have small children in the house and you are not able to do a full fledged 55 minute workout with no interruptions. Luckily, both Just Dance and Zumba are hits with the kids, and they dance right alongside me. The other activity I have started doing is walking laps in my back yard or at the park, or wherever they might be playing. I can still get a workout while watching them play. It's easy to do squats anywhere! And of course, take them for walks!

4. Use A Social Fitness Tracker App. I use myfitnesspal.com and I LOVE it. I downloaded it for free on my phone and I can enter everything I eat and all of my activity each day to easily keep track. A feature I love is the barcode scanner. You can enter in food items by simply scanning the barcode rather than searching. The program allows you to have as many friends as you want, and you can track their weight loss, activities, and food diaries. Talk about accountability! You can also post on the walls and comment, which is great. We cheer each other on and celebrate each others successes. Hands down, one of my favorite weight loss tracking tools EVER!

5. This last tip is not FREE but it's still good. Join the YMCA or similar gym. We finally made room in our budget for this very family friendly allowance because fitness is important to my husband and I. I wish we did it sooner! Holy crow the YMCA has a lot going on! And so family friendly! The childcare center is unbelievable, and you can leave your children there for up to two hours!! (Three kids, two hours, three times a week?? That is well worth the $75 monthly family fee!! I might just go hide in the bathroom for an hour!!!! LOL JUST KIDDING!) There are tons of family activities and it is a great investment if you can make room in your budget!

So there you have it. Like I said, nothing magical. Common Sense. But for the first time after many, many, many failed attempts, I am actually sticking to an exercise routine and loving it!

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