As a wife, mum of two and career woman, incorporating regular exercise always felt like an impossible task, or at least that is what I told myself. I was getting in my own way and using every excuse in the book. Rather than move more, I’d eat less in a bid to lose weight. Looking back, existing on fewer than 1000 calories each day was not only bad for my physical health, it was poor for my mental health, often leading me to binge. Three years ago, I decided to change that and using a combination of regular exercise and healthy eating, I have moved from a size 22 to 10/12 and I feel fabulous. And you can too.
One of the questions I am often asked is ‘how do you make time for exercise?’ Initially, I completed a ‘week in the life of’ study to understand how I could create time. I have written a whole chapter on this in the self-help section of my book Enough and there will be templates available in the Ninja Notes journal which is out next month.
The truth is, there is always time, it’s simply a matter of prioritising. Equally, it’s a matter of eating the elephant one bite at a time. Now that I’m coaching people, I am understanding even more that many of us are experts at placing enormous pressure on ourselves. Whilst I don’t coach specifically about nutrition and exercise, it is always a theme because it’s recognised as being an important part of a self-care journey. So many of my clients beat themselves up because they can’t manage 5 hour long sessions in the gym every week. When I ask why they are trying to do 5 hour long sessions there is often a momentary pause and a look of ‘I don’t actually know’.
Who said you have to climb Everest right from the get-go? or at all?
Why not start small and develop habits gradually. It’s much more likely to be sustainable and it’s highly likely you won’t have cause to chastise yourself for not reaching the summit of your too high expectations.
One of the myths about exercise is to be effective it has to entail hour-long sessions at the gym. I believed this myself and got into a habit of over exercising. I’ve since cut this back significantly. According to government guidelines we benefit from incorporating 150 minutes of moderate activity into our schedules every week. This equates to ten 15-minute sessions. Easy! The great news is you don’t have to spend lots of money on kit to get your heart rate pumping. The benefit of social media and the rise of the ‘app’ means there is a wealth of resources at your fingertips. You’ll find hundreds of workouts on YouTube & App store catering for the absolute beginner to the advanced or of course, you can keep it simple and walk.
Here’s my ten tips for incorporating exercise into your busy life: –
• Jump out of bed, hit the deck and do 15 crunches to start the day
• Kill the time spent brushing teeth by doing 25 squats
• Take the stairs, rather than the lift
• Set a goal to walk a marathon in a month, it’s less than a mile each day
• Set the alarm early or repurpose evening TV time to do a YouTube workout
• Skip with an imaginary rope for 5 minutes whilst dinner is cooking – 30 seconds skipping – 30 seconds resting
• Step your way through a TV programme
• Volunteer to do the lunch/coffee run for your colleagues
• Use the stairs for a workout. Aim to walk and down 10 times without stopping
• Jog/march on the spot while you wait for the kettle to boil
Maybe it’s about climbing molehills often rather than mountains now and then. Short sharp burst of activity will increase your heart rate and help you to shine from within. Give it a go and for more tips on how to create capacity in your day check out my book, Enough on Amazon or at my Shop