Since I was pregnant with Athena, over two years ago, I haven’t made the time to exercise and I’m still carrying the weight I gained during pregnancy. Frankly, I made excuses. I said things like I didn’t have time, I didn’t have a routine, I didn’t like doing it on my own… and the list goes on. Finally, I’ve stopped making excuses and I’m getting my out-of-shape, lazy butt to the gym for at least an hour a day. It’s hard and some days I spend half the time on the elliptical cycle complaining, in my head, about how brutal it is but under no circumstances do I get off the machine until I’ve done at least 20 minutes. Now that I’m shaping up and losing weight, it’s easier to stay motivated but I still use these five tricks to stop making excuses and move my lazy butt.
1. Listen to Music
This is a game changer. I bring my phone, turn on Pandora’s Dropkick Murphys’ station and keep up with the music. The time seems to go by twice as quickly if I’m listening to good tunes and the faster the music, the harder I work.
2. Join a Gym that Offers Childcare
Admittedly, finding time as a parent can be difficult. I recently joined Club Sport in Aliso Viejo because they offer up to four hours of childcare a day. As an only child, I worry about the interaction time that Athena is spending with other children. I considered sending her to daycare a couple days a week just so she was hanging out with other kids more. Club Sport kills two birds with one stone; Athena plays with other children her age and I have guilt-free time during the day to workout.
3. Wear Comfortable, Appropriate Sneakers & Clothing
It’s difficult to stay motivated if you’re wearing clothing that is too tight or sneakers/runners that are uncomfortable. I’m going to the gym because I’m out of shape. I don’t want to be pulling up my pants because my fat is hanging out or worrying about my boobs bouncing out of my bra. No one else wants to see that either. Working out in clothes that make me feel good about myself increases the time that I work out and how I feel while doing. As for footwear, LOWA is my go-to brand and my new Gorgon GTX WS runners are comfortable, light, and stable with excellent arch support. They are like little clouds on my feet and the stylish, simple black color doesn’t make me feel like I’m back in the 80s. (The new, bright shoe colors that are in style this year are way too out there for me.)
4. Do a Session with a Private Trainer
One session with a personal trainer can be all that you need to send you in the right direction. They are specialists for a reason and know what will work best for you. I worked with a personal trainer for two hours and learned more during that time than months at a gym alone. It gave me the chance to discuss my life habits and routines and figure out a plan that works for my lifestyle and direction. I loved the little tips I got for continuing my exercise routine on the road and practical knowledge for working out with and without machines.
5. Buy a Basis Health Tracker
We can’t change something before we fully understand it. We need data, facts, and information to maximize our potential. I like to know if I’m making progress, what activities are burning the most calories, and the calories expended by activity. My Basis Health Tracker uses multi-sensor technology to capture heart rate patterns, motion, calorie expenditure by activity, multiple sleep stages, including REM—even perspiration and skin temperature. If I can get the same benefits from 15 minutes on the treadmill as 20 minutes on the elliptical cycle, I’d like to have that information and decide how I want to spend my time. My tracker gives me that information and keeps me motivated.
Whatever you do, don’t quit! You owe it to yourself to stay fit and physically active. Life is worth living and you want to be around to do it.