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Shift your thinking from couch potato mentality to thinking like an athlete. This may sound like a big challenge, but it’s not as big a leap as you think. Essex, Massachusetts mom April Bowling, 33, stopped using her busy life as an excuse not to exercise. After the birth of her children (now ages five and three), Bowling started viewing exercise as a way to set a strong example for her kids.
Whether you need to put an “I’m lucky” sticky note on the mirror, or you can see the power of health in your children’s eyes, committing to a fitness routine begins in your head.
There’s nothing more motivating than that first 5K looming in bold letters on the calendar. Register early and commit to an exercise program that will get you in shape by race day.
“Set realistic goals that include clear milestones, and as you progress toward your goal, you’ll find a ripple effect occurs
The goal doesn’t even have to be an organized race. Maybe it’s a mission to fit into that bikini by the annual beach vacation or that old pair of jeans buried in your closet. Whatever it is, define it, write it down and revisit it daily.
Most committed exercisers do it every day before the sun rised or late at night when the kids are in bed. Sit down with your weekly schedule and try to build in an hour each day to be good to your body.
If you convince yourself you’ll fit in a workout some time after that last meeting, once the kids go down for a nap or when your spouse arrives home on time, failure is certain. Chances are a last-minute invitation will come along; or the kids won’t nap. Write your workout on your calendar and rearrange things around this one hour as if it were any other important appointment you have to keep.
By nature, humans need change and variety to stay motivated . We also need to have fun — even while we’re working hard. Do both!
Listen to your inner voice when choosing the best workout for you, says Fowler.
Workout variety also challenges your body in unique ways, which may introduce you to new muscle groups you didn’t even know you had. Consider disciplines that give you more bang for your buck, suggests Haberstro. Ta’i chi and yoga, for example, serve dual purposes as mental therapy and physical activity. Or try a workout DVD to help you shake up your routine.
In America, some tend to have trouble asking for help, says Bowling. Yet in order to stick to a fitness program, we need buy-in and encouragement from other people.
“Exercising is built into our family life," Bowling adds. “We view it as a necessity. Sometimes it takes the place of watching TV together.”
Consider joining a online community with fitness trainers and nutrition experts — and support from other people trying to maintain healthy eating and exercise routines. People who get this kind of online support are proven to lose up to three times more weight than people going it alone.
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