In a perfect world, we would all have personal trainers, state of the art gyms and access to round the clock childcare.
But, it’s not a perfect world. So, here’s how to handle it when real life gets in the way of your workout.
1. Exercise reduces stress levels.
You’ll usually find the two go hand in hand. Rushing to complete tasks can raise stress levels, add in everyday worries, after school activities, house work and an ever expanding pile of laundry and it can be difficult to find time to exercise.
The good news is if you can make time to exercise, you will reduce your stress levels significantly. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are fitter, healthier, less stressed and even more creative. Do you need a better recommendation?
Too much housework to do? Can’t make the time? I like to take the male approach on this one.
“I won’t go to footy training tonight, there’s too much laundry to do” said NO man EVER. So why can’t we? YES MUMS, WE CAN DO IT, TOO!
2. Make realistic expectations.
You have decided to get fit and you have been to the gym twice but you haven’t lost any weight so you start to lose faith.
Whatever your fitness goals, you need to make sure they are realistic. Most things are achievable but you need to have a clear plan of attack.
Set your goals according the SMART principle and you will be on the right track. So goals should be:
- Realistic, and have a
- Time Frame.
A good weight loss strategy would be to weigh yourself, establish BMI and your ideal weight range. Once you know all this, set a Specific weight loss target, Measure it by weekly weigh ins, make sure it’s Achievable and Realistic (weight loss of more than 1.5 kg is not recommended) and set yourself a Time frame. You are far more likely to succeed with this approach.
3. Don’t overtrain.
The less is more approach can sometimes be best with exercise, particularly if you are doing very intense workouts. A body stressed by overtraining is vulnerable to injury, burn out and illness. Ensure that you have rest days in your program and don’t work the same muscle group two days in a row as recovery is an essential part of the process.
Any routine should be varied every 6-8 weeks, as this is the time it takes for the body to adapt to a particular work out. After this, you risk injury and will notice fewer results. So mix your workouts up and try new things.
If you are sick and have to take a few days out, don’t try and make up for the days you missed. You can’t ‘get back’ exercise. Just keep to your routine and pick up where you left it. If anything, ease yourself back into it, your body may still be recovering.
4. Plan for the unexpected or things beyond your control.
So you were going great and then the kids got sick, you started working nightshift or daylight savings kicked in. Where at all possible, plan for changes in routine so you are ready for it. Try and have a back up plan. So if you can’t leave the house, try sticking in an exercise DVD. Too many kids around? Take them to the park and run around with them. Do lunges in the hallway, squats while you are cooking dinner, sit-ups in ad breaks.
If you do have to take a few days off, don’t give up. Don’t forget this is your new way of life. Some days, it’ll be a walk in the park and some days, you’ll hit a wall, but one day, you’ll be running marathons!