Spring Time = Time to exercise
It’s 5:47AM. It is dark outside and warm under the covers. The alarm clock goes off. I hate it. I’d like to hit snooze until tomorrow. But I don’t. I get up, put on my pants, sneakers and a shirt that just might be backwards because I’m so tired. Then I head out the door. Why? To run.
Why? Because spring is weeks away, summer is right around the corner, and the notion of me in a bathing suit is not a good one. Why else? Because it’s good for me. It keeps me in shape, let’s me eat cake and is as good for my head as it is for my body. But really why? Why don’t I hit snooze and plan to go for a run at lunch or maybe after work? Two reasons. First, I know if I don’t go now, I won’t go at all. Second and more importantly, because my friends are waiting. And they are tired too. And while I might leave them hanging for a bit when I’m late for book club or the occasional girls night out, I will not leave them hanging in dark at 6AM.
I’ve learned over time how – and when – to fit fitness into my admittedly hectic life and since I was just recently asked how I do it, I thought I’d share three simple tips that will hopefully have you lacing up your sneakers and heading out the door… with a spring in your step, summer on your mind and hopefully, with your shirt on the right way!
- 1. Set a goal. I’m sure you’ve heard this before but I’m here to tell you that it works. Having a goal to work toward is a great motivator. Maybe you’d like to run a 5K or lose 5 pounds or fit into your favorite pair of old jeans. Maybe your goal is more esoteric; maybe you’d like to feel better, stress less, smile more. Whatever it is, pick your goal and get started. I’m hoping to run a half marathon with my sister this summer and am pleased to report I was able to eek out eight miles last weekend. I’m looking forward to the emotional and physical rewards of crossing the finish line… as well as looking fit and trim in a bathing suit!
- 2. Grab a buddie. With a kindergartener, 2nd grader and three pre-schoolers at home, the notion of a buddy system is near and dear to me. When you have a buddy by your side, you’re less likely to give up, more likely to show up and have a built-in support system. Whether it’s running, Zumba, walking, weights, step or Spinning, it will be more fun with a friend. So go grab a gal pal and if you’re as lucky as I am, you can combo your exercise with some girl talk and just might find that you have “solutions before sunrise” – something we’ve recently realized is an added perk of our morning runs.
- 3. Mix it up. I used to belong to a gym. I used to take classes at lunchtime and Saturday mornings. Now I usually eat lunch at my desk so I can dash home in time to make dinner and Saturday mornings are reserved for soccer practice. When I had the luxury of a gym membership, I’d take different classes all the time; it was challenging and rewarding, mentally and physically. Now that the luxury of time is gone (and the money I spent at the gym is allocated to PullUps!), I have to find other ways to keep it fresh, to prevent the burnout that can lurk around the next corner. This spring, I hope to find time for a weekly yoga class (wish me luck!) and I’ve started to explore new terrain with new tunes on the occasions that I go for a solo run. Trying something new helps keep me on my feet and off my couch!
- 4. Put it on your calendar. Ideally with one of those annoying 15 minute reminders you can’t ignore. You wouldn’t miss a dentist appointment, pre-school conference, soccer practice or ballet lesson, would you? Well, treat your newfound commitment to fitness the same way – as an important obligation that’s not to be missed. After all, that’s exactly what it is.
- 5. Just do it. The good folks at Nike had it right when they came up with this one. Stop making excuses, get off your rump, get up and go! Whether you head to the gym, pop in a video, meet a friend for a run (or walk!) or take a yoga class, just do it. No matter how tired you are, you will always feel better, never regret it and undoubtedly be pleased with the results that just a bit of routine exercise will provide.
Marketing maven by day, writer by night; Mama Lyons 24/7 to five tots six and under --including identical 3 year-old triplets. Funny, honest, well caffeinated and never bored! Come visit me on Facebook, Twitter, or at LyonsDenMom.com!