Friday, October 18, 2013

Beat Those Exercise Excuses!

Today at Overweight... AND OVER IT! I'm featuring guest blogger Caitlin Hudson!  Caitlin offers some great tips to help us overcome the temptation to talk ourselves out of exercising and staying fit.  It's super easy to convince ourselves that this one time won't matter, but all those little "one times" add up to a LOT of laziness (I'm super guilty)!  Thanks for sharing these and holding us accountable, Caitlin!  YOU ROCK!!!

Follow Caitlin on Twitter: @HealthyHudson

How to Beat the Exercise Excuses
by Caitlin Hudson

Excuses, excuses. We've all said them at one point in time or another. But when it comes to fitness, excuses can be a motivation-killer. Exercise is important and the habit will die if we don’t stick with it. If I remember that what I may think are legitimate reasons are actually just excuses, I can push past the laziness and maintain my fitness routine.

“I’m too busy”

I have realized that I almost always have time to do the things that are most important to me. But I don’t always have a whole hour I can set aside to workout, so I just do what I can. I’ll grab a few minutes of squats or weight-lifting with dumbbells during commercial breaks of a television show. You can get some more ideas from this Prevention postI like to take walks frequently throughout the day. When I’m working and trying to think through a thorny problem, that’s an ideal break time. I can go for a little walk or a run if I have time. If I don’t, just getting up and pacing or doing some exercises in place, such as high knees or jump rope, is just the energy boost I need.

“I can’t exercise with the kids”

Oh, children. What did we ever do with all our free time before we had kids? But they aren't an exercise-killer, as much as they may seem. Children are naturally active and love to get moving. With my kids, I try to take their lead. My daughter likes to get outside and do something fun every day. While the weather’s still nice, I try to accommodate it. We take a lot of trips to the park and I chase them as much as I can. When she’s at soccer practice, I run around the park with my son.

Having kids, especially if they’re little, can make structured exercises a bit harder. It’s not quite as easy to get in a good walk or run with a two-year-old who abruptly changes direction every 15 seconds. When the weather is lousy, I’ll load the kids up in the stroller and head to the mall. I usually buy a very inexpensive surprise early on that will keep them preoccupied. With drinks and snacks, I can walk around for over an hour before they get bored and want to get out of the stroller or go home. I recently purchased these to wear on my ankles, since walking is a fairly low-impact exercise.

“I’m too tired”

I never knew what it meant to desperately want to go to bed at 8 p.m. until I had kids. The evening is so crazy with homework, dinner and bedtime routines. If I didn't do my exercise first-thing, I doubt I’d have the time or the motivation to do it at the end of the day. This ties in with the sense that we are too busy. I try to build in a short workout at the very beginning of the morning. In essence, I roll out of bed and get at least 10-15 minutes of good cardio. It wakes me up and gives me time to think about my day. I found that doing that every day has built a reserve of energy I can rely on that cannot even be replaced by caffeine.

We’re mothers; we've heard every explanation in the book for why our kids can’t or didn't do something they should. I try to avoid using such excuses myself, especially when it comes to exercise. There is no real barrier to my staying in shape, and there shouldn't be.

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