Do you find it difficult to incorporate regular exercise into your life? Do you feel guilty taking time out for yourself? Does it feel overwhelming just trying to decide which is the most effective means of staying fit and healthy when there are so many choices out there?
When there is housework to be done, kids to be looked after, and a full email inbox to get through, it can be challenging to incorporate exercise into your life. However, the catch-22 is that by engaging in regular exercise we are better able to make decisions, deal with stress, and stay healthy. We are busy moms with full-time jobs and we can build exercise into our lives in very different ways. We’ve put together our key lessons to help you incorporate exercise into your life.
1. Take the path of least resistance
Taking the path of least resistance is key to developing a habit of regular exercise that fits into your current lifestyle. So instead of opting for joining the gym that is the other side of town or signing up to a class that clashes with family dinner times, choose something that fits easily with your current routines and commitments. For example, one of us lives across the road from a yoga studio. It takes most of the resistance to exercise away when all we need to do is roll out of bed, get dressed, and cross the road.
2. Go with friends
There’s plenty of research to show that doing exercise with others increases your commitment. It also makes it more fun. So make a plan for regular exercise with a friend. Exercise classes can be great for this. Not only do you stay fit, you get the bonus of getting a whole new bunch of friends to take with you on the journey to a healthier lifestyle!
3. Make it joyful and indulgent
What brings you joy? What makes you feel loved and nourished? Can you build this into your exercise time? Your time for nourishment, self-care, and indulgence. We love smelly shower gels. They turn shower time into an indulgent, sensuous experience - a perfect reward after an intense exercise session. How can you make your exercise time more joyful? How can you reward yourself?
4. Recognise that habits take time to build
Attending one yoga class or going for a 10-minute run is certainly a fantastic step forward. But unless you stick with it the motivation will soon fade and the habit is forgotten. It’s been proven that habits can sometimes take as long as 90 days to really form! Make it easy for yourself to stick with your habit. This is related to the first tip. If you want to visit the gym or go for a run every morning, you might find it difficult to motivate yourself on cold mornings. Decide what you’re going to wear the night before and hang your kit on the radiator - that way you wake up to some nice toasty clothes instead of ice-cold kit and you have one less decision to make!
5. Be kind to yourself
We’ve already heard that building habits take time. We are all human and sometimes, despite our best intentions, we fall off the wagon. In these situations don’t beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for the slip and find your resolve to come back stronger next time. As the old Japanese proverb says, “fall down seven times, get up eight”!
List of Wonder Woman exercise ideas:
We Are All Wonder Women is an international movement for female conservation professionals to be inspired, connected, and empowered to create an authentic, fulfilling and happy career.