1. Make a Date with Yourself. Write it on the calendar. Can’t do it all at one time? That’s okay–15 minutes here and 15 minutes there, still add up to more than what you were doing before!
2. Pre-plan your workouts. I like to look at the calendar on Sunday nights and plan out my week. I do this for my weekly menu as well as my workouts. If you pre-plan, you are less likely to make excuses!
3. Play with your kids! This is an obvious one, but many of us use the kids playing time to catch up on other duties! Why not join them? Take a walk around the neighborhood, go for bike rides or play kick ball. You’ll get much more out of it than exercise!
4. Use your kids! Speaking of kids, why not use them for resistance! This is great for those moms with little ones!
5. Find a Friend. The buddy system is key if you know you won’t make yourself accountable to those fitness appointments! Plus, it’s always more fun with a friend. I've been using the FREE app and online tool MyFitnessPal. This is a great way to stay accountable!
6. Exercise while watching T.V. Instead of sitting during the commercials (or if you are watching your DVR–skipping those commercials), do simple exercises. For one commercial, do a plank; the next, crunches; the next leg lifts, etc. Before you know it, your show is back on and you just burned some calories!
7. Exercise while getting ready. Multitasking is a busy mom's gift. Use it! Don’t just brush your teeth–do squats (or wall squats)! Do you curl your hair? Try outer-leg lifts. I also do calve raises while blow drying my hair. It might feel awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it!
8. Find a gym with a daycare. I have a membership at our local YMCA. They offer free daycare to their members during certain hours. For those days where I can’t hit the gym in the morning, I try to go after work and bring the kids. Again, no excuses!
9. Videos & Magazines. I love videos and YouTube is a great source for free fitness videos. Some of my favorites are Jessica Smith TV, ToneItUp and Jeanette Jenkins. I also have email subscriptions for daily/weekly newsletters from Fitness Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine and Shape Magazine. They send you workouts right to your email box! I print out my favorites and store them in a fitness binder. I use this to help me plan out my weekly workouts.
10. Mobile Apps. I'm not that techie of a person, but I do have a few fitness apps on my phone that I use. NikeTraining Club is a great tool! There are different fitness goals such as: Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, Get Focused (I have all of those goals!), with a coordinating workout for each--plus, different levels--beginner, intermediate or advanced. This app shows you what to do for each exercise, too. I also use the HIIT Interval App, too. This makes doing HIIT much easier! BodyRock TV App is great too. Talk about some serious motivation!
Most importantly, have fun! When you enjoy what you are doing, you are going to stick with it longer and it won’t feel like exercise. For instance, if you like to dance, try a Zumba class. Lately, I’ve been doing “fun runs”–these are themed 5k’s. Last year I completed the Dirty Girl Mud Run with some college friends and this year we are did the Color Vibe.
One of my favorite training tools is my heart rate monitor. It really makes me push myself to stay "in the zone." Here is the one I have:
We all are given 24 hours a day, it’s just a matter of how efficient you are with your time and how you choose to spend it. You must believe that you are worth it.