This mama's tricks for making workouts happen

Over the next week, I’m going to share with you a list of tricks I employ to make exercise happen in my life. My hope is that these will help you too incorporate exercise into your weekly routine, or inspire you to make your own list of what you think will motivate you to get fit.

I engage in some form of intense exercise 3-4 days a week and take leisure walks (more about leisure walks, later!) on off days.
On workout days, I do one of the following: lift weights, practice yoga, push two kids in a stroller up hill while wearing the baby, or take a hard, fast run.

I became a person that exercises 3-4 times a week very GRADUALLY.
This gal did not wake up one day and decide to workout four days a week, but rather I committed to one solid day of exercise a week, which eventually grew to two days, then to three and over time on good weeks when my family is health and life isn't too crazy, four days.
I believe the primary reason I maintain this frequency is that I didn't make it happen all at once.
For five years, I took note of what actions, mentalities and situations helped motivate me to exercise and which ones hindered me.
It was a very long series of baby steps that I continue to take.
I incrementally created space in my mind, my life, and my days for exercise.
More about that journey later, but right now I want to talk about the actions and mentalities that helped me adopt a regular fitness routine.

So here is my list of 3 Tricks for making exercise happen.

1. Wear workout clothes.
On workout days, when you get dressed in the morning, put on workout clothes.
This is particularly true for busy mamas, but applies to anyone that has flexibility in their wardrobe.

If you’re not dressed to exercise, then that’s just one more hurdle between you and the workout.
I’m not saying that we all have to be donning the latest Lululemon on a daily basis, but getting dressed in workout clothes helps you to commit to exercising that day first thing!
Now, whether you have a planned class, a time slot for fitness,  you’re just waiting for the baby to take a nap, a client to cancel, your caffeine to kick in, you’re ready to rock.
No wardrobe change necessary.

What’s that you say?
You don’t want to be wearing workout pants and a sports bra all day?
I hear that.

For the women with ample bosoms:
You might be thinking you DO NOT enjoy wearing sports bras and definitely don't want to in one longer than need be.
If you can find a solid bra that is supportive and your workout doesn’t involve a ton of jumping around (i.e. yoga, Pilates, weight-lifting)  then most workout days, you can probably get away with something more comfortable.
If you plan on some squat jumps, a run, stairs, skyrobics, then you might have to change into a sports bra right before working out.
If this is the case, then I recommend putting one out on the bed, in the bathroom, or anywhere in plain sight, so that it’s easy to find, and it’s reminding you that you want to workout today.

Photo taken today by my 5 year old. Thank you, Ro!

Photo taken today by my 5 year old. Thank you, Ro!

For the legging-haters:
If your under-garments aren’t a deal breaker but you're self conscious when it comes to yoga pants and leggings, you can invest in a nice tunic or long sweater or two. The picture on the right shows a gray tunic I grabbed for a song at TJ Maxx (I love me some TJ's!!) with a long sweater I found at The Goodwill. Both these items cover my rear-end, and I can easily shed the sweater when it's time to workout.
If you swap my sneakers for a pair of cute boots or sandals, add a scarf, I'm grocery-store ready!

If you're thinking,  you need to dress more appropriately for work or you have an appointment that requires you to dress a little more "fancy", leggings work well under skirts and cute dresses too. Believe me, having most of your exercise gear already on your body, helps you remember your commitment to exercising today and makes it that much more easy to accomplish.

There are plenty of days when I rock the "Rocky Balboa" look and wear old-t-shirts and sweatpants or track pants to workout, and believe you me, I LOOK AWESOME (not at all).
But on days when I'm have errands and tasks before I'm going to get to my workout, I dress like this, so that my attire can not be an excuse for not making exercise happen.

What about the expense?
Maybe you don't own many stylish workout items that you want to wear in public.
It's totally understandable not wanting to spend a fortune on clothes we are going to sweat in.
You can actually buy some pretty affordable items from Target, Old Navy, Kohls, TJ Maxx, Fabletics…even thrift stores and consignment shops.

I think it’s important that you find something that you are comfortable wearing, and makes you feel good, and possibly even inspires you. Cute workout clothes can be a real motivating factor and if that's what gets you exercising, then it is definitely worth investing in a few items that make you feel good!

Below are some examples of functional, attractive, and comfortable items for workout days.

Check in later this week to read about Trick # 2 !
Please join the conversation with your comments!

Thanks for reading.


Sarah SmithComment