Workout tips for the beginner or busy mom!

A few months back my little sister wrote a post called 6 simple tips for working out on a consistent basis (side note: if you don't follow her yet, go do it now because her blog is definitely an A+ blog and I'm not just saying that because she's my sister). Anyway! After she wrote that post I got thinking about what tips I would give for working out. I have to confess that she is way more hard-core at working out than I am. Emphasis on way more. She runs almost every day and I think her minimum is somewhere around 5 miles?
I, on the other hand, run (ahem. read: workout) almost never-day (yeah, that's never) and my minimum is somewhere around zero miles which I really have no trouble completing every day. None at all.

But I've been thinking lately that maybe I really should get back on the workout train. So I went back and read her tips. And then I realized while they were all really super great tips almost none of them apply to me because 1) i'm not a runner and 2) i hate working out.
So I need really, really beginner tips. I need not just simple but really simple. So I'm sharing with you my workout tips for the BEGINNER or re-beginner or workout-hater or the really-busy-mom. 
Note: I fit into all those categories.

1. Be accountable to someone.
[back when i was accountable to my little workout buddy, jack jack because he lived for our daily walks haha!]

Whenever I want to start working out again (because I always stop and then at some point convince myself to restart) I tell at least one person about my workout plan. So I'll tell my husband I've decided to start riding the exercise bike every morning. Or I'll tell my sisters I'm starting Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred. And that way there's someone I feel accountable to. I'm a lot more likely to stick to my plan when someone else knows about it.

And, even better, if you can make a plan with someone, do it! When you have a workout buddy counting on you to show up for your workout you'll pretty much never bail. It's a lot easier to bail on yourself than on someone else. And workout buddy can mean walking buddy or gym buddy or whatever extent you want to take it to!

2. Set a time.
If I just say "I'll workout sometime today" it does not happen. Because I get busy with everything else on my to-do list and suddenly I've run out of hours in the day. So instead set a specific time! It can be the same time every day or it can be a different time each day as long as you set your time the night before! I prefer to work out in the morning so it's done and over with and I don't have to dread it all day long. Set a time that you know won't get interrupted by something else. Because I have two littles I have to workout before they wake up otherwise there are too many things I'm needed for.

3. Put your clothes out the night before.
No idea why this is so huge for me but I am 10x more likely to get out of bed in the morning if my workout clothes are already set out. I don't have to dig around in the dark and it's just one less step and less time to talk myself out of it.

4. Give yourself a reward.

[if staring at little baby jack in a cozy beanie while out for a walk is not enough reward, read on.]
hint: it is not enough.

My rewards are so simple. Like I can't watch any Netflix until I've worked out that day. I love watching shows while I do chores so I'm much more likely to work out knowing I can watch Netflix if I do! If you are an insta-addict (like me) tell yourself you can't check instagram until you've worked out. there are a million other simple rewards you can use! be creative!

5. Make a calendar & mark it off every day.
This tip was actually mentioned by my sister too! Like sister like sister. Whenever I start a new workout regime I make a calendar. For 30 day shred I cross off each day so I can see what I've accomplished and, more importantly, count how many days I have left ha! If I'm just planning to ride my stationary bike every day I will write how many miles I rode, my time, and calories burned. When I look back on the calendar it gives me motivation to keep going!

6. Don't feel like you have to run 15 miles for it to be considered a workout.
[one mile runs = the bomb. seven minute workout and i'm done. and i count it]

My workouts are so simple. Riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes. Going on a walk while pushing the stroller (a walk to the park that is a half mile away counts!). I feel like running (and working out in general) is such a fad right now and it's hard to feel accomplished with your mile run when all your friends are posting screenshots of their 10 mile runs on instagram. or pictures of themselves after their 50th marathon that month. And it's great if you are one of those people but it's not any less great if you aren't! You can be in great shape without ever running a marathon, I promise!

and sidenote: here's the way I look at it.
a] at some point when you are racking up the miles you have to start eating more calories. you can't run 10 miles every day without consuming extra calories to stay healthy. so I choose to run one mile or ride my stationary bike and I eat a conservative amount of food.
and b] people who workout like crazy are much more likely to suffer from injuries. I've never had shin splints or bloody toes or blistered feet. And I kind of like it that way!

last but not least
7. something is better than nothing.
[the time we had just closed on our first home and spent two weeks renovating. i had been running or walking every day for the past several months but did nothing for these two weeks besides renovate. and it counted for my calorie burn. and i didn't feel guilty at all.]

in fact, anything is better than nothing. if you feel like you don't have time to run even one mile, run around the block one time. one time! or park your car in the farthest space from the store and walk there [even better: walk fast!]. Or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or count a chore day as a workout day. You DO burn calories while cleaning! Don't do this every day if you can avoid it but oh my goodness! we are busy people! not everybody has an hour [or even a half hour!] every day to workout. do what you can and be proud of yourself!

now wish me luck as I hop back on the workout train later this week!
...after 4 or 5 months of zero workout days hahaha.
i'm in for a serious wake-up call.

what beginner workout tips do you have?
please share!


1 comment

  1. I feel the same way! Always starting and stopping and starting and stopping. I started this really good workout a few weeks ago, and then quit (grrrrr why did I do that!?!). But I'm planning on starting it again soon, it's only 3 weeks, 5 days a week, and most of the stuff you can do at home with weights. There's also a lot of other good workouts on this site to check out. =)


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