Hands up if you hate exercise? If the thought of working out and getting all sweaty makes you feel a bit sick? If the sight of an exercise mat and sports bra leaves you
walking quickly running for the hills? Yep, that was me too. I am very lucky to have been blessed with the ‘skinny gene’, I am a naturally small person and am one of those annoying people who can eat cake for breakfast and not put on any weight (sorry!). Something I have never been though is physically fit, my size is deceiving, walking up hills, chasing after my kids or hoovering too enthusiastically can leave me rosy cheeked and out of breath. There are definitely people who are larger than me who are much healthier and in way better shape physically than I am.
I have always been conscious of my poor fitness levels and have tried to improve them throughout my life with very little joy. I have dabbled in swimming, yoga, celebrity endorsed DVDs and have also tried to YouTube my way to a six pack. The thing is, until recently, I just didn’t like to work out, there were a hundred and one other things I would rather do with my time than get my heart pumping and my muscles burning. I just did not enjoy exercise, end of. Now a mum of two, with a tummy that is no longer immune to the effects of too much cake and the need to be fitter to run around after the offspring, I am trying to boost my fitness levels by working out every day. But you hate exercise, I hear you say. Well, not anymore. I actually love exercise now and if you are a workout dodger like I was, you can totally learn to love exercise too, here is how..
How to make exercise something you actually enjoy.
Find an exercise/workout you like doing – So, I went to a spin class and it ended in disaster (you can read about that awful day here!) , I went for one run and nearly threw up afterwards, I have attempted various DVDs and I have also tried hula hooping. None of these exercises were for me, I didn’t enjoy doing them so just couldn’t find the motivation to stick at it. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing then you are unlikely to want to spend your time doing it. Experiment, find a workout that you don’t mind doing, something you can happily commit your valuable time to actually doing. It could be yoga or it could be running, just because your friend loves going to the gym doesn’t mean that is what you need to be doing as well.
An excuse to go shopping – Maybe instead of thinking of working out as a chore, see it as a perfect reason to hit the shops! If you are serious about this getting fit business then why not go shopping and buy yourself some workout clothes. It is not all about jogging bottoms these days you know, workout outfits can be pretty stylish. I love the Kate Hudson Fabletics leggings range and have bought myself some new trainers especially for doing my exercise in. It can be hard as a mum to not feel guilty about spending money on ourselves but what better justification is there than you are buying them because you are trying to be a fitter, healthier and happier mum for your kids?
Don’t jump in at the deep end – Like with the spin class from doom, don’t try and run before you can walk. If you are really hurting and struggling through a workout then maybe you are trying to do too much too soon. I finally started loving exercise when I stopped doing routines that felt like they were designed to actually kill me. There is nothing wrong at all with easing yourself in gently, as your fitness improves you can start doing the more challenging stuff. I started with doing gentle core exercises (mum tum problems) and am feeling so amazing now I am able to do more difficult ab exercises without feeling like someone is punching me in the stomach!
It counts as me time – When you are a mum the opportunities to take time for yourself can be few and far between and yet we all know how important it is for our mental wellbeing. Every morning I am taking 10/15 minutes to myself to exercise, the kids are fed and happy and while they are either napping/in pre school/watching TV I do my daily workout. I put some music on (no nursery rhymes), go into another room and just have some alone time, this does my mind the world of good as well as helping to improve my body too. If you think the gym or an exercise class might be for you then that is even better, you could even sneak off for a coffee after your class.
After making these few small changes to my attitude and to how I approach getting fit I can now honestly say that I enjoy doing exercise. If time gets away from me and I miss out on my daily workout I genuinely feel a bit miserable about it, I really do love working out now and it makes me feel amazing now I am starting to see actual results.
If you are interested to know what exercise programme I following then be sure to come back next week and read my review of Lean Mum.
Do you enjoy exercise or do you completely loathe it like I used to? What is your favourite way to workout? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own.
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