So lately I have been pretty consistent about running. I've gotten into a good habit and I enjoy being out on the road.
But it was not always like that. After having children, there were times I thought that I would never exercise again. As a mom, you never get enough sleep, you have to drive everyone else to their activities, and you don't seem to have an extra second in your calendar. Or you have babies, and when they actually are asleep (which is rare) you're doing the best you can to re-gain your sanity by picking up your house, grabbing something to eat besides goldfish, or attempting to catch up on a few minutes of sleep before the baby monitor goes off again.
I've lived both lives and wondered how I would ever find time to exercise regularly. I tried a million things: Pilates videos that I was going to do 3 days a week while my kids were napping; a gym membership where I swore I would drop my kids off in the childcare center and do some cardio a few days a week; and I even tried Zumba (which I really did love!).
One of the main problems with all of it was that there was never anything that called to me. Nothing that made me want to go work out except thinking about bikini season, and really that just made me mad enough to want to eat chocolate in spite of bathing suits.
One of the reasons I was drawn to the Couch to 5K program was because of its simplicity, and I really liked the idea of being a runner.
But when it came down to starting the program, I was a little unmotivated as usual. My best advice: bribe yourself!
My first bribes for working out regularly went something like this:
Run 3 days out of the week: get a pedicure....don't run 3 days= no pedicure :(
Run 3 days the next week: open a bottle of wine...don't run= no vino :(
Run 4 days a week for 2 weeks straight: new jeans!
My bribery works for me, but it depends on how good you are at bribing yourself and whether or not you'll stick to it. It helps to have someone in on the bribe to keep you accountable. And it doesn't have to be running, but anything you do in terms of exercise 3 days a week on a regular basis has more than just health benefits. Regular exercise can clear your mind, give you peace, and help you create focus in your day to day life.
Now bribing may work for motivation, but the other kicker for most of us: TIME!
Who has the time?! It turns out that most of us do. It's a choice we make. I recently found a study that said that the average Facebook user spends 7 hours a month on Facebook. That's just over 2 hours a week. There is your hour and a half to spend 30 minutes, 3 days a week exercising.
Even if you're not a huge facebook user, there are plenty of other things that suck up our time: TV, internet browsing, online games, etc. We have time. It's just a matter of managing it better and managing it intentionally.
The 3rd problem for a lot of people after finding the motivation and the time is simply: what kind of exercise to do!
My best suggestion is to find something you love. I know that sounds crazy! But you can love something like exercise that's good for your mind, body, and soul. Research, experiment, and try, try again until you find something that you actually like doing.
Running works for me because I can do it anywhere at anytime and it's incredibly simple. I was really bad at it at first and it hurt to do it 3 days a week. My knees used to hurt sooooo bad every time I went out! But it will probably be like that with anything you start doing. Don't expect to be good at first. Don't expect to love it at first. Set a goal to exercise for 3 days a week for a month straight and see where it takes you.
You can exercise regularly no matter how much you think you can't.
The crazy thing about the things we think we can't do is that the things we usually think we can't do are the things that we have the most potential to be truly successful at.
What do you fear? What are you preventing yourself from being great at? The things that you are supposed to be great at should scare the heck out of you. Really. Whatever you're fearful of, is where you have a true potential to shine.
Take a leap of faith, and do things you think you can't do. You'll be surprised at where you'll go, who you'll meet, and what your life will look like afterward.
Do things you think you can't do...like exercise regularly. And may you find peace along the way.