I am often asked this question, especially now as a new mom… How can we stay fit and active when we don’t have much time to go to the gym or even train?
1. Set your priorities straight
If training or working out is not a priority for you…it will not happen. You will always find something else to do instead. It is that simple. It is only when it becomes really important and essential to you that somehow, you can start finding some “free spots” in your busy schedule to have some exercises done. So yes, if you really want to start working out more, put it at the top of your to-do list, until it becomes a real habit, like brushing teeth.
2. Find the time in your day that suits you best
To me, there is no specific rule for this. Some people feel good exercising early in the morning, others will prefer noon and others prefer later in the afternoon. It is true that physiologically, it might be better to work out when your natural cortisol levels are the highest, usually in the morning and early afternoon. But again, I think that people have different lives and might just feel better exercising later. And of course, it also depends on the schedule of the whole family so… yes. Choose a time in the day that suits you and your family the best.
3. Think positive before sleeping at night
Make sure you have grateful positive thoughts before falling asleep, and also in the morning when you wake up. Feeling grateful and thinking positive at night will give you the momentum you need in the morning to do what you planned to do. I often like to think of the workout program of the next day and get excited by it! Just find whatever works for you. Maybe it is just thinking about the after-workout feeling, or how you feel empowered by those training sessions. Find something in your workout to look forward to.
In general, taking a deep breath and being conscious of what you can be grateful for, mornings and evenings, can improve your overall wellbeing (and sleep!) drastically. Give it a try!
4. Don’t overthink and just do it
Do it because you love yourself, not because you want to change something in yourself… Set a goal that is not “losing weight” or “toning up”. Goals like lifting stronger, running faster, recovering from injury or improving your balance are much more motivating, encouraging and empowering. Weight loss or muscle definition will be a pleasant side effects of those bigger goals.
5. Have your gym at home
I think this can be a life changer. Anyone at home can find some place for a Swissball, some dumbbells and kettlebells, a skipping rope… And bodyweight exercises can be extremely tough and efficient!! You don’t need a treadmill and other big machine to have a great workout.
6. Make it short and efficient
TRAIN, DON’T DRAIN. Exercising for more than 45min can become catalytic, which means you break down muscle mass instead of producing it, and you increase your stress hormones levels…. This can be completely counter-productive. I realized it myself and experienced it: a well-designed 20-30min workout can make wonders. And as I was saying in point 1: if it is your priority, you will always find some time to train for 20min from the comfort of your own home…
7. A go-to workout example
These are some examples of what anyone can do at home, for just 20mn of their time. One with a Swissball, the other one with no accessories at all... But I definitely advise anyone to invest in a Swissball at home! Be creative and never forget to have fun. Also, make it a real “me-time”: some days I put some dancing music to lift me up, some other days I will listen to an interesting podcast while lifting some weights… It all depends on my mood! And that is the great part of doing it from home. You don’t have to listen to this crazy music that often plays in the background of most gyms….
Enjoy and let me know how this works for you!
With a Swissball:
With no accessories at all (just a home chair or your bed or couch maybe):