If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that keeping my exercise regime up when the kids are off school is super tough. As a mum to three kids, there usually isn’t a point in the day where I’m not being asked to do something, taxi-drive them somewhere or tidying up after them… not to mention all the while trying to run a business! Exercising with any real regularity or intensity naturally drops off my agenda for a few weeks – and I’m okay with that.
I know that the summer is an important time for my children and I, and we can stay active together in different ways. When it comes to the end of the summer holidays however, I get a real kick out of the ‘reset’ mindset I get into. As my kids are preparing to go back to school, I get that same feeling of ‘newness’ and rejuvenation that I used to feel as a child at this time of year, too.
If, like me you’ve struggled with your exercise regime this summer you might be feeling a renewed sense of motivation but wondering where to start.
That’s where I can help! After listening to hundreds of clients over the years, I’ve put together my top tips on getting back into exercise after a break:
- Partner up!
It’s so easy to miss a workout when you’re only relying on yourself to show up. However, throw a workout buddy into the mix and you’ll notice you have a real sense of responsibility and accountability to them. Perhaps try partnering up with someone who has a similar aged baby and agree to meet at the same time, or same class each week – you’ll quickly realise that having someone relying on you to be there really makes you stick to a routine. If you don’t have anyone local to buddy up with, come and join a Fit & Healthy Mums class. There are plenty of likeminded women at our classes all wanting to achieve the same thing as you!
- Find what you love
Have a real think about what forms of exercise you really enjoy. You don’t have to go to the gym to be fit and healthy – especially if by forcing yourself to go, you’re struggling to maintain any form of consistency.
I always recommend finding ways to mix up your workouts and exercise to make it achievable, accessible, and enjoyable. Can’t face the gym? Get outside with the pushchair and join a mum and baby class. Struggling to get to a class? Workout online. Don’t have time? Choose shorter workouts at home to fit around baby’s nap time. There is always a way to fit more activity into your day!
- Get ready the night before
This is so simple but trust me when I say it’s one of THE best tips to help you stay accountable. Lay all your kit out on your bedroom floor. Pack your gym bag. Pack the pushchair into the car if you need to.
Once you wake up and see your workout kit ready and waiting for you, it’s the first thought in your head. Not to mention, you are dressed and ready in your gear – you can’t ignore it! Obviously, it also helps with time in the morning (lets face it, us mums usually don’t have enough of that!). Being organised is the key to maintaining consistency.
- Schedule it
Along with prepping the night before, another top tip is to check your diary for the week ahead and schedule in your exercise. And I do mean literally schedule it in. Pop it in your calendar on your phone or write it down on a timetable for the week. If it helps, book yourself onto a class so that it becomes a non-negotiable. Often once you have paid to take part in an activity or class, you’re simply more likely to attend.
- Reframe it
Often, I find that clients are so focussed on the outcome of exercise that they forget how good the process can feel. Whilst exercise can feel hard in the moment, it’s not often I’ll hear a client say they don’t feel better afterwards!
It’s of course okay if you’re struggling with your motivation, acknowledging that you need something to refocus and motivate you is half the battle – just try and remember that post workout high to power you on.
- Commit to 5
Feeling daunted by a 30-minute workout? Why not commit to just five minutes. If, after 5 minutes you’re struggling with your workout and you just can’t keep going, that’s okay. What you might find however, is that once you’re up and moving you’ll feel good and want to keep going. If all else fails, you’ve still completed 5 minutes more than you will have done if you didn’t do anything!
- Ease in
Feeling totally overwhelmed with the thought of exercising after a summer of very little movement? I get it. If heading to the gym for a heavy weights session just feels like too much, get outside for a brisk walk or a light jog. That small start will get you moving in the right direction and do wonders for your body and mind.
- Do it for you
This is the most important of all points. If you’re not working out for yourself, you’ll find it so much harder to stick to any form of exercise. Exercise should always be about making yourself feel confident, strong, fit and more like ‘you’. It’s not about anyone else, or for how they think you should look. Each time you exercise, be proud of what you have achieved for your physical and mental health.
Struggling to find motivation? Get in touch – Fit & Healthy Mums offers Personal Training, Private Group Sessions, Individual Sessions and a range of classes. Can’t make it to a class? Join us online – from beginner Pilates, Yoga, or to our comprehensive membership @home, we have something for everyone. All online classes are currently 50% off with the code BACK2SCHOOL.