Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rethinking Exercise, part 2 (Time & Attitude)

I asked a busy mom of 5 young children how she makes time for fitness--no gym membership, no personal trainer and no nanny! This is what she says:

Well, right now the training program only takes about 25 minutes and if one is honest, they can find 25 minutes to do something if they REALLY WANT TO. To say "I don't have 25 minutes to exercise" is a cop out, in my opinion.

I find that if I don't do it sometime in the morning, it doesn't get done. Once the twins go down for their morning nap, I tell the older children I'm going to exercise and I get on the treadmill. I'm firm about this. They aren't allowed to talk to me or ask me any questions. On the weekend, my husband knows that if its my morning to run (right now its every other day) then that is my top priority, period. I don't care if we are late. He will let me exercise or I won't go . . . . . whereever it is he might want or need to go.

The fact of the matter is that our families will make their priority whatever we impress upon them is OUR priority. At some point in time, I HAVE to take care of myself. That is reasonable. EVERYONE has needs, including Mom.

That might sound a little harsh but its been a journey to get myself there and my family now understands that for these moments when Mom is exercising, Mom is first, and that is ok.

As a personal trainer, I love reading this! Don't get me wrong, I love training people. That's my job--my passion. But when I see this kind of self-motivation, I am thrilled. I wished everyone would have this kind of attitude. This mom--who has plenty of excuses NOT to exercise knows what I know: exercise is more than beneficial. It's essential. And thank you Kelly! Keep at it.

Here's a thought... If you don't know how to take care of yourself, how can you know how to take care of others?

Looking Past the Barrier
Many times, the reason for not exercising is a lack of vision. Sure, you have visions of a fit, trim beach bods, but the picture of the path getting you there is blurred. It's marred by misconceptions--that exercise is hard, a burden and time-consuming... If this is you, you're missing the best part! Exercise is a gift all by itself.


1.) Exercise has immediate benefits!
For example: Exercise reduces stress--naturally and clears the mind. People who exercise actually sleep better and have more self-confidence. A little bit of self-confidence can do amazing things for relationships, careers and general quality of life.

2.) Exercise is fun--find YOUR thing! There's something out there for everyone! Timid young ladies may find their love for boxing. Macho men may find yoga exhilarating! Be open to new things. There isn't just one way to get fit.

3.) Exercise gives back time! You read it right. When you go home from work or school, really--how productive are you? You're all tired out! Make time for exercise and I guarantee, you're going to have more energy and get more things done after work than you ever have!

4.) Exercise fights depression. This goes along with #1-3. Exercise helps our bodies naturally feel better. It's an actual physical thing, too--it's not just all in our heads.

5. Exercise has many definitions. Think outside of the body-building box. If you can take five minute breaks every hour, take some time to clear your head and do something physical. Do a couple set of wall push-ups one time, dips another time, walk briskly up and down there stairs the next time... You really won't break that much of a sweat.


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? SHOULDERS!

Don't forget shoulders in the workout routine! (And I'm really talking to the ladies here. Most weight-lifting men wouldn't dare miss shoulders!) It's good for posture--and it looks great! Strong shoulders complete and compliment the silhouette.


I advise many to do their shoulders all on a day of their own. For the serious bodybuilders, I also prescribe trapezoid (traps) exercises on shoulders day. (Trapezoids are muscles in the back, often not targeted in certain back exercises.)

Coming mid-month...

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