Welcome back for Post #4 in my “Taking Back My Health” series. I’ve chatted in the first few posts about setting goals, what health challenges I am coming back from, and how to set a strong foundation before you start exercising.
I’ve had a few people ask me about the exercises that I started doing when I first started working out again. So in today’s post I will be sharing those exercises with you and ways that I keep motivated. But first, I wanted to share with you about why I am doing what I am doing. The answer is simple: I want to become a healthier ME. Everybody’s body type, weight and height are different, so our goals for better health may also be very different (weight loss, building lean muscle, etc.). So stop comparing yourself to others around you. Whatever your reason is for wanting to start working out or to get back in shape, I hope that this post encourages you to create your own workout, one that will challenge you to become a healthier YOU.
Getting back into shape has really been a mental challenge for me. I literally have to retrain my brain to think differently about how I spend my time and my effort, how I eat and when (recovering late night chips and dip snacker here!), and I have to battle all of those ridiculous demons that tell me I can’t do this. Here are a few of the things that I do to keep myself motivated daily…
DRESS THE PART
You prepare for work by arriving on time and dressing in uniform, so treat working out the same way. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same time every day, but be sure to carve out the time in your daily schedule. If I work out in the morning, it helps me to put my workout clothes on right away, even if I’m not working out for another hour.
REVIEW MY GOALS
At the beginning of every month I set a few monthly goals. It’s not a daily thing, but I do review my goals every few days to remind me of why I am doing this and to help me keep track of exactly what I’m doing. I keep a daily journal, logging the specifics of what I do during my workouts (how long I run, how many repetitions and sets I do for strengthening exercises, etc). I just use a basic calendar/planner and I love looking back and seeing my progress.
A MIRROR DOESN’T LIE
It’s not for everyone, but here’s why I workout in front of a mirror. When I’m lifting weights or doing my squats, I constantly check my form and make sure I’m doing it correctly. After all, what’s the point of doing an exercise if you’re not even doing it correctly? In some cases, you can cause injury.
I do everything with music, so this is a must for me. Create a few awesome workout playlists for yourself in your Pandora app and get moving!
For the first month that I started working out, my goal was to establish a solid weekly routine of at least 4-5 days. I needed something that was challenging for me as a beginner, but realistic so that I would stick to it. It also needed to be something that could fit into my daily schedule and be something that I could do completely at home. Keep in mind that for some people, using different workout videos is the best and easiest way, and that’s great, too! I chose to put together my own workouts simply because I enjoyed doing it and I liked being able to switch up the specifics of my routines.
Here is the daily routine that I use:
- Stretch (15 minutes)
- 200-500 Jumping Jacks, depends on the workout I am doing that day (or jump rope)
- Run (15-45 mins, depends on workout for the day)
- Monthly Fit Challenge (For January, it was the 30 day squat challenge; February we are doing two fit challenges for the month- a 30 day plank challenge and 30 day butt challenge
- And the last part of my daily workout routine is an additional workout for areas I wanted to specifically target- arms, butt, legs and abs. I wrote the workouts each on a large index card and would rotate the workouts throughout the week. Below are the exercises I have on my four index cards.
** If you’re not sure about any of the names of these exercises, YouTube is a great place to check out a quick how-to video. **
(This is part of the original workout from FitBodyHQ)
That’s basically it. Then I follow it up with a warm down and stretch. It’s tough to make the time to do these workouts. I’m a stay at home mom of a four-year-old. My days are loaded with family, homeschooling and my daily routine at home. I’ve also recently opened a business and have started working at home. My cup runneth over! 🙂 Some days I do the workout in the morning, other days I have to squeeze it in at night before bed, and there have been a couple of days where I have had to give myself some grace because I passed out in bed before I even got a chance to work out! The most important thing is to stay focused on whatever your goals are!
In my next post, I will be sharing a way that you can join me in my “90 Day Challenge.” Stay tuned!