If you are anything like me, you are a mother and/or wife who has a full-time job and serves as motivator, encourager, problem solver, confidant - you name it, to several others. Your schedule is so hectic that you are trying to find a way to remove some of your tasks from your to-do list. With so much on your plate, you may not even consider a workout, as you simply do not have the time. Or so you thought... I am here to help all of you lovely ladies find and maintain your perfect peace. And I strongly believe that one of the ways in which you can do so is through physical fitness.
The Benefits of Physical Activity
As you know, working out has a slew of benefits. In addition to helping you lose or maintain weight, you will have more energy and will literally feel happier. I kid you not, I have had mornings when I was in a funk for absolutely no reason. I then did my mid-day workout, and by the end of the workout, I was back to my normal, positive, cheerful self. Working out releases “happy hormones” called endorphins, which improve your mood. When I am not in the best of moods, I go break a sweat to get my happy back.
I know you have heard this on numerous occasions, but working out also gives you more energy. It may take a few weeks for you to start noticing a difference in your energy levels, but as long as you stick to it, you will begin to notice a difference. In the past when I have went a week or so without working out, I literally began to feel sluggish. And once I began to workout again, my energy levels increased and were back to normal.
Finding Time for Fitness
For those of you who aren’t convinced that you can fit working out into your busy schedule, let me share a few tips with you.
First and foremost, I strongly recommend that you set aside at least thirty minutes a day three days a week for fitness. And I strongly recommend that you do something that you enjoy. For instance, I absolutely LOVE to dance. So for me, that is my go to cardio workout. I enjoy it so much that it doesn't even feel like a workout.
For those of you who don’t enjoy dancing as much or who have two left feet, you can always try walking or jogging. Walking actually has a lot more positive benefits than most think and you can actually still lose a significant amount of weight by merely increasing your steps. Hence the recent craze with step-counting devices such as FitBits, Apple watches, Jawbones, etc. I’ve included links for a few fan favorites below which vary in price:
Of course each of these step counting devices has different bands that you can purchase separately if you like to switch it up. I've included some options below.
I digress...back to the benefits of walking. Studies show that whether you are walking or running, most likely, you will burn the same amount of calories. The only difference is if you are moving at a quicker pace, of course you can burn more calories in a shorter period of time. The main point here is that regardless of the type of cardio you prefer, you need to get moving, girl! And make sure you purchase a step counter that will help you set a daily goal for the number of steps you take each day, and that will alert you every time you have been sitting still for too long. I am a big fan of the step counting devices as they hold you accountable for your weight loss goals.
Short & Sweet Workouts
Another approach that has helped me on my busiest days when hitting the gym is merely not an option, is doing exercises in short spurts. For instance, at work, I have a standing desk, and am known to do leg raises as I am standing up and working. I have even purchased resistance bands that I will break out of my laptop bag at work and will use while I am working at my standing desk. You can easily do three sets of leg raises in each direction in just fifteen minutes or less. Front raises - to tone those inner thighs. Side raises to get rid of those saddle bags. And back raises to firm your glutes. The bands that I purchased are below. They even come with a convenient travel bag that you can easily tote around with you or even leave in your car. #winning