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How To Start Working Out: 10 Tips from A Real, Busy Mom Who’s Been There

Are you looking for tips on how to start working out when you’re overweight and out of shape?  I am not a fitness and health professional, just a motivator. Please see your doctor to be sure you’re healthy enough to exercise.

photo: Lauraboo, Flickr

photo: Lauraboo, Flickr, license

Are you a mom that’s interested in working out, but you don’t think you have enough time or resources to do it? Do you want to be healthy, look good, and feel good, but it’s been a while? Maybe you’re afraid of hurting yourself? You think you can’t jump back on the exercise wagon because you haven’t for so long?

No matter your size, shape, weight and activity level, YOU CAN WORK OUT. It’s true! We go through different periods of our lives where we become so busy with work, child rearing, household duties, and other activities that we forget to give ourselves the attention we need and deserve! Since having my 2nd child in 2011, I was a very busy woman, which made me a very poor and sporadic exerciser. That had to change, and I had to learn how to start working out again! Within the past year, I’ve kicked my butt into gear and got my life together to put my health first, and you can, too.

photo: RenatoPeroni, Flickr, license

photo: RenatoPeroni, Flickr, license

I am not a fitness and health professional, just a motivator. Please see your doctor to be sure you’re healthy enough to exercise.

Here’s a fitness testament for you: When I started working out, for real, I could do no more than a 10 minute run, which was pretty much ALL walking! After 30-ish seconds of jogging, I was worn out, that 10 minute stretch was less than a half mile. I currently run a minimum of 2 miles per day, 5 days per week, and do strength training with exercise machines and weights at the gym. I also started at very low weight and have since tripled, and some exercises, quadrupled the amount I can lift!

Now I won’t lie: it wasn’t easy to get back into exercising. It was the hardest mentally, I think deadening the excuses and getting out there is the largest obstacle. You don’t need a treadmill, weights, a personal trainer or an expensive gym membership to move. You feel better, look better, and seriously add a jolt of life to your day. Here’s how I started working out from scratch…

How to start working out: 10 Tips for Moms to Help You Start 

1. I think I can

I know I can! The hardest thing, for me anyway, was the mind set to get fit and eat right. I have a vicious sweet tooth and I really had to tell myself that I could do it. Get a mental picture going in your head, know what you want, and go for it!

2. Make the time, make changes in daily habits

We are all busy, know this. Also know that you CAN carve out 30 minutes per day to get active. This could mean walking the kids to school, instead of driving, taking a mid-day break to hit the gym, choosing to go outside instead of watching TV sitting on the couch, and even walking a few laps around the playground while the kids play, or the soccer field during their after school practice. This is a very important how to start working out tips, you’ve got to make the time.

3. Measure and weigh yourself

You’ll get a clear picture of your height, weight and measurements and can see how you feel about it. Good? Bad? Indifferent? If you’re super over weight, don’t fret: it’s a great step to actually acknowledge it and, overtime, a really good way to measure your progress towards your goals. When you really start sticking to an exercise plan, you will see how the numbers go down! Try this smart scale, a digital scale that connects to your smartphone, and remembers your progress.

4. Go outside

This is one of the top tips for how to start working out, the fresh air is a good motivator to get moving. Head to a playground if you’re with your kids, a sports complex, walk around the neighborhood or even a grass area outside of your office building. Even if you just go out and sit on a park bench, you had to walk to get there, right? Also, don’t fret on cold or rainy days. Make a good judgement, pick an decent time to go when the rain has let up, dress appropriately and just go outside! Safety first, though.

5. Enlist a friend

I must say that the longest, most invigorating work outs that I have are when I go with like minded friends. I go with my sister often and we tend to motivate each other. I have another friend who has a higher fitness level than I do, so when we go to the gym together, it’s a huge motivator for me to keep going. When one of you isn’t feeling up to it, the other pushes you along. If you have a partner, motivate them to work out with you and switch off with them: run/walk a lap while they watch the kids, and then switch.

6. Make it fun

Contrary to popular belief, you can have a good time working out! Play an active sport you love, put on some of your favorite upbeat music, try working out in a new location, join a local running club, or even create a competition between the people you’re with. I have found myself laughing and trying to catch my breath at the same time, you can too!

7. Involve the kids

If you want to know how to start working out with kids, they can totally exercise with you! For infants, you may want to invest in a jogging stroller or a infant sling, toddlers and preschoolers can emulate your work outs, and elementary age and up can actually walk/run with you! I do this at our local park with a playground, when they get bored of running around the field with me, we retreat to let them play while I continue right around them. You can even do some playground racing, set up an obstacle course and time each other, and I have found that playing playground tag gets me super winded!

8. Invest in some work out clothes and shoes

It’s no surprise that when you look good, you feel good. Invest in a few cute work out sets, you’ll want to wear them and get your butt moving! Also, you need appropriate running shoes, because all of that walking will turn into running someday soon. These Nike 4.0 Flyknit Womens running shoes are my absolute favorite, they are flexible and light, fitting well and supporting the foot.

9. Eat right, track your food, drink lots of water

Eating right for your body size and type is one of the most important supplements to exercising. You can go have a great hour work out, sweat tons, burn 500 calories, but then you go and order that extra value meal with a double cheeseburger, fries and a soda? DUMB. You just wiped out all of your gains, plus added some extra calories to your waist line.

I recommend tracking your food eating habits with MyFitnessPal, a free smartphone app that tracks your exercise and food consumed for the day. You set it up to your height, weight, what you’d like to weigh, and it displays the calorie intake you need to get there. Input the values for each food you eat, and exercise you complete, it shows you a daily snapshot of what you’re eating, calories in vs. calories out, proteins, sugars, etc and helps you along with your fitness goals.

10. Baby steps, consistency, then a reward

If you really want to know how to start working out, baby steps and small wins are key. I really think starting somewhere is the breakthrough point for lots of us. We have to know what we want, and why we want it, and make a conscious effort to get it! So, start. Today. Walk around your house. Then walk down the block. If you have a gym membership, use it! Create a schedule and stick to it, keep up the good work and reward yourself when you hit a milestone!

I am not a fitness and health professional, just a motivator. Please see your doctor to be sure you’re healthy enough to exercise.

Get up, get out, it’s time to sweat! Do you have tips on how to start working out?

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