My Top Tips to Getting and Staying Lean and Healthy Part 3 – Exercise

Does that word fill you with dread? So many people hate exercise and either put it off or avoid it completely. But I think that’s just because they haven’t got to the sweet spot.

So many of us are time starved, overworked and overstressed. So we feel justified in skipping workouts or not working out at all until a more suitable time in our life comes along.  That time will never come though. Exercise is one of those things that anyone can fit into their schedule, if they really want to.

This is where it’s important to have got into a good mindset and have your diet down because starting exercise after a period of none is HARD.  There will be sweat, probably tears and lots of DOMS (the after workout pain that follows the next day, and often the next, and sometimes a week later).  Your brain will start to tell you you’re fine how you are and this is actually making you more tired – how am I supposed to take care of my toddler who kept me up in the night if I’m even more tired and in pain from working out??!

But that period is relatively short.  If you can squeeze in a few workouts a week, or even single exercises here and there – a few jump squats while your kids are on the slide anyone? A few situps while your little one does a puzzle? And stick it out – you will start to feel.. awesome!

I had this same dilemma after my little girl was born. I had a son already and I was suddenly left with NO free time.  Or so I thought. But my weight was shifting really slowly and I just felt tired and sluggish and not how I was used to feeling for most of my life.  I’ve always been pretty slim and agile and I just felt like everything was an effort – climbing the stairs, running for the train, playing with the kids.  I didn’t like the feeling of being held back so I vowed to do something about it.

I got my mindset right, sorted my diet and started doing very short workouts here and there – literally 4 minute tabata workouts and odd exercises here and there while the kids were playing.  It was actually fun as the kids joined in too which has led to some family exercise sessions – an unexpected benefit! They are actually asking me to buy them their own exercise mats so I call that another win in the parenting bank!

I managed to get in a jog here and there too but that was harder to fit in so I got some easy workout DVDS and started working out first thing in the morning (I workout best first thing, fasted) or at lunch when my daughter napped. I started out with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, Josie Gibson’s 30 Second Slim and Charlotte Crosby’s 3 Minute Belly Blitz.

I would highly recommend the Josie Gibson one first as it’s only 20 minutes, you can go as slowly as you like, each exercise length is short and there’s lots of breathers where they explain the exercises.  This gets annoying when you’re fitter but it was my absolute favourite starting out – the exercises are great and really effective.

30 Day Shred is also great but I was in so much pain after my first few times of Level 1 so take it easy and don’t push yourself if it hurts too much. Also make sure to rest and recover in between workouts – you DON’T have to workout every day.  The pain will lessen over time if you give your body the right tools to perform and recovery is essential. I would advise an extra stretch after Level 1 as they are very short.  Also this roller stick is amazing.  I have a standard foam roller and it has nothing on this thing. Be sure to use this before and after your workouts. I sometimes use it during as I get serious quad burn.

The Charlotte Crosby DVD is brilliant. But it’s long.  You can do it in bits, or just do as many levels as you can in the time you have. I used to do this, just see how many I could get through until I HAD to be somewhere else.  If you can stick with it though and get to the end you will really see benefits.  I burnt more fat doing this workout than any other.

There are also excellent beginner workout videos on youtube.  I can recommend HASfit videos, Joe Wicks and Shona Vertue but just have a browse on youtube and find something that works for you.  There are all different kinds of workouts and lengths of time. I love Sadie Nardini too and you can buy her workouts very cheaply. She gives lots of modifications to suit all abilities.

Abs from exerciseA tip I really recommend is getting a pull up bar.  I got this one and it’s been the best thing I could’ve done for my strength.  I’ve been extremely busy lately starting a new business and haven’t been doing many full workouts but I’ve managed to fit in a few leg raises a couple of times a day and my abs are thanking me for it.

So pick something and just get started, a bit here and there but make it regular and fit it into your routine.

The benefits of exercise go way beyond the usually touted benefits – you start to feel powerful, positive and capable of anything. I’ve heard some amazing success stories of things people achieved once they got fit.

Yes it’s hard to get started and I still have to force myself to work out sometimes but excuses really are just that and once you stop finding reasons not to do it and start making it a priority you WILL feel better and I bet even find you have more time in your day.  You will sleep better and have more energy and way more optimism and general good mood.

A friend of mine is extremely inspiring.  She pretty much works out an hour a day, every day. Eats an excellent diet and is awesome at goal setting. All this with 2 young children. I’ve known her to work out while her little one naps after being kept awake most of the night. She was highly motivating for me in my journey starting out as I realised if she can do it, I have no excuse.

Once you’ve broken the back off of this exercising lark you can begin to create your own workouts or follow simple workout plans like the ones I’ve created.  They’re 10 minute workout sessions with workouts of a minute each.  Some have 5 exercises you repeat, some have 10 exercises. I pick according to how much variety I’m feeling or how hard I want to go.  They’re great because as long as you have your phone with an interval timer and the list of workouts you can do it anywhere.

Most workouts I do now are on my deck in the garden before the sun has reached my garden.  It’s a really invigorating way to start the day. I will share some of these workouts in the coming months so stay tuned!

You can do this!!

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