The Most Important Priority You Need To Make When It Comes To Exercise
A lot of you in the Facebook group have been asking about consistency these days.
It’s definitely a popular topic worth exploring in more detail because it’s a tough thing to execute!
As I reflected on my own deficiencies in consistency, I honed in on my inconsistent exercise routine these past few weeks.
Some days I’d do great.
Other days…meh, not so much.
It wasn’t because I didn’t want to exercise. I did.
It wasn’t because I didn’t want to see the results from my workouts. I did.
I just… didn’t want to prioritize the time.
It’s a harsh truth that is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. But ultimately… if I really wanted to work out, I’d make the time for it.
For those of you who read one of my earlier emails from our newsletter, you probably caught wind of my upcoming cross country move to GA and the natural stress that comes with packing, moving, selling a house, taking care of a toddler (did I mention ER visits with said toddler for minor head injuries…?? She’s fine, but yes- that became part of the chaos too), crummy weather blunting all of my movement motivation…. The list goes on.
Aside from the pediatric trip to the ER, every last one of those things I mentioned in that paragraph were ultimately excuses.
Yes, each thing is an important priority that needs to get taken care of. But they don’t have to be the only priority I make in a day.
- I don’t have to pack like a crazy person in one sitting when I can break it down into smaller pieces over time (which I can actually do together- with my husband. Doht!).
- I don’t have to use the weather as a reason not to be active for the day. I mean… guys… I have a whole work-out setup in my basement. Who am I kidding?
- I don’t have to use my toddler as an excuse not to break a sweat. There are actually really great Mommy & Me workouts on Youtube (free!) that are fun and that I’ve actually done with Ariana which she loves and thinks is hilarious!
Do you see where I’m going with this?
We can say we don’t have the time as the reason for why we’re not consistent, but ultimately, we are choosing not to prioritize the time.
So, to take my own advice, I sat down and took a few minutes to reflect on this. I needed to switch my mindset in the realm of my exercise routine.
I needed to look at is as a stress-reliever to take the time to do it every day.
I always know that I feel better, more positive, more driven, with higher energy and a bubblier personality after I’m done with a workout.
I feel like a better mom, a better spouse, and a better employee when I crush my workout first thing in the morning.
The problem was… if you asked me to change into workout clothes and to break a sweat any time in the afternoon, I’d look at you with puppy eyes and say; “But I’m so tired from doing ‘blah blah blah.’”
KNOWING THIS about myself… I decided that the only time that would work in my hectic schedule would be first thing in the morning.
Now, here’s the other tricky part. I figured out that in doing so, I began running into 3 big barriers:
1) I’m married to an insomniac, so I get a lot of pushback from my sleep-deprived husband to “please don’t set an early alarm on my days off of work.”
Well! For those reading this with similar scenarios, here’s what you do: you set your alarm on vibrate and you either put it under your pillow or on the nightstand close to your hand so you can hopefully feel it vibrate before it wakes up your significant other.
That’ll kick-start your morning! Quick- get the alarm before he/she wakes-up!
And then, you roll with that momentum and get your cute little tush out of bed before you can convince yourself otherwise.
2) My second barrier was being cold first thing in the morning.
For those of you reading this and who know where I [used to] live, you’re probably laughing at this comment because I [used to] live in FARGO North Dakota.
When early morning rolls around, I’m just so warm and cozy in my bed. I really struggle with leaving the warm sanctuary of sleepy heaven to walk into a cold gym downstairs.
Now, what I do, is I have my workout clothes ready to go in my bathroom with a zippie or a long-sleeve shirt that I quick (!) change into before going into the basement. Usually I’m only a little bit cold for a minute or two and then I’m throwing the dang thing off in my warmup because my muscles are already warmed up and ready to go.
3) Lastly, I can sometimes convince myself out of a workout if I frame it as being too long or too challenging.
Do you remember an earlier email and blog post I wrote about consistency? About breaking down your health goal into a more manageable time frame?
I started doing that with my morning exercise routine. If I’m on the treadmill, I cap it at 20 minutes and then do strength training for another 15-20 minutes (max). I’m totally cool with doing 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (max). And on days when I want to be a little bit more low impact and less intense, I hang out for a little bit long (say 45 minutes – hour).
But in general, thirty minutes feels doable to me when I think about it lying in bed.
And the bonus? Anything else I do during the rest of my day that is movement related is an extra bonus. Win!!
All in all, when it comes to consistency and movement, here are my take-away points:
- Accept that your priorities need re-shuffling and that you CAN get your health goal done if you really want to in a day.
- Find the best time to crush your goal that you know will be a distraction free (and excuse-free) opportunity
- Anticipate barriers and brainstorm solutions around them
When you actually DO the thing you were wanting to do, be sure to pay attention to how AWESOME it feels that you got it done and out of the way! And ALWAYS applaud yourself for being a bada$ and for taking a stand to work on consistency in your health.
If you’d love an accountability buddy to high five you every day, you’ll find PLENTY inside our membership support group Banana Bariatrics.