1st August 2016

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Many of us feel we simply don’t have time for exercise.

Lots of clients talk about the very real struggles of not being able to find time to go out and get fit, being too exhausted to exercise at the end of the day.

It is incredibly hard. When fitness has fallen off your agenda and there are a million other thing screaming for your attention, it simply starts to feel like yet another chore you must tick off your list.

And, chances are it is right down at the very bottom of your list, clinging on for dear life. You look at it feeling stabs of guilt as you leave it there, languishing, waiting for when the time is right.

But are you looking at this all wrong? There are dozens of really good reasons why exercise should be a priority. Fitness should be number 1 on your to do list, before anything else (Ok, we’ll let feeding and changing the baby pip it to the post).

Seriously though, when it comes to ‘fitting in’ exercise, a little bit of a mind shift in terms of how you think about it will really help it to become part of your day, every day.

First of all, make it a priority. Make it a non negotiable part of your day.

As mums, we might all have different lives and different responsibilities but we are all the same when it comes to one overriding emotion – GUILT!

Stop feeling guilty about the need to exercise. The benefits of doing so are myriad for your family.

If you start fitting in exercise, you’ll gradually find that the energy boost and the fact that you feel so much better will help you to fit in lots more stuff too. Food and exercise should be your fuel.

All of us have different kinds of days to work around. Some have new babies, some not so new, some are back working set hours, some are trying to figure out how to work for themselves. Some have big kids at school, as well as small ones at home and others have all their kids out at school and a demanding job to throw themselves at during the day.

For those who have a small baby, there will likely be a class in your area that allows you to bring baby along.

This is a great way of getting exercise and making it an integral part of your day and week. Our Outdoor Classes or Postnatal Restore are perfect for this and an online search will bring up similar classes in other areas. Of course, finances can be an issue, especially after you’ve had a baby but just swapping a few coffees, or cafe trips here and there for your fitness funds can be surprisingly effective. You could also ask loved ones to buy fitness classes as gifts.

And if you only attend one class a week, you can then replicate the exercises at home. Even better, you can try to get chatting to other mums and arrange meet ups to replicate some of the exercises together. We know it sounds like the kind of thing that’s a good idea but you’d never actually do, but why not? It’s just the mind that stops us. Our classes are packed with lovely new mums who are all approachable and often in the same situation.

If you’re not going to a class in the day with baby, just remind yourself that everything else can and will wait.

So, if you’re looking to do exercise when baby sleeps (IF baby sleeps, that is!) don’t worry about the dishes, the laundry, the bills or whatever else. Do your fitness routine and the rest will follow.

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If you’re going to a class in the evening, ignore the thoughts of tiredness, ignore that nagging voice telling you you don’t want to go. Keep going, push forward and you will be so happy that you did. It is non negotiable, remember?

The thing is, that exercise isn’t just ‘something for you’. You might often say, ‘I feel so guilty for taking time out for myself’. Being strong and healthy is not a treat or gift to yourself. It’s a priority for you and your family. The benefits stretch far and wide.

So, if your toddler is screaming when you leave the house at 6pm for your exercise class, take a deep breath, close that door behind you and don’t look back. She doesn’t understand why this is the right thing to do for everyone, the same way she doesn’t understand that she can’t drink the liquid from that bottle under the sink! She will cry, but she’ll get over it.

There are some good rules to follow to help ensure that exercise becomes a solid, non movable part of your week.

Starting slowly is one. Don’t join the gym, sign up for every single class then fail to attend any by week two! Pick one class, once a week that you know you can get to and keep going for a while until you feel like upping it.

Try to schedule certain days and times for your exercise and let everyone know.

Have a goal, but make it a reasonable one. The first goal could simply be to attend or complete six fitness classes, or activities in a row without cancelling (but do not beat yourself up if you have a damn good excuse, just know you’ll make it up).

Don’t focus on the end result. This means, don’t sign up to a new regime thinking ‘I’m doing this to have lost a stone by the end’. There should be no end, in that sense. You should see this as something you are going to keep doing, keep striving for and make part of your life. Have small goals to hit along the way and the big gains will start stacking up.

Ultimately your life needs exercise in it. That To Do list needs flipping around. Everything should fall under your number one item – Fitness – and the rest will surely follow.

**We’re holding an amazing event! Move well, eat well is all about teaching new mums how to those two things after having a baby. Jelly Belly PT founder Kellie Moore will be giving a post-natal exercise masterclass and then Sam woodhouse aka Divine and Delicious will be guiding us through some easy, nutritious meals to cook at home when you’re busy with baby – which you’ll get to sit down and eat afterwards. There’ll be a goody bag and babysitters at the event if you need to bring your little one along. More info and tickets here.

Move well, eat well flyer

Why you really do have time to exercise - Jelly Belly PT