You may have heard the old fitness 'rule' that exercise should come in 3's... 3 times per week and for around 30 minutes every time.
Hands up, those who have tried yet fail to consistently reach this health-conscious directive... (I raise my hand). I for one have been very familiar with tireless efforts towards timetables for dedicated fitness routines and eating schedules. I have also experienced the other extreme, giving up completely, to eventually discover it doesn't have to be one or the other!
Routines are great, don't get me wrong. But I found that I would spend more time thinking through my timetable, with the utmost best intentions of following through, than I did actually getting out there and being active. It was the need to control my life that drove me to such meticulous scheduling, yet in the end I wouldn't be able to keep up with my own projections (cue giving-up).
Thank goodness my brain doesn't feel the need to articulate my life in such a manner. In an earlier post I mentioned that I try to do something energising every day. It is that simple. I don't put a timeframe around it or a routine. I just try to do something. It might be going for a walk with bub in the pram, or doing 50 squats before I jump in the shower. I never allow myself to feel guilty for not exercising for 30 minutes solid. We are busy women. Yes there is a place for hardcore, sweat-it-out workouts in our lives (such energetic activity actually relieves stress and releases endorphins - the happy hormone). However we don't always have time to slog it out in the gym for an hour.
The danger is when we think that it's not worth the effort unless we are completely smashing ourselves. This is a lie! Anything is better than nothing at all. Move your body each day, choose the stairs instead of the lift. Walk at lunch time, or get off the bus a stop earlier. Get your heart rate up by doing something quick and energetic every morning. I think the most important thing is to make it achievable and don't put too much pressure on yourself.
Having said that, discipline and pressure can be good to achieve your fitness goals. If you know you need to get fit because you haven't been living an active lifestyle, then put some weight behind the decisions you make for the sake of your health. Accompanied with positive thinking and a healthy perspective, a bit of pressure is a good push in the right direction.
An easy plan is to try and do that hardcore workout once a week and if you need some accountability, do it with friends - you are more inclined to be consistent with exercise if you do it amongst good company!
Tonight I am going to a hip hop class with a couple of my girlfriends. I am so excited! There are plenty of fun, energetic things you can do these days, in groups. Good old Google can show you the way. If you need the motivation, sign up to something with a friend and enjoy the feeling of being active. Like Nike has always told us... 'just do it'.