SpreadLoveTM Self Care Series Part 2: Exercise
Exercise. We love it, we hate it. We know we should do it but somehow we never have time. The benefits of working out are innumerable. Weight loss, stress relief, lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and other maladies, increased self-confidence and more. Despite the benefits, it can be hard as a working woman to make time for daily workouts, when some days it feels like barely have time to even grab coffee before heading out the door. And as the days get shorter and in most place, colder, it becomes even more of challenge to make time for exercise.
Though women’s lives are often busy with work, school, friends or family life, making time for Self-Care means making time to take care of you. And exercise is a crucial part of that. As the second installment of our Self-Care series, we decided to compile some tips for the busy woman who wants to find time to exercise and take care of her body.
Make it a priority.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s so easy to push even the best intentions to the farthest corner of your mind. “Well, I just ate so I can’t run now.” “The gym is too crowded at this time of day…” “I just washed my hair.” “My sports bra isn’t clean…”. It’s possible to sit around and make excuses for twice as long as it would take to slap on your sneakers and get moving. If you make a commitment to make exercise part of your self-care routine, it is more likely to become part of your daily life, the way you brush your teeth or wash your face every day.
Set goals (achievable ones!)
Of course this is much easier said than done, so it can help to keep a specific schedule and be goal oriented. Start with a small goal to be active every morning. Mornings are a good time to set aside for many working women, especially kids. Then move up to a larger goal, like running a certain distance or making it to the gym 3 times per week. Keep pushing yourself to stretch your goal more and more. It might be hard to make these changes at first, but soon enough you will see the rewards!
Don’t be stressed about a schedule
While a schedule is important, it’s also good to understand that life happens. Deadlines pile up, kids get sick, things happen that may disrupt your work out routine. Don’t stress too much if things come up.
Also it’s important to make sure you are exercising for yourself, and yourself only. Too often, women feel they have to look a certain way, or fit into a certain dress size. Hitting the gym for the sole purpose to shed some lbs can be exhausting and frustrating. Exercising for your own happiness, health and clarity is much more rewarding.
Fitness groups and classes exist for a reason! Having the support of an organized class or group can keep you accountable and it can also be a great social outlet! It is a wonderful way to stay motivated, and to spread the motivation to others.
Look for alternative ways to workout
The gym is not for everyone. But there are so many ways to incorporate movement into your life that don’t involve weights or medicine balls. Go out dancing with friends, or take a walk around your neighborhood. Hike on a local trail or dust off an old tennis racquet. Exercise doesn’t have to be about reps or gains, but it should be about getting moving and being happy.
Let us know in the comment section below what your favorite way to exercise is! And let us know what else you do as part of your self-care routine.