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Exercise! What do you do? How often? And how the b'jesus do you stay motivated??

(165 Posts)
shakespeare Tue 01-Oct-13 09:54:39

I'm a very non-committed exerciser who would like to be very much more committed. I'm not overweight but I'm not particularly fit. I'm currently doing one yoga class and a cardio class a week (and last week I managed to fit in a lengthy power walk/with buggy/up hills walk as well) The thing is, its always a bleedin' struggle to get out the door. I spend hours debating with myself the 'yes I will go'/'no I won't' and more often than not, the 'no I won't go' will win. Sometimes I feel like it, but still talk myself out of it! I often resent having to do it (even tho I will probably enjoy it once I'm out) when I'd rather be parked on my arse doing a crossword or similar. And resentment does not an exerciser make.

So how do you get your arse out the door when your body is screaming at you to kick off your shoes and sit your arse down on that big nice comfy sofa...??

BsshBossh Wed 02-Oct-13 11:28:35

shakespeare does your gym have an affordable creche? During the long summer holidays often the only way I manage to get a gym session in is by booking DD into the creche there. It's worth the fee. She loves it and always has loads of fun which is motivation in and of itself to go to the gym.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 02-Oct-13 11:30:05

If getting out of the door is the killer for you, then don't get out of the door. Do the 30 day shred (or similar). The DVD is £5, you just need basic kit (sports bra, shoes, mat if your floor is hard, handweights) and 20 minutes a day (with a day or two rest days of each week). There are usually several MN threads going at any one time such as this one. smile

If you exercise at home, donning the gear doesn't take long - I generally put on the top half of my kit first thing to get DD to her bus stop, then just swap jeans for leggings, shoes on and shred before brekkie. (then I keep them on while I do various chores before showering).

waterlego Wed 02-Oct-13 12:09:10

Maybe exercising at home is the answer for you- 30 day shred as others have said, or the 'Insanity' workouts are also popular.

Having said that, I personally never exercise at home because I find I don't push myself as hard.

For some, a specific routine seems to work, but for me, I have to keep changing things every so often. I get bored easily and am very faddy with different types of exercise, so I've been through a swimming phase and a running phase and a Body Combat phase etc...

As someone else suggested, maybe try lots of different things until you find something you really love. I am about to try kickboxing which may well become my new fad for a while.

Could you afford to use a PT for a while? My fitness needed a kick start (I had a long period of non-exercise over the summer as my mum is very poorly and then my dad suddenly got ill and died and exercise dropped off my radar) and so I am having 6 sessions with a PT. It's motivating because I have an appointment booked with him and I don't like breaking appointments or being late, so that gives me the kick up the bum to get down to the gym and train. He has taught me a whole range of new stuff that I wouldn't otherwise have thought of, and has shaken me out of my 30 minutes treadmill + 30 mins weights routine which had become boring and wasn't giving me the results I wanted.

God luck OP, hope you find something that works for you smile

ErrolTheDragon Wed 02-Oct-13 12:12:35

>I personally never exercise at home because I find I don't push myself as hard.

Its a very personal thing, isn't it? I push myself much harder at home because I can grunt and pant and swear in a way I just wouldn't in public.

Takingbackmonday Wed 02-Oct-13 12:23:17

I think the best way to stay motivated is to see results; force yourself to do it for 10 days...

BubaMarra Wed 02-Oct-13 12:37:58

You need a routine and you need to make exercise non negotiable part of it.
I exercise 6 days a week. I go to the gym every day straight from work, so I made it a non negotiable part of my after work day. I don't think 'oh is today a gym day or not?', I just go there, every day is a gym day.

I started with 30DS like so many people here. I struggled as it was hard. I asked DH not to let me skip a day during the first two weeks because I feared I wouldn't re start again. But I progressed SO quickly that now I cannot imagine my day without exercise! My body changed so so much, my fitness level and ability to do everydays things like looking after children or doing chores around the house improved so much. Quality of my life improved immensely.

At the beginning it IS a struggle because we usually start as unfit and/or overweight people. With time our fitness level progresses so much that exercises become less of a pain and more of a pleasure. But if we quit soon we will never progress to the next level and exercise will always be just a pain for us. Seriously, life is so much easier with regular exercise and you get a better body shape as a bonus. I started with 30DS just 4 months ago and now I do boot camp training that makes Jillian's Ripped in 30 look like a breeze.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 02-Oct-13 12:54:33

I play netball because i like the competitive aspect. Sometimes I don't feel like it but I basically have to go or let the others down, and I always enjoy it once I'm there. I also go trail running 2 evenings a week once the kids are in bed. That I find harder as I'm out for 2.5 hrs at a time ( plus time to the trailhead) so if I don't feel like it then 2.5 hrs seems like forever. I find entering races helps me stay motivated because then there is a reason why every session counts.

carrie74 Wed 02-Oct-13 13:00:11

TBH, before my children were at pre-school, it was v hard. When I had DD, I used to do a Davina DVD in the morning when she napped, and then started training for a 5k run once I'd improved my fitness. I would also see a personal trainer once a fortnight or so to keep me going (knowing I was seeing him, kept me running in the meantime to show I hadn't slipped in between sessions).

After I had DS, I can't actually remember what I did, if anything - probably the odd jog as and when I could (ooh, just remembered, bought a Wii fit). Once DS had started pre-school, I had 2 days a week with some free time carved out (the other 3 days I worked). Over the years, I've done quite a lot of jogging (and this is v popular where I live, with several groups going out together - meeting at school gates in kit and going straight from drop off), various classes (really enjoyed Zumba, was lots of fun).

Exercise definitely does not come naturally to me, I'd much rather sit on the sofa after a hard day, but at the moment, I'm seeing a personal trainer on my day off (both DC now at school), going to a Circuits class on one evening (8-9, so after bedtime, plus DH is usually home in time), and doing something active as a family at the weekend (tennis, bike ride, playing football, long walk). I look the best I've done in years, I have more body confidence, and I have more energy. Plus I'm modelling good behaviour for the children.

As you say, the hardest thing is getting out the door, but you'll never regret it once you're out. I find having a date in my diary (personal training, class with friends) means I go. Having something general means I can find an excuse (and I will. I'm great at that).

KiplingBag Wed 02-Oct-13 13:02:41

I have dogs, so I have to walk for 90 mins a day. That is plenty for me, and rain or shine it has got to be done.

If I didn't have dogs I would not be bothered to go to the gym or any sort of classes, there would always be an excuse!

Lazysuzanne Wed 02-Oct-13 13:07:15

Seems like the key thing is having a strategy? anticipating things that might stop you from exercising and having something in place to circumnavigate the pitfalls!

NotCitrus Wed 02-Oct-13 13:22:46

Personally, the post-natal/injury/illness solution was for ds to be assigned the school a bit over a mile away with gridlocked traffic between me and it. So at a minimum I'm walking nearly 5 miles a day, often including some running with dd in the pushchair, and I can't skive off as ds needs to get to school.

Also finding agreeing with MrNC when is going to be me-exercise-and-bath time as we have complex timetables - sometimes he'll say he'll put the kids to bed so I can go run etc, but if I'm in I can do it myself and he'll do something else. Much as I love them, it's an incentive to exercise once a week! Sadly the classes in park 1 minute away stopped but there's now a class I can get to in a hall 2 minutes away, so even though it's sme

NotCitrus Wed 02-Oct-13 13:23:35

Personally, the post-natal/injury/illness solution was for ds to be assigned the school a bit over a mile away with gridlocked traffic between me and it. So at a minimum I'm walking nearly 5 miles a day, often including some running with dd in the pushchair, and I can't skive off as ds needs to get to school.

Also finding agreeing with MrNC when is going to be me-exercise-and-bath time as we have complex timetables - sometimes he'll say he'll put the kids to bed so I can go run etc, but if I'm in I can do it myself and he'll do something else. Much as I love them, it's an incentive to exercise once a week! Sadly the classes in park 1 minute away stopped but there's now a class I can get to in a hall 2 minutes away, so even though it's something I can't fully join in for health reasons, I'm much more likely to get there than anywhere else.

specialmagiclady Wed 02-Oct-13 13:25:10

I think if you can do a class with a friend or friends it really helps. Basically the only reason I keep exercising is because if I don't turn up at circuits or Pilates or the pool, someone will say to me "Didn't you have a swim/do pilates or circuits this week?"

Also if you can pay for a block of classes - not amorphous gym membership, but something smaller in a church hall type thing, with a friendly instructor who is obviously self-employed, then you are more likely to turn up, I think. Plus it's more fun than going to an anonymous modern gym building where people are rushing in and out of their classes. So, it may be more expensive in theory but you will care more and therefore turn up more often.

Also, it has to fit in with when you feel energised/are in that part of town/have kids in childcare.

HatticusFinch Wed 02-Oct-13 13:33:22

As people have said up thread, routine is the key. I'm also in my gym kit as soon as I get up if I'm going and tend to go first thing in the morning. I do three Spinning classes a week, and swim or run if I have time.

What motivates me to keep going is the fact that my jeans feel tight if I don't go regularly (like through the school holidays) I also find it harder to wind down and get to sleep if I don't exercise.

KedenTTC1Cycle3 Wed 02-Oct-13 13:38:10

I like seeing my body fit & I suppose vanity.

4x a week (Mon-Tue-Wed-Thu) at my gym 5min from my place.

20mins on Stairmaster at Lvl 10
30mins on Weght Machines (Leg Extensions/AB Crunches/Leg Curls/Shoulder Press/Chest Press)
20 mins on Treadmill at varied speed and inclines

Churmy123 Wed 02-Oct-13 13:40:01

I think finding something that you enjoy is key! Especially in the dark, cold winter months. I'm sure most of us would rather curl up in front of the TV.

I'm currently doing Slimming World (lost 16lbs in 5 weeks) and really think exercise is helping my weight loss.

I play netball once a week and also do 4/5 (sometimes 6) exercise classes a week. Mainly zumba, bokwa and kettlecise. I absolutley love it and its never a chore. I also pre-book and pre-pay for the classes so I would never cancel (apart from in an emergency) as I would lose my money!

EmmaBemma Wed 02-Oct-13 14:19:27

I exercise first thing in the morning, which I find works best for me. I would struggle more if I tried to fit it in the evenings, when I'm more tired and just want to slump on the sofa. After a run or the gym in the morning, I feel energised and ready for the day. .

What keeps me going is that I'm in better physical shape than ever and I feel good about myself. I'm 35, and whilst I'm not trying to stay young forever, I do want to be as fit and strong as I can as I go through life. I have seen a lot of people begin to struggle with chronic ill health in their late fifties/early sixties and I think that not looking after themselves better in their younger years is a likely contributory factor.

Exercise also keeps me mentally fit and well - I am prone to anxiety and I find it's a good outlet for me. I really enjoy it when I'm up and out there - total natural high.

I exercise six times a week. I love running and it's my main focus - that's three times a week, mostly outside. It's good thinking time and very peaceful in the mornings. I do a long run on the weekend, a shorter hilly run in the week and some sort of interval session. I alternate runs with the gym, where I'll do a spin, a body pump or kettlebells class, and will usually go on the rowing machine and cross trainer.

I do some strength/resistence work most mornings, either at home or at the gym. This will be mainly press ups, sit ups, other ab work, and free weights. I also do some other exercises to strengthen my hips to ward off running injuries.

It might sound like a lot, but I've built up to it over several years of regular exercise now. I started doing just three or four times a week, and I felt great benefits just on that.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Wed 02-Oct-13 14:19:49

I don't know either! I have started thinking about the importance of teaching DD that exercise has to be more or less daily, but I haven't actually translated that into sustained action. I do like exercising, but like you I struggle to get started.

I started Shredding at the beginning of September, with the idea being that I'd Shred every day /almost every day until my birthday in October. I managed the first 5 days, then stopped for 5, then 3, stopped for 5...Overall I did about 9 days in September. I did one session on Monday but nothing yesterday. The silly thing is, I really noticed a difference in my body in that time, and yet I still slumped and let it drop!

I exercise mostly at night - a typical work day goes: 5.30-6 - toddler DD wakes up and comes into bed with me for morning bf/snooze. 6.15 - get up, shower, dress etc. Out of the house by 7(ish). Work 8-5.30, with half an hour lunch (I can't change this because DH and I share a car and we have to work a 9 hour day plus pick DD up from nursery by 6). Home by 6.15, supper and bath for DD, then DD in bed at 7.15. Dinner. I then collapse on the sofa to let my dinner go down and usually get around to exercising at about 9.

So many things can put me off: having late dinner so I feel really full; it being cold so I don't want to strip off and get into my exercise kit; wanting a glass of wine with dinner; tiredness; having guests round; needing to do some housework...etc etc etc! I would much rather exercise first thing, but getting up early is really not my forte. Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays are my days off and although I tell myself I will exercise during DD's nap, I very rarely do. I worry that she will wake up when I'm halfway through (although this is just an excuse, and anyway, on Sat/Sun DH could look after her). I haven't tried exercising when DD is up (she's 18 months) - I think it would be hopeless.

Sorry for the essay! blush

Sleepwhenidie Wed 02-Oct-13 14:57:33

shakespeare I am SAHM, I have 3 dc's, 8-5-3. So two in full time school and one in nursery. Before nursery etc I used to belong to a gym with a creche and used that. Once mornings in nursery were established, after everyone is dropped off I just head straight to do whatever exercise I am doing that day. Like others, I dress in appropriate kit and just do it. A bit like brushing my teeth, exercising isn't something I think about any more smile, I just do it.

I tend to do about an hour every weekday morning and sometimes squeeze in something in the afternoon, eg if DS1 is in his kickboxing lesson I arrange a session for me at the same time, rather than just sitting watching him...I usually have the whole weekend off though, DH is a mad keen cyclist so his opportunity to this properly is on the weekend, he squeezes daily half hour-45min sessions for himself - running or cycling - around work in the week. I figure it's fair enough that I get plenty of opportunity to exercise in the week and he doesn't so I don't push for my own time for this on the weekend, plus I'd rather spend time with the DC's anyway. I usually take them swimming while DH is doing 3hrs on the bike somewhere and he gets back around late morning so we have the rest of the day together. I also tend to take the same approach in school holidays, rarely do much, perhaps the odd run or gym session but I am mostly very lazy and relax, but I actually find this pretty good for me as I'm exercising pretty intensely the rest of the time smile. The first week back after that is a killer but then I start getting a kick from regaining fitness (and form - muffin top starts melting away again grin).

Talkinpeace Wed 02-Oct-13 15:01:11

My motivation is really simple. I knackered my knees years ago. If I do not stay fit I'm in pain.
So after I drop the kids off I swim every morning and then do one or two classes.
When I'm working I try to swim before or in the evening.

Sleepwhenidie Wed 02-Oct-13 15:02:15

Tooextra would it make sense to have a light snack and exercise once DC's in bed, then have a late dinner (my dc's aren't all in bed til 9pm most nights so that is when we eat normally but no way could I be exercising then, after dinner etc-you have steely willpower to ever be managing that grin)! You would really enjoy your dinner so much more then toowink!

Travelledtheworld Wed 02-Oct-13 15:10:12

Do it with a friend ! I swim regularly with my neighbours and we call each other and make sure we go.

gourd Wed 02-Oct-13 15:22:48

99.9% of the time I feel better for doing it even when tired. That's what gets me out running 4-5 miles from work at lunchtimes twice a week and out on bike at weekends.

kerala Wed 02-Oct-13 15:22:55

I do davina McCall DVDs at home before kids wake up 4 times a week. Means its quick over and done with and I can listen to radio 4 so don't get bored. Cut down on portion size (dinner off small plates) over 6 months gone from 11 stone size 14 to 9.5 stone size 10!

Lottapianos Wed 02-Oct-13 15:30:04

It's such an individual thing. Some people find that training/running with a friend helps - this is my idea of hell! I'm with people all day long and I really need that time to myself. Some people find they need to set goals to motivate themselves - again, not for me! I spend my days doing stuff that other people tell me/expect me to do, so I really need to feel like I'm in control of my exercise plan and time.

Agree with others - find something you love and then keep at it. 3 times a week as a bare minumum. The more often you do it, the quicker you will see results, the stronger you will get, the better you will feel, the more motivated you will be to keep it up.

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