I have a confession to make. I haven’t exercised consistently since my son was born. And…He is now 15 months old!

Granted I have made attempts here and there but with him being my number four child, my hands (and mind!) have happily been occupied!

That being said, while trying to fit everything into my CRAZY schedule it dawned on me yet again that exercise was just not happening. It seemed it was always “on the list” but never quite made it.

So, last night I decided that I was going to try again. I set my alarm and headed off to dream land (only to be interrupted 3 times by my darling baby boy who still does not want to sleep through the night! I know, I know I’m working on it!) Good thing he is so darn cute!

This morning, as I stepped quietly out of my house, zipped up my jacket and headed up the hill I had an almost giddy sense of FREEDOM! The sun was just starting to turn the sky pink a little above the mountains, and the moon was still a sliver in the sky. All was quiet.

It was nice to think my own thoughts, as I walked through my rural neighborhood. I even did a little running!

Who knew that a little walk in the stillness of the morning could be so nice?

Research shows that regular exercise such as walking or running can be amazing for your physical as well as mental health. But how do you become consistent and effective with it?

Here are a 5 questions to consider.

1.)  What do I need to be successful? Are my shoes in good shape? Do I have comfortable clothes to exercise in? If I have younger kids, do I need to arrange for a babysitter?

2.)  Am I being realistic?  Start small: “I’m going to walk for 20 minutes in the mornings.” Don’t expect to be ready to run a marathon in a few weeks! How much time can I devote to this right now?

3.)  How can I track my progress? How far did I go? How long did it take me to get there? How many steps did I take? Some ideas are: using a pedometer, keep a walking journal, or create a spreadsheet.

4.)  What motivates me? Time without the kids? Going with someone else to chat with and keep me accountable! Shooting for a specific time to complete the mile in? Working toward running a race such as a 5k.

5.)  What If I get off track? Be forgiving of yourself, and realize that there will be times when other things might get in the way. Just don’t give up! Take it a day at a time.

 

Okay, now it’s your turn. What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

P.S. You can check out THIS great article found at www.mayoclinic.org to read where I got the inspiration for the questions found in my article above. Happy exercising!

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