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Creating a Routine for Exercising

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Okay, busy moms, we all know we should be exercising to maintain good health, but it’s not always so easy, is it? There is the dreaded “mom’s guilt” that we all feel when we leave our children to do anything, especially when it’s something for ourselves. We are givers by nature. Well, it’s time we start giving to ourselves a little bit! Whether you are a gym-goer or not, here are some tips for you to stay on track with creating an exercise routine that works for you and your family.

Tips for gym-goers.
Schedule it -You enter everything into your smart phone calendar, from kids’ dentist appointments to oil changes, so why not do the same for exercise? Appointments are reminders that you have something important to do, and exercise is one of the most important. Pick a few realistic and manageable days and times, and get them on the calendar. When you see that appointment coming up, it’s a nice reminder to do this important thing for yourself. You wouldn’t skip your kids’ dentist appointment, would you?

Take classes – It’s also nice to take advantage of the classes at gyms because they already have set times for you. Find a class you like and attend it regularly. Good habits form quickly.

Buddy up – You can also commit to going with a friend. This creates more accountability (nobody likes disappointing a friend), and it also gives you a chance to socialize with a grown-up for a while.

Pack it – Finally, get into the routine of packing your gym bag the night before. In the morning when you’re running around trying to get the kids ready for school and yourself ready for work, it’s one less thing to think about.

Tips for non-gym-goers.
A gym membership is great, but in some ways there are more benefits to not having one, mainly because you can choose to make exercise a part of your family time. It’s so easy to do something active with your family. Kids love being active and they need exercise too.

Go for a walk or hike in your neighborhood.
Take a bike ride to the park and let the kids play for a bit.
Jump in the pool and swim, whether it’s yours or a community pool.
If weather is a problem, borrow some workout DVDs from your local library and do them together as a family.
You might also think about investing in an active video game system like the Nintendo Wii, which makes exercise feel like you’re just having fun playing a game.

Getting over the guilt.
Lastly, I want to address getting past the emotional obstacles of taking the time to exercise. Let your husband or other loved ones know how important this is to you and that you need their support. Remember, it doesn’t have to be an hour long session every time. Every little bit counts. The most important thing to remember is that you are NOT being selfish by taking the time to exercise. You need to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of others. You will be a happier, healthier person, which you will pass along to your family.

So tell me, how do you maintain an exercise routine?

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