Often there are not enough hours in day to get everything we have to do for others completed, let alone even contemplating having some time for ourselves for things like fitness and being active.

The truth is that not being able to fit exercise in is not JUST about having the time. There are always other factors we have to allow for – like having enough energy and sleep, having the mental space to be able to add in another ‘job’ into our week and being able to justify ‘me’ time when there are countless other commitments requiring our attention.

If you are trying to fit fitness in to your family life check out these tips to make it a positive addition.

MAKE FITNESS FUN

Or at least a bit enjoyable!

  • Goals are great: weight loss, getting stronger or having more energy are some of the reasons we decide to start exercising
  • However goals are the end result, it’s easier to face the day to day commitment of exercising if what you are doing provides some value and enjoyment each time you do it
  • It’s easier to find time to do the things we enjoy than those we don’t.

So, when selecting an activity, choose based on what you enjoy (a little bit at least) rather than what is the latest big thing.

BE PATIENT

The trouble with starting a new exercise programme or trying something new is that it’s hard to start off with, we often feel a bit ‘unco’ and to start with we see no changes.

This means for a couple of weeks we have to motivate ourselves to do something that is hard with no reward – no wonder we get started and so often lose motivation!

There’s no quick cure for this, just take a deep breath and suck it up for a bit. The kids are good in the weeks leading up to Christmas so that Santa brings them good stuff, the first few weeks of your new routine is a bit like that too; all work with the reward coming later.

BE REALISTIC

Have a think about what has not worked for you in the past and give something else a try rather than going back to the same old thing on the presumption that if you just put in more effort it will work for you. There are always types of exercise that are just not your thing – don’t take this as a failure on your part.

Be realistic about time too. In a perfect world you may want to exercise five times a week for an hour each time, slipping in a massage and a facial every other day. In the meantime (until the perfect world materialises before you, along with a bottomless bank account) how about lowering your standards a bit and aiming for three times a week for as much time as you can spare? Start off with a time commitment you know you can achieve and work from there.

If you set yourself a goal of five workouts a week and only manage four that means you’ve failed. If you aim for three and do four that’s success!

Your exercise routine should add quality to your life, not add more stress to it so stack the odds in your favour by making it at easy as possible.

If you are struggling to find any spare time think about spending less time feeling guilty about not exercising. That time could be better spent doing other things.

Any ideas what?  Share them in the comments below – I would love your feedback.

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Julz Darroch provides education and resources for those who want to get fit and introduce exercise into their lives but aren’t sure where to start- the exercise allergic are her speciality! Julz is also mum to two great kids who help keep her moving. You can find out more on her website.

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