Welcome to Flawed yet Functional! Are you ready for your daily dose of what’s been on my mind?? As a diet-controlled, insulin-free Type 1 Diabetic, you might guess that consistent exercise is important for maintaining good blood sugar levels. Truthfully, we all need exercise! Don’t be put off by the term, exercise! We all need to have some movement each day because sitting at a desk all day is not what we were made for! Today I’d like to share with you how to establish a consistent exercise routine that will work for your lifestyle.
Exercise type, duration, and intensity has changed dramatically over my not-so-long life. Let me show you what exercise has looked like for me in different phases of my life, and my tips for creating a routine that works for you in your phase of life. Put on your thinking caps with me and get ready to think outside the box. You don’t need a gym membership or a personal instructor or even equipment! You can keep your body fit and strong with $0 investment. Let’s dive in!
No Kids, Full-Time Work Exercise Routine
It is amazing how much time I had before kids and yet didn’t know it! Lunch hour and Saturday mornings were my primary times to exercise. Fortunately, the building I worked in had a gym with typical work-out equipment, but even better, had excellent paths and roads for running and walking outside.
During this phase of my life, I was a runner. (Which feels like a very distant memory now!) Running outside or lifting in the gym was my lunchtime routine with an occasional run with a friend on Saturday morning. About 2-3 times a year, I would run a 10k race, just for fun.
If this phase of life describes you, think outside the early morning or late night exercise routine if that is difficult for you. Make use of your lunch time and weekends!
Stay-At-Home Mom with Babies Exercise Routine
When my children were born, I quit working outside the home to focus on raising my kids. I had no idea what I was getting into. Sleep deprivation hit me hard, and for months, I did not a lick of more movement than absolutely necessary.
Eventually, I knew working out would lift my mood and make my body feel better, so I sought out a Pilates/yoga video series that was under 30 minutes. I didn’t kill myself to get up before my son. I just devoted the first nap-time of the day to self-care. Exercise and reading my Bible with a hot cup of coffee were my focus during this time. Totally doable in 45-90 minutes!
Stay-At-Home Mom with Young Kids Exercise Routine
This is my current phase of life. My kids sleep through the night, every night unless they’re sick. I am well rested as long as I stick to my other healthy habits like going to bed on time and getting up on time! So my routine is a bit more hard-core than when my boys were babies. Just a bit, it’s still nothing crazy!
My first stab at consistent exercise was to try to do it when I first woke up. However, I crave time with Jesus (First time in my life that this is true, folks! It is amazing to desire time with the Lord and LOVE spending time with Him!). So if I woke up late and finished my work-out late, I would be crabby with my kids if they were “interrupting” my time with Jesus.
The other hard thing about working out first thing in the morning is I don’t want to get up to work out. It’s terrible. No one should want to get out of bed to work-out.
I decided to swap my time with Jesus and my work-out. Game. Changer. I WANT to get out of bed to drink hot tea and spend time with Jesus, and I don’t mind working out knowing my quiet time and hot tea are done. 🙂 It’s all about frame of mind and finding the right routine for you!
How to Establish YOUR Exercise Routine
So how does this help you establish a routine that will work for you that you can do consistently? Well, here are my top 4 tips that I’ve learned for creating a consistent exercise routine.
Find a Time of Day that Works for You
It may not be the same time every day, maybe you work-out Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. During the week, you work-out in the evening, and Saturday you get your jog on in the morning. Find days and times that work for you.
Find a Type of Exercise that You Like
You don’t have to run, lift, or do yoga. Try out different types of exercise to see which is fun for you then stick to that! Are walks best for you? Then find an interesting route or buy a treadmill! Do you love weightlifting? Then get a gym membership or equipment in your home!
Personally, I love Fitness Blender work-out videos. You can find them on You Tube for free or purchase a program (at a VERY reasonable cost!) from their website. The combination of HIIT, strength, and flexibility are a perfect fit for me. I choose the 30 minute programs so I can fit each day’s routine into my morning schedule.
Other types of exercise I’ve done in the past include Beach Body programs (P90X, PiYo), running, Tae-Bo (showing my age here! Ha!), and weight lifting with Dan. You don’t have to do the same thing each day or in each phase of life. Be willing to change for what your body needs and lifestyle can handle.
Give your new exercise routine a try for two weeks then re-evaluate.
- Do you have enough time to complete your routine at the time you planned?
- Does something keep getting in the way?
- Would another day/time work better?
- Is there another type of exercise that would motivate you more? That you would enjoy more?
Be Willing to Adjust
Don’t feel trapped into what you first choose! Be willing to change things up so that you get some exercise in. You don’t have to kill yourself at cross-fit 6 days a week, but your body does need some movement most days. Experiment with what works for you! If it isn’t working or isn’t motivating or enjoyable, change it!
Exercise and daily movement is good for our bodies on so many levels. It’s a mood enhancer, stress-buster, and injury-preventer. Let me encourage you to take some time today to establish a consistent exercise routine that will work for you in your current phase of life. Don’t feel guilty over past failures and don’t wait for new year’s resolutions! Make a commitment to get your body moving today for a healthier tomorrow!