This morning, I finished the last day of Couch to 5K!
In just 9 short weeks, I have gone from not exercising at all to jogging for 30 minutes without stopping.
In the past, when I needed to lose weight, I would just run a few miles a few days a week, and voila! – I’d lose 10 pounds. Now I’m in my 30’s and a mother of 4, and my body doesn’t work like that anymore.
Here’s how I got back into the groove of exercising:
1. I put on workout clothes first thing in the morning.
I put on my workout clothes as soon as I wake up in the morning, and I wear them until I exercise.
I wear Nike’s Dry FIT Capris (not the tight ones) and Dry FIT Training T-shirts (again, not the tight ones). They’re comfortable, they wick moisture away from the skin when I get sweaty, and they look nice enough to run errands in on days when I can’t workout before leaving home.
I also LOVE Moving Comfort sports bras. They are expensive, but well worth the money. Nothing moves when I run in these bras, and they are so comfortable I could easily wear them all day.
2. I make movement a regular part of my day.
In her guest post about losing 75 pounds, Kris describes how she makes sure she is always active during the day. That’s also how I got started.
Instead of sitting and watching my kids during kids music lessons and sports practices, I took a walk around the block. Instead of sitting and watching the kids play at the park, I walked laps around the park. I got my body in the habit of moving, not sitting and watching. Then, inspired by Kris’ story, I began preparing to run a 5K.
I’m a living witness that if you follow the program, Couch to 5K really can take you from being a complete couch potato to jogging for 30 minutes straight. I ran the program on our treadmill, and tracked my progress using the C25K iPhone app. Last year, when my husband completed the program, he ran outside using a free C25K podcast he downloaded to his iPod.
Here’s a list of other Couch to 5K resources.
3. I participate in an accountability group.
For first time in my life, I found that getting fit was something I couldn’t do on my own. That’s why I am so thankful to have Jamie, Cheryl and Honey walking this journey with me. We check in with each other by e-mail every week to share our goals, our progress and our struggles.
- Honey is just beginning a 2-year journey to lose 200 pounds. Here’s her no excuses approach to weight loss.
- Cheryl and I have similar goals. She also wants to lose 30 to 40 pounds, and is finishing up Couch to 5K. Here’s how she describes the exhilarating feeling of getting over the hump.
- Jamie doesn’t need to lose any weight. She is exercising to improve her cardiovascular strength and overcome chronic asthma. In addition to participating in our e-mail group, she hosts a weekly accountability group at See Jamie Blog.
Watching these ladies make progress has inspired me to keep moving forward, and sheer pride has kept me from giving up. I don’t know that I would have completed C25K had I not participated in this group.
Other Ways to Get Moving
As a busy homeschool mom, I know how hard it is to squeeze one more thing into the day. However, with a little creativity and determination, you can do it! Think about activities you can do at home, activities you can do with your kids, and activities you enjoy that will get your body moving. Here are some ideas:
Activities You Can Do at Home
Workout on a treadmill, elliptical machine or exercise bike. Do push ups, lunges, squats or crunches whenever you have an extra five minutes. Purchase inexpensive equipment like resistance bands bands, an exercise ball, or dumbbells that you can use for strength training.
Activities You Can Do With Your Kids
Take your kids on a walk, jog, or bike ride. Go hiking. Go swimming. Jump on the trampoline. Use the Wii Fit as a family, or put on a favorite workout video and exercise while your kids play. Minna Lessig’s Fat Eliminator is one of my longtime favorites.
Activities You Enjoy
Do you love dancing? Take a Zumba class. Are you a former athlete? Sign up for an adult athletic league. Look for activities you can do socially, like walking, running, swimming or cycling clubs. Now that I’m finished with my running program, I’m headed to Stroller Fit for a more intense group workout that also includes strength training.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. I recently met a woman who took up ice skating while she sat at her son’s hockey practices. I also have a good friend who fell in love with martial arts in her 30’s, and is now convinced she can beat up her husband.
My friend Amy is hosting a series on Diastasis Recti for moms who continue to look pregnant even though they are well past the postpartum period. I do not suffer from this condition, but I know it is a problem for many. If you continue to struggle in a specific area despite your best efforts, don’t be afraid to seek outside help.