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  • Writer's pictureBrandi LeBlanc / Ms. Atlas

Make Yourself A Priority!

By: Brandi LeBlanc, CPT

You’ve heard this over and over again… or maybe you haven’t. I know it may seem easier said that done… but I promise you, it is not selfish to make yourself a priority for an hour a day. Many moms feel guilty if they put themselves first… again, I promise you, it’s not selfish to have some “me” time. Your body and your family will thank you. You need to understand that we need this time, even if it’s just an hour a day, to focus on ourselves to make sure that we stay sane and healthy so that we can be here to enjoy our children, and their children, as we age. It is the single most important thing we can do for ourselves… and them. Trust me. But how? When can I make this time? Let me help.

Make exercise an appointment… and a PRIORITY!

Put it in your calendar. Just like you would with a doctor’s appointment, schedule exercise into your diary and if something comes up respond with “sorry I have an appointment then”. After all, you exercise to ensure good health, just like you visit your doctor as part of looking after your health, so why treat these “appointments” any differently?

Exercise in the morning!

Start your day by releasing endorphins. By going to an early gym class or on a morning walk, you’re ensuring you’ve accomplished your daily dose of physical activity before the other daily demands start to take up your time and energy. It may take some adjusting to, but I promise in the long run, you will thank yourself. And as I always tell my clients, when you train first thing in the morning, you are turning yourself into a fat burning machine all day! But if that’s not possible, DON’T use that as an excuse. Take an extra hour before you go home from work, go straight to the gym and change there, and make it as an extra hour to your work day. You will be surprised how much this can help relieve stresses you may have felt that day and you can go home to your family in a whole new attitude instead of taking work-related stress out on them!

Cater to your own likes & dislikes!

Make sure you enjoy exercising! It’s easy to find excuses to NOT do something we don’t like doing; so find something you do like and that fits with your lifestyle, personality and taste. When it comes to exercise we are split for choice. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different activities until you find the perfect exercise schedule that is achievable and enjoyable.

Make it social!

Incorporate active get-togethers into social catch ups, or invite a friend or family member to exercise with you. Take a dance class together, ride your bikes to the park, or take a walk along the beach. You’ll keep your fitness routine from going stale, hold each other accountable and discover ways to build regular exercise into your relationships. Another idea, come join one of my small group training sessions. I offer several times a day and my sessions meet three days per week. I can not tell you how important it is to find your tribe! You will start keeping one another accountable and create friendships you never knew you were missing out on!

Boost activity throughout the day!

Think about opportunities throughout the day where you can boost your activity levels. Walk instead of driving short distances; park further away, or get off a bus stop or two before your destination; take the stairs rather than the elevator; or do strength exercises during the ad breaks.

Work out efficiently!

Choose a workout you can do anywhere, with little preparation or equipment needed. You want to accomplish as much as possible in as short a time as possible. Body weight exercises and interval style sessions would are efficient exercise choices that don’t require much preparation or space time – so there’s no excuses!

Set a goal, track your progress, and reward yourself!

Setting a goal is key to keeping your exercise routine on track. For example, competing in a fun run will motivate you to stay on track and add purpose to every workout. Once you have set your goal, put an exercise plan in place that will build the fitness and stamina the event requires. Don’t forget to reward yourself for achieving your goal. A weekend getaway is the perfect way to do so!

You will get use to it, I promise and there will come a point where you will not even think about it because it will be a consistent part of your daily routine. It is just a matter of convincing yourself that you can do it and giving yourself time to get there. The more time you do it, the more confidence you will develop to stick with it. So please go out there and try your best, you owe it to yourself… and to your family! Take care and I am here to help!

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