Keep Moving Forward. This is the theme of a Triathlon-Mom blog I absolutely love. I have to say that she really hit the nail on the head with that. Three words that mean so much and are, in my opinion, the key to health and fitness success.
For the last three years, my family and I have been engaged in a food and fitness revolution. I have become fully engaged in eating Paleo, working out, and spending quality time with my family. Balancing these things is what makes me feel that I am living a healthy and happy life. This balance can sometimes be difficult to achieve. And like most Moms with young kids, I think the fitness piece is the most difficult to maintain. There are times where it seems impossible to do it all. The kids get sick, we overcommit to activities, the house is a mess, we moved, etc… But through those times, the one thing that I always try to keep in mind is how far I have come. I have worked so hard to get to the fitness and health place I am in. I can not go backwards. So what I have to do is keep moving forward. It can be as little as an extra walk around the block, a great stretching session when I am feeling overwhelmed, or a climb up my kids playground in the backyard. As little as these things may seem, they are all a step forward. A step towards being active, healthy, and enjoying life. Every workout, every great Paleo meal, is one step forward.
With all that motivational talk aside, I have a few simple pointers for those who are looking to include fitness into their lives and are not sure how they can make it work. Keep in mind that of course everyones situation is different. These points are just a rough outline of what I have found to be helpful to me.
1. Keep it fun- There is nothing worse than logging hours on a treadmill while staring at a wall. Besides the fact that it’s not doing your fitness routine justice, it’s just plain boring. And boring is not something we want to do every day. Try to incorporate things you like to do. If you love being outside, look for an outdoor fitness class, ride a bike, or take a hike. I tend to mix up lots of different style workouts to keep myself from getting bored with the same old same old. In the same week I can mix spinning, weight training, suspension training, and running outside. It keeps it from becoming boring.
2. Find a fitness friend- You don’t need a ton of gym buddies to make your workout enjoyable. One friend who you reliably see at the gym can make the difference between a great workout and no workout at all. If you work out at home, having another Mom with kids to share that with is a great idea too. I am very lucky to have had a few friends at my old gym and recently found a friend at my new gym. Just her texting me asking if I am going today is enough to help motivate me to get there. And having a friend to share fitness enthusiasm with is great. It’s the “I’ll try it if you do” idea from your childhood. Its great being able to motivate each other to try new things.
Rock climbing with a fitness friend
3. If you are a Mom, find a place that you can bring your kids to- I can not stress this one enough. If you have young children, do not join a gym where you can’t bring kids. You will never go as much as you would otherwise, and when you do it can be stressful to have to coordinate childcare.
4. Enlist in some help- Take classes with instruction, use personal trainers, ask the staff for help if there’s a machine you aren’t familiar with. If you are home, watch youtube videos or bodyrock.tv for inspiration and guidance. The more you know, the more confident and less apprehensive you feel.
5. Set a goal- Setting a goal is proven to be motivating. So sign up for an event or partake in a “gym challenge”. Theres nothing better than reaching a goal you set for yourself.
My triathlon “medal”. I set a goal and followed through.
6. Make being active a family affair-Spend your weekend free time hiking, skiing, walking or biking with your spouse and kids. We love riding bikes as a family. There are usually plenty of safe trails and parks to ride in. Go to your town Recreation department and ask for information. Check out http://www.active.com for local events you can do with your spouse or the whole family. My husband and I have done a number of events together, and we have a blast every time.
If the “keep moving forward” message really feels like it makes sense to you, check out Swim Bike Mom’s video on youtube. I watched it multiple times a day when I was training for my triathlon. It is incredibly inspiring.
Heres a great protein packed snack that provides great nutrition, and enough fat to keep you satisfied.
BLT Egg Salad
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 Tbsp homemade bacon mayo (make mayo the way you normally do but sub bacon grease for half your oil)
1 Tbsp finely diced red onion
2 Tbsp finely diced of celery
5 grape tomatoes, quartered
3-4 slices pastured bacon, crumbled
Pepper to taste
Mash up the eggs in a large bowl.
Add the rest if the ingredients and mix.
Serve with veggie scoops or lettuce boats (romaine works great).
Rachel is a 36-year-old mother of three boys. She has a B.S. in Nutrition, is a Physician Assistant, and a fitness enthusiast. Because of a love for cooking (and eating!) she will be sharing recipes, tips, and ideas on her blog at http://www.paleofamilyeats.com