We all know that working out is good for us. But as busy working moms we don’t often do it. And I think it’s because there are some myths about working out that are stopping us from successfully incorporating workouts into our lives.
So let’s talk about 4 working out myths that we, as working moms, tend to believe and how to address them.
Myth #1: I Don’t Have Time to Work Out
The first working out myth we tend to believe is that we don’t have time to work out. After all, we have so many other things to do! This is probably the most common myth. I truly believed it for many years. Until I started working out on a regular basis and realized how much more energy I have after workouts. And more energy, means that I am more productive. And I get things done faster.
So yes, workouts will take some time out of your day, but that time is basically returned to you. For one, your body releases endorphins after exercising. They make you happy and put you in a great mood for the rest of the day. When you are in a great mood, you look at things from a different perspective. You feel inspired and motivated to take on the day. When you encounter problems, you don’t let them get to you easily.
Exercise will also allow your brain to take some rest and refresh. You will find that you are more creative. And when you combine that with the energy you get from working out – you will be on fire with productivity.
Myth #2: I Don’t Enjoy Working Out
The second working out myth is that we don’t enjoy working out. Because every time we try it feels like punishment. If this is you – chances are you have not found a type of exercise for you.
We often make the mistake of choosing exercise that we see other people do. We sign up for classes at a local gym but we never have time to attend them. Or we start running, even though we hate every minute of it. The chances of you being successful at either of those are almost none.
You need to find out what you truly enjoy. If you don’t know what that is, experiment! Start with figuring out what type of activities do you like the most. Are you a person who prefers cardio workouts or strength training? Do you like group workouts at a gym or do you prefer workouts at home? And don’t limit yourself to the typical exercises. Maybe something you really enjoy is hiking, swimming, horseback riding, or playing volleyball. There is no right or wrong here.
And make sure that it naturally fits into your current schedule and lifestyle.
Let me give you a personal example. I work from home. And a while ago, I decided to do my workouts during the lunch break. It was a great idea in theory. I’m at home, I have a break in my day. Why not use it to exercise?
What I did not realize is how unpredictable my lunch breaks were. Sometimes a meeting ran longer. Other times, I was given a task with a very short deadline and ended up working through my lunch. After a while, I realized that it isn’t working for me. I did not get my workouts in as often I wanted. And on the days that I did, I often felt rushed to make sure that I finish quickly so I can get back to work. But I also felt very discouraged and guilty when I did not get my exercise on a particular day. So instead of feeling energized and productive, I was feeling overwhelmed.
That is when I switched to working out first thing in the morning. I realized that if I do it before I start working, my work will not interfere with it. And that ended up being a perfect fit for me.
Choose what will work best for you and your schedule. You want your workouts to be a natural fit into your schedule, and not something that is forced.
Myth #3: I Don’t Feel Motivated to Work Out
I don’t know how many times I have set a New Year’s resolutions that I will work out every day starting January 1. And it never lasted more than a few weeks. Sometimes I would have those bursts of motivation throughout the year, but it would always end up with me quitting working out all together.
Why? Because I lost my motivation. As soon as life got challenging I quit. My kids got sick – I stopped working out. My workload at work increased – I told myself I’m too tired to work out. The list of my excuses was long.
Then I had a break through when I read the book Start with Why. I realized that my reason for wanting to exercise was not strong at all. Once I really sat down and wrote down my what everything changed.
Because motivation comes and goes. I workout at 4 am every morning. I don’t wake up happy and motivated to work out! If you don’t believe me, check out my morning routine video and see! I’m definitely not smiling. Haha!
But my why keeps me going. I know why I am working out every day.
It’s like feeding newborns during all kinds of hours at night. Do you feel motivated and happy when they wake up at 2 am for the third time that night? Of course not! But you know that you need to feed them so they can be healthy and grow. That is your why. You will wake up and feed them! Because you know that is what you need to do to get the job done.
This is how you need to think about exercise and any goal in your life for that matter. Define why you are setting that goal. That why will keep you going when you start experiencing challenges and obstacles.
Myth #4: All or Nothing Mentality
The last working out myth is the all or nothing mentality. We think that if we cannot work out every day, then working out is just not for us.
But just like you get to choose the type of workout, you also get to choose the frequency of them. Yes, it is recommended that we exercise 30 minutes a day. But maybe what works for you is going to the gym for a class three times a week. Or maybe you have more time on the weekends and that is when you go for your runs.
Don’t get discouraged because you cannot work out everyday or follow a specific guideline. Think about it this way. One workout a week is much better than no workouts at all. Do what you can in the stage of life you are in.
You get to choose what types of workouts you do. You can choose to do workouts that are 20 minutes long 5 times a week. And if you choose to work out at home, this will not add any time for commute. You would be amazed at the variety of different workouts you can find with a simple Google search.
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I believe that the best way is to just start. You can always build up on it.
And don’t forget that running around after your kids, cleaning your house, and doing yard work are also types of physical activities. You can find plenty of little things that you can do to add a couple of minutes of physical activities to your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk your dog a couple of extra blocks on your morning walk. Or take a family walk in your neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. It all counts.
What workout myths did you believe? Are there any additional ones? Share below!