This morning I got an article in my in-box from Fit Pregnancy Magazine (which is a GREAT resource for all things health and pregnancy) and it was titled "The No-Time No-Excuses Workout." That immediately caught my eye so I clicked on the link to see what it was about (although I had a pretty good idea). The article talked about how busy a pregnant woman can get juggling doctor's appointments, childbirth classes, shopping for the new little one, work, taking care of the home, etc., etc., etc. Then it went on to explain that one didn't need a lot of time to fit in a workout, just 30 minutes. According to this article the recommendations for a pregnant woman and exercise are as follows:
3-5 days a week do cardio workouts, such as walking, swimming,
the elliptical trainer or stationary bike. If you need to, break up
your workouts into 10 or 15 minute chunks; you’ll still get the cardio
2-4 times a week do a 30 minute
strength workout. Or, do 10 minute, total-body strength circuits,
repeating them for a total of 30 minutes if you feel up to it, advises
New York City fitness consultant Liz Neporent, M.A. She recommends doing
each exercise for 60 seconds using bands, dumbbells or simply your body
weight (e.g., squats and push-ups).
The article goes into a bit more detail about some of these workouts and I definitely recommend reading them, but as I was reading (and agreeing) I thought, "This doesn't only apply to pregnant women, it applies to everyone!"
Before I was pregnant I was busy, and most everyone I know has the same reason (excuse?) as to why they can't do this or that. "I'm just too busy." I've heard that we have time to fit in those things we WANT to fit in. And it's true. I make the "I'm too busy" excuse for other things, but never running. Why? Because that is what I WANT to be doing. What am I too busy to fit in? Vacuuming, dusting, bathroom cleaning and on occasion, homework. So if you use this excuse yourself when it comes to running or exercise, but you feel that you really do want to do it, here are some questions to consider:
1. How badly do I want it?
2. What am I willing to do to make it happen? (Get up early? Cut out Facebook time? Split up my lunch hour?)
3. Do I have 30 minutes a day?
With these 3 questions, you can figure out if you are willing to do what you need to in order to fit in a workout or a run, and if you try to carve out a mere 30 minutes, you may find it much more doable than you thought!
Before I became pregnant running was high priority, especially when I was training for something, and so my motivation did not often fall prey to excuses (although I was certainly not immune). Being pregnant, however, I seem more open to them, telling myself, "I'm too tired" or "I'll do it later" or "I probably need to pamper myself more." (Yes, I've actually said that in my head). But when I think about 30 minutes...now that is something I can wrap my tired, busy, pampered mind around and get done.
These days I've been fitting in a run in the mornings (usually 3-5 miles) and then a run/walk with Chance or my 35-minute weights and pilates workout in the afternoon. When I get to the moment where I've got to decide to get out of bed and get going, or that moment when I arrive home after work and would rather sit on the couch...I remind myself that I want it. I remind myself that it is good for me and this little girl, and then I tell myself it is ONLY 30 minutes. That usually cinches it and off I go.
And I feel GREAT! I think breaking it up into smaller amounts of time keeps me from getting too worn out, but I still get the benefit of an hour+ a day of physical activity and I believe it is this that holds off some of the more unpleasant pregnancy symptoms - maybe not forever but surely another week without swelling or back aches is a plus!
Whether you are pregnant or not, I challenge you to ask yourself the questions above if you are having a hard time fitting in your workouts or staying consistent. If you stick to it, exercise can be addictive and habit-forming and the 30 minute rule may be just the ticket to get you there.