How to ease yourself back into exercise (when you haven’t done any for a long time.)

getting back into exercise

If you run, you are a runner.

Once upon a time, I used to be a runner.

I never ran in a competitive way. I never achieved any great awards, but I was a runner in the sense that I would come home from work, throw on my running shoes along with some shorts and an old t-shirt, and run out the door.

That’s the great thing about being a runner. It actually doesn’t matter whether you’re any good or not. You run, therefore you are a runner. Easy. Somewhere along the way though, I stopped running.

My career took off, I had a house to take care of and I found myself with two little people. Running, as with a lot of other things, took a back seat.

getting back into exercise
“I would come home from work, throw on my running shoes along with some shorts and an old t-shirt, and run out the door.”

 

I didn’t realise how much I missed running until I was having ‘one of those days’ recently and I tried to think back to what I did to relieve stress and clear my mind B.K. (Before Kids). Even on those days when I really didn’t feel like it, on the days where I was so wound up and tired, if I just got the energy to get the shoes on and get out the door, I instantly felt better.

Advertisement

Related: Lena Dunham on how exercise helped her anxiety.

Then it dawned on me – it had been at least two years since I went running.

Getting back into physical activity is not easy, especially when you’re a mother. But here’s a few things I’ve found that will help you get your motivation back.

1. Deciding to start.

It sounds simple I know, but making the decision to start running is a huge part of the battle. If you want it to work you need to make the time. We all have such busy lives that even an activity like running can take scheduling and planning. It actually doesn’t matter how you do it, just get it done.

If you have little people, try and arrange a babysitter. See if your partner can be home a little earlier a couple of nights per week and take some time out. If that’s not an option consider setting the alarm just that little bit earlier in the mornings and take advantage of the sun coming up. If all else fails, strap the kids into the pram and take them with you.

getting back into exercise
“If all else fails, strap the kids into the pram and take them with you.”

 

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

2. Having the right equipment.

It’s not just our bellies that change with pregnancy. It’s the boobs, it’s the butt, it’s the whole package. I was amazed to find I had gone up a whole shoe size last time I donned a pair of running shoes.

Make sure you get properly fitted for important items like running shoes and sports bras to ensure you stay comfortable and don’t injure yourself.

Here’s one of our favs for those keen to hit the pavement:

Related: 11 things no one ever tells you about exercise.

3. Setting goals.

By setting small goals for yourself, you’ll be able to track your improvement. It might be a timing goal, a distance goal or even just being able to make it to the end of the street without stopping.

Whatever you choose, make it consistent and take note of it in a diary to remind yourself that you’re on the path to success. No one needs to know the goal but you, so it doesn’t matter if you start small.

getting back into exercise
“Make sure you get properly fitted for important items like running shoes and sports bras to ensure you stay comfortable and don’t injure yourself.”

4. Changing it up.

A big reason why people give up on physical activity is boredom. The great thing about running is that you can change your location, terrain and environment at any time.

Don’t feel like running past the same old set of shops? Don’t. Grab a map and consider some bush walks and bike trails in your area. You’d be surprised at what you never knew existed.

How do you keep motivated?

Here’s how the rich, famous and fabulous keep fit:

TAF_logo_new_LT_RED
The Athlete’s Foot LOVE THE RUN® campaign was created to inspire Australians to love the run.  Since everyone’s fit is different, unique & special – no two runners are the same.  It all starts with  the perfect fit, in store at The Athlete’s Foot.
Find your next running event using the online RUNZONE – www.theathletesfoot.com.au/run-
zone.
Check out the new running range online – http://www.theathletesfoot.com.au/love-the-run-new-balance
Discover more on the LOVE THE RUN® campaign –https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAthletesFootAus

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

More articles