Tuesday, April 8, 2008

getting motivated

So exercise is important. We all know that. But I have had the darnedest time the past year or so staying motivated to exercise regularly. I just have not gotten into a routine. And I know it's especially important during pregnancy that I keep moving. I won't give you all my excuses because I know you don't want to hear them. I'll just show you my latest motivations--a couple dvd's I just got on Amazon with the gift certificate I won awhile ago from Nicki. (Thanks girl!) They both have great reviews and look to be appropriate for pregnancy, while keeping me challenged. And hopefully will keep my boredom at bay. (I get bored easily while working out.)

I do have a question for all you busy ladies out there. When do you exercise? And what is your method of choice? I'd especially love to hear from any working girls because I have found that joining the 8-5 workforce has been the biggest stumbling block for me finding time to workout. Basically, I'm lazy and don't want to wake up at 6 in the morning. But I am also way tired, exacerbated by pregnancy, in the evening. I need to suck it up and either get up earlier, or start working out right when I get home.

So how do you stay motivated?


  1. Keep in mind that exercise is cumulative. You're not working to build up your stamina for a marathon, just maintain a good fitness level throughout pregnancy. So...

    When I was pregnant I reserved 15-20 minute blocks in the morning, at lunchtime, and before bed. In the morning I did resistance training (which made me sweat and therefore required a shower), at noon I took a walk (on rainy/snowy days I did it in the building in the stairwell), and in the evening I did more stretching/yoga/pilates stuff.

    If I was tired, I leaned toward the fifteen minute threshold--and when I had more energy, I did the twenty minute thing.

    It worked for me. I was back to my regular running mileage within two months of the birth--and I did take at least four weeks to recuperate.

    I hope you'll tell us what you find that works for you. :)

  2. I LOVE yoga!!! It might be my favorite workout. Isn't it wonderful.

    I workout during naptime. Soon you'll have those! I've been lazy about it lately though... I need to get my butt back in gear.

  3. Ok, two things for me.

    1. I always watch a tv show I like. My treadmill has been my best investment because I can watch a show and be distracted.

    2. I make rewards for myself. If I workout 5 days a week for 6 months I get ________. It works for me!

    Good luck you cute little pregnant girl!

  4. I do classes at the gym, which helps me stay motivated after a long day at work. I'm certainly not going to quit in the middle of a class! Although my gym doesn't have specific pregnancy classes, there is always at least one pregnant woman in every class I've done. The teacher just works with her for some alternate moves in certain positions.

  5. I love having a workout buddy, and I work out most regularly if I make time in the mornings. My friend and I used to go to the gym every MWF at 5:50 am (before our second babies were born) and we missed only a couple days over about an eighteen-month span, the last nine months of which we were both pregnant.

    I second Nicki's TV/treadmill recommendation--I watcha lotta Lost. And I also find it easiest to exercise when I read while I run or do the elliptical--the Ensign, US News, The Economist, and Atlantic Monthly are my preferred keep-my-interest mags (this does take some getting used to if you're running, because you have to learn to focus your eyes while you're bouncing up and down). Btw, I found the elliptical a great compromise machine when I was pregnant--I still got a good workout, but it didn't hurt my stomach muscles as much as running did. I worked out up to the day I delivered and then started lifting weights and doing cardio again a week after the baby was born with my doctor's ok--working up through the end of my pregnancy really helped me bounce back faster.

    Lastly, I find I work out hardest when I do it in a more public arena. If my husband's home, I run much faster. If I'm at the gym, I'll push myself to lift more weights than I do at home. Peer pressure always helps me work harder, kick higher, and run faster!

  6. yeah...I'm so NOT the person to ask about this. I have not exercised at all since I've been pregnant. Well except walking. but let's be honest...I wasn't great about it before I got pg either! So after the baby is born...I have got to get into gear!

  7. You could make it a habit to go on long walks with your hubby after work... that's what I'm doing now post-pregnancy. During pregnancy, I borrowed lots of pregnancy dvd's at the library but they didn't keep me too motivated for long :) good luck! I think just the fact that you are trying is great!

  8. Holla for exercise! I agree when working 8-5 exercise is usually the last thing you want to do...but obviously we know it's important. Along the lines of the other great suggestions here are the things that help me most.

    1. Find an exercise buddy. Whether or not you're tired you won't want to bail on your friend so you'll go. This also helps a ton with boredom and helps motivate you to push yourself more. (I have no idea of Jared schedule but even if you have 1 day a week you guys go walking together for an hour and on some other day you do yoga or whatever with a girlfriend)

    2. Join some type of class. I am a sucker for this type of stuff, and my cheap pocket book won't let me sluff a class I've paid for. Might I suggest water aerobics as a great non weight bearing low risk exercise for pregos. This also helps with boredom.

    3. Get yourself on a set schedule. Personally I like to run in the mornings to get it done with and avoid having to get ready for the day more than once. I know myself well enough to know I am less and less likely to get out for my run the later in the day. It doesn't have to be morning...I swim every Tues and Thurs at noon, it's just a given.

    4. This may not be plausible for you right now but I like to do races and events so I feel like I have a goal I'm working toward. It's motivating and fun. I suppose this is along the lines of rewards.

    5. Cross train, mix it up. Don't do the same workout everyday or even the same type of exercise every day unless you really, really , enjoy it. It gets old. Have set days off and have set work outs. Like go a little longer or harder on Tuesdays and Fridays and then have your easy days...you will love them and wont have to feel guilty about a shorter workout as long as you do what you planned.

    6. Okay this is the last point I promise...but walking is greatly overlooked. If you can't muster the energy for anything else just get yourself out on a walk for at least 20 minutes, I think consistency is the key. When I take too many days off it gets easier and easier to take days off. When I just workout no matter how short or low intensity...it keeps the ball rolling.

  9. I'm all about the daily evening walk. It's great for many reasons: exercise, uninterrupted time to chat with Nate, and fresh air. I know you don't need the pep talk, but esp if you're going to attempt natural labor, you'll want to prepare your body for it physically. And I am a huge believer in the fact that a healthy, fit body recovers from the birthing process much more quickly than a lazy, over fed, under-exercised one.

    I know it's super hard to find the time and energy for it, but you'll be surprised, once you start doing it, that it actually helps you feel more vital and energized. Good luck, dear!

  10. Thanks for the tips, ladies. Unfortunately, my husband is working practically round the clock to finish his thesis and so doesn't really have time for nice long evening walks with me on a regular basis. :-( (His workouts are of the push-up, pull-up variety that I don't do.) And walking by myself just doesn't sound appealing. Hopefully my new DVDs will get me going. One of them has a section where you work with a partner, so I'm gonna enlist Jared's help there sometimes.

  11. I remember battling the same problem when I was pregnant: working 7-4, finishing my masters degree, moving to NC, etc. I was worn out and time deprived. I wanted to stay in shape for the delivery and recovery so that I could bounce back faster. I hope the work out videos work for you. I enjoyed doing a pregnancy yoga dvd and walking a lot, especially in the later months. That is all the advice I can give.

    I do have to warn you though. I remember thinking that as soon as I had the baby, I'd have all day to work out as a stay at home mom. Those work out dreams were shattered when I realized it was even harder now that I had a baby with me 24/7 that needed to be fed every 2 hours. Home work out videos and walks with the stroller only do so much to help regain the pre-pregnancy body.

  12. um, I play video games (*cough* DDR) and once the better weather hits, start walking everywhere. And I'll also start going to the gym daily with my guy once my life stops being so crazy-like (within the next month). It also helps that I have a puppy that NEEDS to be played with daily and a boyfriend whos losing weight right along with me. :) Actually, that helps alot!

  13. Katrina,
    I am in the same boat you are. I can't pull myself out of bed in the morning and I am so exhausted when I get home I just want to take a nap. Please let me know what you think of your new purchases!

  14. I have to say that Katrina did the yoga today, and she looked so adorable!! She said it worked, too. ;-) I am an exceedingly lucky man.