The little bub growing inside of me is teaching me so much, and I am yet to meet this little gem. Having just entered my second trimester, I am finally feeling human again & with that have had the joy of returning to exercise.
As you know, I am a bit of a fitness fanatic – running is my absolute passion, and hiking, gym, swimming, and yoga fall close behind. Having been trying to fall pregnant for a while, my gynae advised that I stop running immediately after my first scan (6 weeks) and stick to very light exercise. At first, this completely threw me, but in no time at all, the morning sickness crept in and the idea of going for a run quickly made my tummy squirm.
So for week 5 – 12, I stuck to swimming a few times a week, and the odd stretching session in the gym. While this kept me somewhat active, I can’t pretend that it filled my endorphin tank. Coming out of that somewhat slump that I was in, and now being able to do a bit more exercise – by ‘a bit more’, I genuinely mean ‘a tiny bit more’, I am getting my first taste of what so many clients tell me about….
“I know I should exercise but it’s so hard to get myself up and moving”
This is as a foreign a feeling to me, as is having a munchkin growing in my tummy…yet both are providing me with a beautiful space to be humbled, to learn, and to grow.
My 3 tips for getting your body moving even when you don’t want to:
Go back to basics
By basics I mean just that, stop overthinking what exercise needs to look like, and re-invent this word for yourself, in a manner that suits your lifestyle, body and passions.
Without accountability we tend to get very little done. Firstly, decide on a time of day that best suits YOUR needs – try be to realistic here. You know whether you are able to get up half an hour earlier, & whether post-work-gym-sessions actually NEVER work for you. Choose a time that suits you, and then decide how often you will exercise and what form of exercise each day will include. Remember that for each of us this will look different – but by matching your “I’m widest awake now” time of day with exercise, you are unlikely to avoid it.
Stick it out for 3 weeks
A habit is set to stick after practicing a new behaviour for just 21 days. By ‘stick’ I mean that your brain overcomes the ‘hardness’ of making this happen and this new behaviour becomes almost ‘second-nature’ for you.
So the rule I always try to stick to, is to be as intentional as possible when introducing a new behaviour (in this case it would be exercise), for my first 3 weeks, and to then allow my body to respond to this new habit on it’s own.
While I am constantly reminding my clients that they are not dogs and do not need a treat after every workout, it is still SO important that you reward yourself for treating your body with respect. Choose something that truly feels like a treat (a massage, yummy chai latte, hair treatment, weekend away) and keep your reward in mind while exercising all month. By working towards a goal, we tend to get more done and in turn our brains produce more dopamine which is a our happy hormone. Win, win!!
Finally, remember that physiologically exercise does the exact opposite of draining you, in fact it lifts the frequency of your body – leading to higher levels of energy and lifted moods.
I’m off for a walk… Excited to ride on an endorphin wave for the rest of the day :)