Transform...Be Strong!

Exercise has never been a top priority for me until recently. I realized a little over a year ago that my metabolism was not what it was when I was in my twenties (before I had my kids). My weight would always go straight to my thighs and I just couldn't find the time to get to the gym to do something about it. One day I finally realized that nothing is going to change unless I change so I started to go to the gym more often and also began to take advantage of the tot drop. I started out slow with a lot of time spent on the elliptical, crunches and planking (30 seconds). As I kept going I would watch what other people would do at the gym. At home I would google different exercises that would help certain areas I wanted to work on and I also even downloaded a personal training app. I realized I needed to find a workout that I enjoyed doing but also got results from. It has been over a year and my workout consists of the following but I continue to push harder, do more reps, increase weights, etc:

1) 10 min of cardio - elliptical, step machine, or treadmill (just to warm up)

2) Circuit weight training - different days different muscles - legs, arms, chest, etc.

3) Sit ups - 6 different ways, hitting different ab muscles, increasing the amount each week

4) Leg raises - multiple versions for different areas of the thigh, increasing the amount each week

5) Plank - I am up to 3 minutes and I also lift each leg while planking to switch it up

6) Stretch - always get a stretch in and I even have goals for stretching, eventually I would like to do a split

7) If I have time I walk on the treadmill for a few minutes to cool down

This is what has been working for me, I continue to up my weights, I throw in different exercises I see online just to switch it up but I have found something I enjoy doing and I am seeing results. We all have different likes and that goes for exercise too. If something doesn't work for your or gets boring switch it up, try a class, get a trainer or go for a run. I used to take a hot yoga class after baby number 2 and loved it but we moved and scheduling has conflicted with trying to get to a hot yoga class so I compromised and now find myself a gym rat. My health is important I suffer from arthritis so exercise is a must for me and now that I am starting to see results I definitely don't want to stop.

Recently I decided to get a better schedule. My kids were starting to complain they didn't want to go to the kids area while I went to the gym so this started to deter me from going. In order to fix this problem I decided I needed to start waking up earlier and make the gym "me time." So three times a week I am up at 6 am and out the door before anyone wakes up. I get back in time just before my husband has to get to work. Then I have enough time to make lunches, shower and get ready for work. I definitely feel more accomplished on those days. Even though I love sleeping and I have never been a morning person after doing it a few times I found I really enjoy this time to focus on myself.

You can get to where you want to be you just have to find the right activity and stick with it. Create a schedule that works, pick up a new sports bra and remember you are doing this for you because in the end it will make you more confident in who you are. Be strong!

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