I have fallen out of my groove. I try to exercise, but seem to get out of my workout schedule, because of carpooling around my kids and working full time. How can I make my exercise goal of working out 5 times per week actually happen? — Kate, 39, Alameda
Let’s focus on the means to get your sweat sessions set as part of your day. The best time to start exercising is early morning. There are no excuses as the day passes, since the accomplishment is already behind you. In addition, the American Council on Exercise says morning exercisers also lose more weight since they sleep more soundly at nighttime. To get your groove back, try the following:
1. Eliminate obstacles — Pack your exercise bag the night before, including a water bottle, to avoid the morning rush. Also pack your workbag and school backpacks to buy more morning exercise time, and lay out your exercise clothes the night before, putting running shoes at the door with keys inside.
2. Retrain body and mindset — To lose it, you need to push it. Weight loss is 10–15 percent physical and 85–90 percent nutritional. Work with your heart rate. To burn the most calories, challenge yourself and be efficient with your exercise time. If you can talk easily, you’re not challenging yourself.
3. Seek support — Group support can be key to motivation. Find early morning exercise classes, such as spinning or boot camps.
4. Use the environment — Your neighborhood is a perfect gym: Try dips on park benches, jump squats at picnic tables, pushups on rocks, wall-sits against trees, pull-ups on monkey bars. Incorporate five key exercises anywhere.
Alameda mom and athlete Erin Kreitz Shirey (voted Alameda Magazine 2011 Most Motivational Personal Trainer) runs Power Fitness PDX. Email her questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.powerfitnesspdx.com.