Getting Organized to Exercise, by guest blogger Catherine Milliken

Hi everyone! I’m Elizabeth’s trainer and see her up to three times a week for Boot Camp, Pilates, and personal training through Karna Fitness. I asked her if I could share some tips on getting organized about exercising, since I believe that’s most of the battle.

Woody Allen said that 90% of success in life is showing up. So why is it so hard to show up to exercise? The answer? Planning, preparing, and letting go of excuses.

  1. 1. Plan your week and establish a routine. Every magazine will tell you that you need to schedule time for exercise, and it’s true! If you have kids, sit down with your partner and negotiate who gets what morning or evening for exercise. I like to do the same thing every week for simplicity sake (ex: Monday is boot camp, Tuesday Pilates, Wednesday run) but you may need more variety or flexibility. Some say it takes three weeks to change a pattern of behavior, so be really committed during that time to “show up.”
  2. 2. Prepare the night before. I’m a morning exerciser, so I like to make sure my bag and water is packed, coffee is in the coffee maker, my outfit and shoes are laid out, and a banana is next to my bag. That way, I can literally jump out of bed, get dressed, and get out the door. I don’t have to think AT ALL, which is helpful at 5:30 am! I’ve gotten lazy a few times and neglected this routine the night before…it ends up taking me three or four times as long in the morning as I walk around in a fog.
  3. If you like to work out in the evening after work, pack your gym bag the night before, along with a pre-workout and post workout snack. Nothing kills motivation like being famished.
  4. 3. Just go, no excuses. “If you go to school and you still feel sick, then you can come home.” You’ve heard this before, right? From your mom, right? SHE KNEW that your sniffle or your “bellyache” wasn’t substantial enough to keep you on the couch all day. She knew that the hardest part was getting out the door. It still is. Take a lesson from mom: if you get dressed, get out the door, drive to class, spend ten minutes at exercise class and STILL don’t feel like it, you can go home.
  5. I tell my clients to adopt a simple mantra, “Don’t think, just go!” At 5:30 am, it’s easy to convince yourself that you can squeeze in a power walk after dinner, but the fact of the matter is, it probably won’t happen, especially if it’s not part of your routine. So stop negotiating with yourself; don’t think—just GO!

Good luck with establishing your routine…it really is 90% of the battle!

PS. If you’re curious about how Elizabeth does in class, she’s always punctual and very dedicated! She’s followed my tips for getting out the door and almost never misses a class unless it’s for a very good reason, like she is on vacation, or her husband is away. She’s up for ANYTHING and went from basically doing only walking and occasional yoga to running, holding a 2 minute plank, and high intensity interval training!

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