Each year, millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions, hoping to spark positive change in their lives. Some of the most common recurring themes include: Health and fitness, improving finances, and learning or trying something new. This year, a renewed focus on your physical health might be at the top of your list. How can this be achieved? By participating in a new fitness activity and being proactive in preventing future illnesses or injuries. But where to begin as far as choosing a fitness routine that works best for you? A few of our fellow CECPTA members have described their fitness routine, how it fits into their busy schedule, and how it has impacted their lives!
Lace up, and go for a run!
I started running in 2012. I had no health related issues, other than the pains that come with weight gain, but I knew I needed a drastic lifestyle change or those health issues would soon follow. I went to the computer and registered for a 5K without telling anyone. It was the start of my love of running and provided me with a healthy way to de-stress, lose weight and have fun.
I go through seasons, but when I’m running, I typically run 3-5 times a week and I like to run in my neighborhood. I have a few paths that I take either for a long or short run. Sometimes I will run with another person, and that is fun, but most of the time it’s easier just to squeeze it in whenever you get that open window of opportunity. It’s great just to get away for a little while. I love to listen to music or a podcast.
My first motivation is my health, and my husband and son. As an older mom, I feel like I owe it to Caleb to give him the best mommy possible for as long as possible.
I’m hoping at some point in 2021, the in-person races will resume, since there haven’t been any due to COVID. I love the excitement before a race and just pushing yourself to not beat others, but to improve on your personal record. I would highly recommend running (or walking) for someone who is looking to start a new fitness routine in the new year. I was in my 40’s and 100 lbs. overweight when I started my running journey and it has been so rewarding. If you don’t like to run, find something you like to do and get moving!
Create your own workout, or follow along with a video!
My husband and I have been working out with kettlebells in our garage. I’m not sure exactly when we got started, but it’s been off and on throughout the years. I would say Jonathan was interested in them before me. I usually get my workout in after Laurel goes to bed at night to get some time to myself. The contact between the bell and concrete is also kind of therapeutic haha. I sometimes follow a video and sometimes make up a routine as I go. I am not consistent at all but I know afterwards I always feel better so I try to get it done at least 2x a week.
My fitness goal for 2021 is to lower my resting heart rate! If you’re looking for a new fitness idea in 2021, you should give kettlebells a try! It’s nice to only need one instead of two dumbbells!
You are not limited to just one type of workout routine…Why not switch it up?
I like to switch up what I do for exercise, but I always prefer the morning so I can shower and get on with the day. Usually on Mondays I do a yoga video in the morning because I’m tired after the weekend. I use “Yoga by Adriene” on YouTube. She is calm and not annoying.
I also do a weights workout on a different morning. I use “BodyFit by Amy” on YouTube.
I found her when I was starting to exercise again after having my first baby. She does pregnancy and post-partum workouts in addition to regular ones.
Finally, I walk a mile or two several times a week, pushing the kids to our neighborhood park and back. On Saturdays and Sundays my husband joins me and we walk a longer loop. In the summer, with more daylight, I was consistent at going for solo runs a few times a week of one to five miles. It’s just hard to be motivated to run because usually I’m training for a race and no event planners are currently scheduling races!
My advice for people is that if you exercise, you can look forward to better sleep and less guilt when you eat treats.
Make a Plan, Find an Accountability Buddy, and Be Consistent!
I run/walk in the mornings (before the kids wake up) around the neighborhood on M/W/F and T/Th I do an at home workout video. My husband and I both workout so we take turns at who is home and who can go out. When I’m going for a walk or run he does his at home workout and vice versa…We have to get that “me time” in!
On the weekend, we usually take turns going for a run/walk. We also try to do a family walk or go to the nature park with the kids. My goal is to get 10,000 steps and 30 min of active minutes a day! My Fitbit helps me keep track of that.
For anyone looking to begin a new fitness journey in 2021, my advice would be to:
-Make a plan BEFORE the week begins and tell your spouse or someone else who can help keep you accountable, “I’m going to go for a walk Mon, Wed and Fri and we will do a family walk after dinner on Tuesday and Thursday” Then have a back up plan! “If it’s raining Monday, I’ll do a makeup day Saturday morning. My backup plan is a family walk after dinner on days I didn’t get to workout early.
-Put your workout clothes in the bathroom the night before so you can get ready quick in the morning. Take the guesswork out of what you are doing. It’s harder to not workout when you have your workout clothes staring at you in the bathroom.
-Working out in the morning is awesome because you are all done before you even start the day!
– I love my Fitbit charger because it really helps me realize when I am not active. When it gets to be 3pm and I only have 4,000 steps for the day I know I have to get up more!
-Lastly, stick with it! Even when you want to give up! Do it anyways you’ll be so glad you did when you are done!
Slow down, breathe, and decompress with some yoga
I’ve been practicing yoga for 4 years and teaching for 3. I first became involved in yoga when doing P90X with a friend. There’s a yoga day and my friend HATED yoga day. I actually liked it but didn’t have much other access to yoga beyond that until I joined a gym several years later.
I do yoga for “me time”, but do include the kids sometimes. I started including my kids because they were showing interest.
Staying motivated has been hard during Covid. I’m a yoga class person. I know a lot of people do their practice via YouTube, etc. Yoga with Adrienne is really good. I’m more of an extrovert and need that connection with other people. Normally, I find a class I like and go.
My goal for 2021 is to lose my quarantine fluff. My overall goal is really to age well and be healthy for the long term to be with my kids.
I would say that if you’re ok with trying something new, try yoga in 2021. It’s appropriately difficult and also calming. I have little to no tolerance for fitness classes where the instructor yells at me for an hour.
“Take it Outside!” with Group Fitness
I have been doing an outdoor boot camp for 3 ½ years. In June 2017, I had just resigned from my teaching job and was about to begin my journey as a stay at home mom with my 5 month old daughter. I had recently recovered from a C-section, so I had lost a lot of my physical stamina and I wasn’t feeling motivated to continue using the same workout videos I had been doing on my own at home.
My very good friend, Katie, had been attempting to persuade me to try Camp Gladiator with her; and on one very hot Texas summer afternoon, she succeeded! The workout was very challenging. I could hardly keep up, as there were push-ups, bear crawls, burpees, and other exercises that made me want to vomit. I felt a bit discouraged, but the trainer was very encouraging and gave me modifications for certain exercises that my body wasn’t quite ready for. After that day, a fire was ignited inside of me and I wanted to keep coming back to work past my limitations and improve my strength and endurance. I found the renewed sense of motivation I had been looking for and I knew CG was something I needed in my life.
This year when COVID hit and everything shut down, Camp Gladiator went completely virtual via Zoom. So we cleaned out the garage and made plenty of room for me to get my workouts in while the kids played. While this wasn’t the ideal scenario, since I enjoy the community aspect of CG, it ended up being a huge blessing since we were home ALL. THE. TIME! Fortunately, we now have the option to either go to camp in person, or virtually.
Camp Gladiator has really made a positive impact on my life. I am a happier, healthier, and stronger mama because of it. My fitness journey is far from over and I continue to make new goals for myself. I would highly encourage anyone to try Camp Gladiator in 2021 because it truly is for all fitness levels!
2020 was a very challenging year for all of us, but we can’t let that stop us from living our best lives in 2021! No matter how you choose to move in 2021, let it be something that motivates you to reach those health and fitness goals. Because the good thing about hitting rock bottom, there’s only one way left to go… and that’s up. Happy 2021, everyone!
About the Author
Jen was born and raised in Carrollton, TX. As a former 2nd grade teacher, she is now a stay-at-home mom raising her two beautiful daughters, Madeline (3yo) and Charlotte (1yo). She joined the CECPTA in February 2019 and is part of the purple and green playgroups. She enjoys date nights with her husband of 8 years, playing outside with her kids, exercising, a good cup of coffee, and traveling.