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Welcome to The Smart Mom Manual. I'm Winnie Yu, mom blogger at CompletelyYou.com. My daughters, Samantha and Annie, are 14 and 12. Like most moms, I'm still trying to perfect the balancing act that we all know as motherhood in the modern world. Please don't hesitate to write to me as you read my blog. You can also tweet me @Completely_You. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Keep Your Workout Habit Alive

By Winnie Yu for Completely You

I’ve been a committed exerciser for years. I walk. I go to the gym. I lift weights. I ride my bike. I do yoga. In fact, exercise is a daily priority, one that almost never falls by the wayside. It helps me sleep better, improves my mood and keeps me at a healthy weight.

But even the most committed exercise queen is going to have the occasional busy day when she just can’t do as much as she’d like. On those days, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort to get dressed, slog my way to the gym and work out for a mere 15 minutes.

In the past, I used to write those days off, and then spend evenings enjoying a bowl of ice cream topped with guilt. Before I knew it, a few more busy days had gone by. Soon, it was an entire week.
Not good.

Eventually, I realized that doing only a few minutes of exercise was better than doing none at all. Now, on my busy days, I simply do whatever I can, even it’s just a five-minute walk up the street or a 20-minute visit to the gym. These tiny spurts of exercise -- if you can even call them that -- don’t exactly help me sleep better or fend off any weight gain. But they do keep me in the habit of exercise.

When life gets busy, it’s all about maintaining the habit. It isn’t about working at my target heart rate for a sustained period of time, or doing three sets of 10 reps on every machine. And it’s certainly not about finding my edge in a yoga pose, or tackling a new ride on long, windy roads. (Read how another mom manages to fit in fitness here.)

On those busiest of days, I’m working out for one reason: to stay in my exercise groove. So the next time my schedule opens up, I’ll be ready to do a heart-thumping workout.

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For more great health and lifestyle content, visit the parent site of my blog,
Completely You

Winnie Yu is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.com.

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