3 Tips For Sticking to Your Workout Plan

I know that starting an exercise habit can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if it is very new.  You can have the best intentions and start out really strong only to find yourself fading after just a few days.  Sometimes all you need are a few tricks that can help make fitting exercise into your hectic life just a little easier. Here are 3 tips to help you stick to your exercise program.

#1 Write it in your planner or add it to your electronic calendar

As busy women, I am sure that you have some type of planner or calendar that you use to keep yourself organized. When you put something like a doctor’s appointment or a meeting on your calendar you won’t forget about it or skip out on it. Treat your workouts the same way. They are appointments you make with yourself. Using your calendar to plan your workouts will also allow you to see where you have pockets of time that you can realistically fit in a workout. Start by blocking out just 30 minutes of time. If your days and evening are jammed with meetings and appointments then consider adding them at the very beginning of your day, which leads me to my second tip.

#2 Lay out your workout clothes the night before

If you are going to start exercising in the morning before your entire house is awake and the craziness sets in, I would definitely recommend laying out your workout clothes the night before. It’s a lot easier to get dressed in the dark when your clothes are already laid out. You won’t be fumbling in the drawer for a sports bra or some socks while your husband is trying to sleep. If you really want to save yourself a few extra minutes in the morning you can even sleep in your workout clothes. In the morning all you have to do is roll out of bed and head to your workout space to get your workout session started!

If you are a stay at home or work at home mom, I would recommend getting dressed in your workout clothes. If you are already wearing your workout clothes you are more likely to take the 30 minutes out of your busy day to get your workout in.

#3 Find an accountability partner

Don’t embark on this journey alone. Recruit a friend to be your accountability partner. Make an agreement that you will send a quick text to each other every day to let them know that you got your workout in. When you know that someone is going to be waiting for that text it will help keep you more accountable to your goals. You can motivate each other on those mornings when you really don’t want to get out of bed or those nights when you would rather just curl up on the couch.

I hope that these tips will help you to stick to the program you have and that you will ultimately reach the goal you set for yourself.  If you are in need of some guidance as to how to get started I’d be happy to set up a FREE 20-minute call with you!  E-mail me at info@karenkirkpatrick.net so we can schedule a time to talk!

Whole30 Basics

I have discovered a nutritional strategy that has transformed the way I think about food and my eating habits.  Whole30 has allowed me to take control of my diet and learn how my body reacts to the foods that I consume and thus I have learned to make better choices about the foods I will use to fuel my body.

What is Whole30?

Whole30 is NOT a diet! Whole30 is a nutrition program that was designed to reset your eating habits, your health, and your relationship with food.  There is a fantastic book by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig called  It Starts With Food.  In this book, the authors discuss how certain food groups can have a negative impact on our bodies and our health.

They designed Whole30 as a means for determining if these certain food groups are affecting your health.  How do you figure that out? You eliminate the food groups from your diet for 30 days to allow your body to heal and repair any damage that these foods may have caused.  Once the 30 days is over there is a reintroduction period where you strategically reintroduce the foods back into your diet so you can determine how those foods impact you and what affect they have on your mood, body composition, digestion, sleep habits, and cravings.

Off Limits

Now you are probably curious as to what foods are eliminated during Whole30?

Here is the list of food that are off limits:

  • Any and all added sugars including honey, agave, table sugar, and maple syrup
  • Alcohol
  • Legumes like peanuts, beans, soy, lentils and peas
  • Whole grains including wheat, oats, corn, rice, etc.
  • All dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter

There is some great information in It Starts With Food regarding why these foods should be eliminated from your diet. If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend the book.

Whole30 Approved

Now I am sure you are probably wondering, “Well, what can I eat on Whole30?”

You can eat plenty of:

  • Meat, seafood, and eggs
  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Nuts, seeds and other natural fats.

I am fairly certain that many of you are probably thinking “There is no way I can eat like that for 30 days”.   Well, I am here to tell you that you can do anything for 30 days.  Sure, Whole30 sounds intimidating but I promise it is absolutely worth it.

Whole30 Impact

Whole30 has changed so many people’s lives.  It has helped people lose weight and change their body composition.  It can result in improved energy levels, better sleep, improved focus, better digestion and a more stable mood.  There are even reports of improvements in lifestyle-related diseases and conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies, asthma, migraines, the list goes on.

As for my personal experience with the impact of Whole30.  I can tell you that while following Whole30 I have noticed:

  • A definite increase in my energy level
  • Better sleeping habits
  • A reduced amount of bloating and puffiness
  • I have lost a few pounds
  • A significant decrease in the sugar and carb craving that I developed over the Christmas holiday
  • A significant improvement in my sinus and nasal congestions that always seems to plague me.

I am confident that if you try Whole30 and commit to just 30 days of the program you will feel amazing.  You will be surprised and amazed at how good you will feel and be shocked to learn how some of those foods were impacting you.

You may be thinking that Whole30 sounds hard.  I am going to use a quote from the creators of Whole30.  “Beating cancer is hard, birthing a baby is hard.  Drinking your coffee black for 30 days is not hard.” The program does require some effort and planning but is not HARD.

The Most Common Excuse

The most common excuse I hear from women as to why they don’t exercise is that they are too busy.  As women, we often have a lot of things on our plate including kids, a husband, a career, a house to maintain, and a social life, just to name a few.  I have been in your shoes, as a busy working mom, I balanced a 40-hour work week, my kids, my husband, my household responsibilities as well as obligations with friends and family.

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I know it’s not easy trying to balance it all and that makes prioritizing our health even more important.  If we don’t take care of ourselves, what will happen to all of those things?  We don’t have time to get sick or not feel our best, we are the glue that keeps everything together.  It is important that we keep ourselves strong and healthy.

Here are two suggestions I have for fitting exercise into your busy schedule.

Give yourself 20 minutes

Exercise does not require a large amount of time.  A good workout can be done in just 20 to 30 minutes.  You can workout at home, at the park when you drop your kids off at soccer, or pretty much anywhere!  You don’t need any fancy equipment or a gym membership to get in a good workout.  Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier in the morning and get a quick workout in before you hop in the shower.  You can even sleep in your workout clothes so you are all ready to go when you get out of bed.  Squeeze in a quick 10 minute circuit of body-weight exercises while you are giving the kids a bath.  I’m sure the kids will gladly play in the tub for a few extra minutes!

Find an accountability partner

Studies have shown that having someone keep you accountable for completing your workouts will increase your adherence to an exercise plan.  Choose someone that you trust and someone that won’t settle for excuses.  Send your partner a text message when your workout is complete.  Ask them to send you a message by a certain time of day if they haven’t heard from you.

Yes, we are busy women but that is not an excuse to not make ourselves a priority!  Taking care of ourselves is vital to our success as wives, mothers, and career women.  If you are looking for an accountability let me know, I’d be happy to help!  Send me a message and I will help keep you on track!

My Journey

My passion for helping others pushed me to take a leap of faith and pursue a career as a fitness professional. I am dedicated to inspiring and empowering you to take important steps towards adopting a healthy lifestyle.

My love for fitness and exercise started when I went to college and met my husband, Kyle.  Kyle was a regular gym-goer and introduced me to strength training and cardio.  He showed me how to use the equipment at the campus fitness center and helped me develop workouts.  I started to see the positive impact exercise had on my body. I noticed muscle definition on my arms and legs and an increase in my confidence and energy level.

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When I graduated from college with a degree in Marketing and Accounting, I pursued a career in public accounting.  Careers in public accounting generally have a period of the year, mostly January through April, in which you work very long days and often weekends.  Because of those very long days,  there also comes the tendency to put your health on the back burner.

I tried my best to stay active and make wise food choices during my work week but it was difficult.  Many nights I would come home, completely exhausted, and wanted to plop my butt on the couch. Because I knew how important exercise was to my physical and mental well-being, I pushed through my exhaustion and squeezed in a quick, efficient workout.

I continued along the public accounting career path for 4 years until I gave birth to my twin girls in October 2006.  After my maternity leave was over I struggled with returning to work and discussed with my employer the option to have me work from home in a different department.  Fortunately, they were willing to work with me and I spent the next  5 years of my career working part-time from home.  Working from home allowed me to spend time with my girls yet still maintain my professional career.  I continued to dedicate time to exercise, often squeezing in quick workouts from our home gym while the girls napped.

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Looking for a change, in October 2011 my career in public accounting, as well as my part-time work-at-home arrangement, came to an end as I took a new position in the accounting department of a large, global corporation.  I’m not going to lie, transitioning to a full-time working mom was challenging!  I was having trouble balancing all of the demands on my time while still being able to enjoy the activities I loved.  I found that exercising in the morning before work was best for my schedule.  I continued to make fitness a priority in my life so that I could be a better mom, wife and professional.

After several months on the job, I did not have the feelings of satisfaction and enjoyment that I had hoped for when deciding to pursue this new opportunity.  I expressed my concerns and dissatisfaction to Kyle and we had a long discussion about my career path and what I could do to get the feeling of satisfaction I was desperately craving.  I thought long and hard about my passions and interests and quickly realized that a career in health and fitness would be a great fit for me.

I decided to pursue a personal training certification and successfully passed the ACE Certified Personal Trainer exam in April 2013.  In June 2013 I was able to quit my corporate accounting job and accept a position at Burn30 Personal Fitness, a local personal training studio. I have worked with a variety of clients at Burn30 and helped them to see the benefits of a lifestyle that includes regular exercise and healthy eating habits.

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As a former working professional woman, I know how hard it is to fit exercise into your busy schedule.  I also know how hard it is to maintain healthy eating habits while fulfilling your career and personal obligations.  Making yourself a priority is extremely important for your mental and physical wellbeing.  Physical activity and proper nutrition will go a long way in helping you to lead a confident and productive life.

In addition to in-person training, I also provide an online boot camp, VIP one-on-one personal training, and nutrition consulting services.  To learn more about the services I offer please use the form below to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.

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