Mindy Berry & Nancy Rones
Give yourself a pat on the back: You’ve made the commitment to getting fit, dutifully dedicated a few hours a week to breaking a sweat, and—best of all—watched as the pounds began to steadily melt away.
Unfortunately, exercise boredom is one of the top reasons people throw in the towel. It can also lead to a weight-loss plateau: Our muscles get just as bored with the same old fitness routine as our minds, so when the newness fades, they stop responding, bringing weight loss to a grinding halt. The good news: Jump-starting fat burn is as easy as taking exercise up a notch or making a few tweaks to your current regimen. This month, Real-Life, Healthy Life fitness guru Jillian Michaels pays a visit to Jennifer Strange's home in Traverse City, MI, to help recharge her get-fit goals -- and give her (and you!) a new routine designed specifically to nix boredom, deliver fast results, and fit even the busiest lifestyle.
Boredom is only one of many reasons for falling off a fitness plan, so before Michaels shared her new workout routine, she helped Jennifer tackle her biggest fitness roadblocks.
Hurdle #1: NO TIME
"Mondays and Tuesdays I have class after work, so I leave the house before 8 a.m. and don't come back until 10 p.m. In fact, I'm only able to pick up my son, Keegan, from child care before 6 p.m. twice a week. I also have to teach a class on Saturday mornings, so Sunday is my only free day, and I try to devote it to Keegan."
-- Michaels's fix: "Jennifer does have a lot going on, but that's why I know she can find room in her day for fitness. She's so good at juggling her commitments that once she makes exercise a must-do, she'll get it done. Some ideas: "On one of the weeknights when she comes home on the early side, she should do a workout DVD while Keegan plays nearby. And if she wakes up just 15 minutes earlier twice a week, she could complete one 30-minute circuit workout by doing half one morning and half the next. Jennifer could also ask who--ever's watching Keegan on Saturday mornings to stay 45 minutes longer so she could hit the gym. If you really look at your schedule, I bet you'll find pockets of time where exercise will fit in."
Hurdle #2: NO MONEY
"I can't afford to pay sitters -- it's too hard to justify in my budget. My mom sometimes watches Keegan on the weekends, and his other grandma helps out during the week. But I already rely on them so much, I feel bad asking for more."
-- Michaels's solution: "Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to sneak fitness into your day on the cheap. At work, Jennifer should take a 20-minute walk on her lunch break -- that costs nothing! Jennifer also has a jogging stroller, which she should use with Keegan. One fun, free routine: After getting your child settled in, try fast walking for five minutes, then recovering for two minutes, alternating between the two for 30 minutes. And be sure to make your last stop the playground -- that's good exercise for both of you!"
Hurdle #3: NO CONFIDENCE
"I have this doubting voice inside of me that asks whether I'm doing what's best for Keegan, especially with working a full-time job, going to school part-time, and putting in 10 hours a week as a graduate assistant to help cover tuition. After doing all that, I hate to leave him again to exercise."
Michaels's fix: "When Jennifer starts feeling guilty about making time to work out, she needs to think about how proud Keegan is going to be in the years to come when she's fit and energetic enough to play soccer, baseball, and basketball with him. I tell moms all the time that it's okay to be selfish in this scenario. You'll not only set a good fitness example, you'll also be healthier both physically and mentally -- exercise beats stress! -- which means you'll be more available for your kids."
Related content on redbookmag.com
- Are Your Eating Habits Normal?
- Get Slim While Seducing Him
- Does the Pill Make You Fat?
- The Most Dangerous Time of Day for Dieters
- You Don't Have to Get Fat