New Year Melt Down Challenge: Tip #2

3 or 30!

I am a huge supporter of group fitness classes for the girl on the go. A strong group-fitness instructor is able to lead each member through a challenging and highly effective workout, ensuring that the hour is well spent, but also able to wrap it up in a package that enables each member to have fun, feel supported, and empowered. Call me bias, but The Energy Barre girls are truly at the top of the class when it comes to striking this balance. Still, attending a group exercise class requires time and money -- both of which are often scarce and sacred for a girl on the go.

So inevitably, your bad ass and bubbly group-exercise instructors cannot be your only asset when working toward your health and fitness goals. YOU are your greatest asset and there is always work to be done at home and on the road. Time again, a necessary commodity for completing your homework.

The good news is that no matter what you've allowed yourself to believe to date, your greatest roadblock in achieving a successful at home work out regimen is NOT lack of time. We spend a lot more time at home than we truly think. It's the overwhelming amount of tasks and responsibilities that wait for you around every corner of your home: laundry, bills, cleaning, cooking, pets, and kids! There a lot of obstacles, but they can certainly be overcome with a clear plan and dedication!

This is where my tip comes in! 3 miles or 30 minutes! It's a simple concept that I actually cannot take credit for, and I regretfully cannot credit the original source because I've long since forgotten since I read it for the first time. What I can say is that the concept has changed my life and I have been able to successfully adapt my approach through the changing tides of motherhood.

What does it mean? When it comes to your home workout, commit yourself to three miles or thirty minutes -- whichever comes first is the rule that I follow. Perhaps rather than "at home workout" I should refer to this as your "girl-on-the-go workout" because this concept can be applied at home, on the road, on vacation, at the gym -- truly anywhere! The beauty of it is that it can be adapted to any style exercise, any taste, any ability, even any energy level. The common and unifying denominator is the three miles or thirty minutes.

I first began working this concept into my routine when I was pregnant and I was struggling with maintaining my fitness routine as my energy levels were plummeting and my belly continued to increase my limitations. So at this time, it served as a way to adjust to these limitations and to safely continue physical activity without placing unnecessary expectations on myself. Most often I never achieved three miles because thirty minutes would always come first. Or, I would complete thirty minutes of a yoga or prenatal exercise video.

Once the baby boy came I continued to commit to this concept and as I adapted it to my new life as a mom, I found that it helped me to remain kind to myself and allow my body the time that it needed to heal and recover. I was able to increase my level of intensity, and I did sometimes achieve three miles before thirty minutes, but I did not feel pressure. I also felt relief in knowing that thirty minutes of me time was good for me and good for baby, and most times he was right by my side for the entire time.

As Lennon grows and my strength continues to build, I find myself adapting this concept to our changing life with ease. There are days when thirty minutes feels like an incredibly long time, so the challenge is to race through three sweaty miles, and my reward is a few extra minutes dedicated to the other aspects of my life. Other days the sight of the treadmill haunts me, so I opt for a high chair workout with Lennon, or a mix of cardio and mat exercises with the baby at my heels. Of course there are days where my energy is low, but I am able to maintain my commitment with a slower paced walk, or a yoga and meditation practice.

Some days it's messy. Some days it's sweaty. Some days it's groundbreaking. At the end of the day, the key is to maintaining the consistent commitment to three miles or thirty minutes, and being satisfied and proud of yourself, no matter what those thirty minutes entail. The three miles or thirty minutes practice has changed so much about my life -- I send so much love to that blogger who lit the way, and I hope this helps YOU to find some balance in your very busy, very full-of-love life!