Time. Motivation. Fatigue. Boredom. Pain. Kids. Work. Time. Money. Life. Rain. Cold. Heat. Humidity. Time. Life. Time.
There are so many perceived barriers to staying fit and healthy. Whether it be achieving the recommended 30 minutes or 10,000 steps a day, or training towards a bigger goal.
If you want something done, give it to a busy person.
I am an elite ultramarathon runner.
But I am also a full time Occupational Therapist.
And a body pump instructor.
And a recreational running coach.
And a PHd student.
And a fiancé, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
Sure, sometimes it’s really exhausting. But it’s even more exhausting if I get out of routine. Where there’s a will, there’s a way; it’s just a big game of Tetris.
So, how do you avoid these obstacles? How do you stay motivated and give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals?
- Make it part of your schedule. Put a schedule on the fridge so that the rest of the family can see that this is YOUR time.
- Put yourself first. This may be easier said than done, but if you always leave yourself until last you’ll never get things done.
- Do your exercise in the morning. Get out everything you need the night before. Jump out of bed and go. No thinking. You’ll be grateful when it hits 5pm and you can go straight home.
- Mix it up: cross train. Go to the gym, ride a bike, do a group fitness class. I’ve been rock climbing recently for something totally different.
- Get a coach: make yourself accountable to something other than your discipline. This also helps you know what to do.
- Organise morning runs or gym sessions with friends: again, making yourself accountable.
- Surround yourself with positive people that share similar interests.
- Take the family to ParkRun.
- Some days, you really don’t want to head out in the rain. I get it. Always have a bag in the car ready for a trip to the gym on the way home just in case.
- Get the kids to ride beside you whilst you run.
- Take the dog! Double the purpose.
- Buy a new outfit! It’s always more motivating to train when you’re looking goo.
- Wear the right gear, have everything on hand just in case. The rain’s not so bad if you wear a hat and a raincoat.
If you’re training for something longer it can get more difficult with increased time requirements and motivation levels.
- Remember the end goal.
- Remember WHY you are doing this.
- Take a trip away. The kilometers tick over so much more quickly in a new place.
- Get out early so that you can still be done by lunch time.
- Know that it’s ok to have a sleep in from time to time. Listen to your body and mix things up.
- Take a train or get dropped off somewhere and run back. I find one direction runs much easier to deal with mentally.
Most importantly, never forget to stick with a general ROUTINE.
By Kellie Emmerson
Placing 5th in the world in the 2017 UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc), 2016 Australian Trail Champion, Kellie Emmerson is a She Science Ambassador and serial ultra-marathon podium finisher. Kellie professionally works as an Occupational Therapist, Running Coach and Body Pump Instructor. You can follow Kellie on facebook and on Instagram @kelemmo.