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Today's Podcast Episode

Hello, you are so very welcome to this latest podcast episode. It's a short little episode today. I want to share with you my favorite top tips to fitting exercise into your life. If you're in a busy schedule or if you're struggling with consistency and you know, you want to be consistent. I have written out every single thing that I find helps you become consistent with exercise, which is really important. I am creating this podcast recording this podcast away from Ireland. We have relocated for the month in Spain.

We have brought everything over with us. Actually, that's not true. We haven't brought the dogs over with us, but Joe, the kids were here for a month. We did it last year. We absolutely loved it. The biggest thing I loved about it is that it took us out of our routine and it just gave us a change of scene for a month. So still working, still living our life, living over here as opposed to kind of holidaying over here, which is my favorite thing to do to actually feel like I'm living in a place.

It makes me feel like this really cool superhero adventurer heading out in our rented car every evening time and exploring, um which I love and I just love to be out of routine. It helps me think better, strategize better. I come home refreshed and ready for action, even more action. Um and even more ideas and ways to deliver excellent, which I hope content for you guys to help you become fitter and feel better in yourself so that you can really and truly live your best life. Um So tips on fitting exercise into your life so that you become consistent, not being consistent is a pain in the butt, isn't it? I didn't used to be consistent for a long time with workouts.

I used to be three stone overweight and I was always either losing weight or gaining weight. II, I never seemed to be able to be consistent with anything that I did. There's so very many reasons for that. However, once I did change, and one of the biggest changes I made was to focus on my exercise and my exercise alone, everything else changed. I really do believe it is my absolute core belief for, for my absolute belief that every single good action step can come from moving your body. When you move your body, when you stick with the action step of exercising three times a week, four times a week, whatever it is that you are going to feel more calm, more in control, more productive.

And when you feel more calm, more in control and more productive, you are going to make better food choices, drink more water, get to bed earlier, you're going to have a good bedtime routine, a good morning routine. It's my firm belief that every single good thing comes from working out. And I sometimes feel that a lot of people when they are trying to get back into exercise or they were are, are, are struggling to be consistent with exercise that they're focusing on way too much stuff.

Generally, for most of us, when we are focusing on our exercise, it's because we want to become healthier. So we decide at that point that we're going to eat better, maybe eat a bit less, reduce our sugar, get to bed earlier and it can all come become a little bit too much. And I definitely feel from experience with myself that the more unhealthy you are, the harder it is to become consistent because you're just thinking you've just got too many changes. So we start to make all these changes too quickly. And then when one thing goes off kilter, if you're anything like me, you use that as a stick to beat yourself with, you think you're messing up really bad. So everything else starts to fall to pieces.

However, what I've learned um in my years of coaching clients and in my years of, of my own journey that if you want to become healthier, if you want to feel fitter, if you want to feel like you have a little bit more energy, a little bit less sluggish, then it all starts with exercising consistently for 30 minutes, three times a week. So here are my favorite, top tips on how to exercise consistently. And I promise you if you can crack the code of exercising consistently, you will absolutely 100% make better choices and all the other areas that you want to make better choices in.

So first things first, you have got to find something you love. It has to be from this starting point. If you're doing stuff that you don't like, you're not going to stick with it for very long at all. So it's really incredibly important that you find something that you enjoy, that you feel that makes you feel really good when you do it. My second tip is to find something that is time efficient. If you're busy, you want something that is going to give you the maximum amount of results in the minimum amount of time.

Anything that takes too long, like going for hours on a treadmill or driving to a gym and going to and doing gym machines for hours and hours isn't going to work for most of us. So before you even lift up your first dumbbell, you need to be thinking, ok, so what's going to give me the biggest bang for my book? What is going to get me the maximum results in the minimum time possible? And what is that thing that I'm also going to enjoy when it comes to giving you the maximum amount of results? If you're listening to this podcast, you are, I hope a woman over 40.

So it's really important that we focus on our flexibility, our mobility, our strength with cardio wrapped in there as we're doing it. So they're all the boxes that need to be ticked ideally before you even consider working out finding something you love finding something that's time efficient, finding something that's going to give you the maximum results in the minimum amount of time and something that makes sure that helps you with your flexibility, your mobility, your strength and a little bit of cardio thrown in there too. I say a little bit of cardio thrown in there too. Because most of us are getting bits of cardio as we go throughout our day. And if we're not, most of us are heading out for a few walks every week.

And if you're doing the right type of training, or if you choose to do the right type of exercise, a good workout program will incorporate cardio into your workout session while you're doing strength training. Um So you've got that sorted. You've decided what it is you want to do. Um, from my experience, what I do with my clients, that's 30 minutes of a terrific low impact, full body strength session with cardio gains. I say full body, I really don't believe in those leg day, arm day. I mean, who has time for that? What you want is something that's going to work all of your muscles all at the same time for 30 minutes, three times a week. And if you're a woman over 40 you can absolutely do that when you do some form of a strength training program, some form of a strength training workout that you're going to be using bands, resistance bands, lifting weights, using your body weight, using a step, all very low impact.

And that's going to get you excellent results. You're going to get strong, you're going to build lean muscle, you're going to burn fat at rest. It's going to be so much more better for you than cardio because you're building your lean muscle, which is going to get your metabolism nice and high. It's going to help you increase your bone density, which the doctor will be delighted with because it will help prevent osteoporosis. If you do have osteoporosis, still doing strength training has been proven to really help your situation, help you manage your osteoporosis. Um really good for your mental health for mood boosting.

So just make sure you know what you're doing and you spend time thinking it through before you get stuck in next up. From that, you want to get at your calendar and pick your start date and then you want to pick the exact days and the exact times that you're going to work out. And I highly recommend you make those days and times non negotiables in my experience and in my experience, um of, of being a coach with women, I, I find that the more time you have available to do the workouts, the less likely you're going to do them. So if you are free between nine and 3 p.m. every single day and you don't pretend that you're not free and you can only do your workout between nine and 9 30 then I do feel that you're going to struggle a little bit. It's, it's just too easy for things to come in your way.

I've done this myself for years that the slightest thing would happen, um, that I'd get a phone call and all of a sudden I wouldn't be in a mood to do a workout, or I'd say to myself, I'll go out first and do some bits, but then I'll come home and I'll have some makeup on a nice clothes and I don't want to get into my workout gear. So I really highly recommend you pick your days and your times and they absolutely become non negotiables and what can help for some of you for some of you. If you say, for example, that you're going to work out at 7 a.m. and you miss it and you don't, then don't do your workout that day.

Get up the next day and do it at 7 a.m. and train yourself into doing the time that you really want to do rather than say, oh, well, like I didn't do it, I slept in so I'll do it later today. Say no, I'm not going to do it later today. I'm going to get up and I'm going to go for it again tomorrow and train yourself slowly but surely to get the workouts done at the times you committed to. So if you really struggle with the idea of exercise and every part of it you dislike for now, even if you've picked something you enjoy, but you just, you still have that mental block about, about exercise. I just want to talk to you about the pros and cons of working out in the morning and the night time. If you really dislike working out or you just find it for the moment. A big struggle. Maybe you have a mental block there.

Maybe your parents or you were brought up in a family that didn't really value exercise and you've kind of got a bit of a mindset shift to do. If, if you're at that place, I recommend that you do your workout first thing in the morning. Even if you, um, get up early already and you struggle to get up in the mornings and you feel cranky in the mornings. I still recommend you get it done first thing in the morning. If you don't, you're going to be thinking about it all day long. And just that thinking about it all day long is going to really put you off. It's just going to wreck your head and this used to happen to me all the time.

I didn't used to enjoy it because I used to drink too much and eat too much and, and, and I was overweight and, you know, I, I can feel it so much now that sweaty and comfortable, unhealthy feeling and the last thing you want to do is go and put on workout gear and work out. I get that and you feel irritated and cranky and sluggish and tired. Why on earth would you be in the mood to go and do a workout? You're not at that place yet. That makes complete sense. So, if you're listening to this now and that's you, then get it done in the morning, get it done, cranky, get it done in your pajamas.

If, if you're doing, if you're online, which is terrific, you don't have to leave your house. That's exactly what I do. Get it done first thing while you're cranky while you're not in the mood and it doesn't matter how you feel about it, you can show up in a bad mood, you can show up kicking and screaming and not in the mood. Get it done. It doesn't have to be done. Well, remember that the most important thing when you first get stuck in is to get it done. That's it, it's to get it done and build a habit of consistency. Building the habit of consistency is a completely different habit to building the habit of improving your fitness in your workout. So they're two completely different things.

I do find that a lot of people are trying to improve the consistency of exercise while also trying to be a better exerciser. However, at the beginning, leave all that alone and just focus on turning up to your session. You could turn up in your pajamas with your hair scraped back, um, and just get it done. Cranky, not in the mood, tired, go slow, get into the habit of getting it done at the times you'll say it in. Uh, there's actually, so the advantages of working out in the morning time are that you're set up for the day, you're calm productive, you feel in control, you feel really good and you're positive going into your day.

However, there are a couple of advantages as well of working out at night time. Those of you that just can't fit it in in the morning time. I want you to know that you're not missing out on anything. There's loads of benefits to working out in the night time. And I did go through a phase years ago when I owned a gym of working out in the evening time. And what I loved about that is it knocks all the stress out of you from the day. So you have your nice morning routine. You go into work, you spend your day at work, then you come home, you get your workout done, shower, clean clothes, you have washed off the day and you're ready to relax and there is something so wonderful about that.

So don't feel any pressure at all to be working out in the morning and just know that there's definite pros to morning and evening and you've just got to find what works for you. However, I just want to uh, say it again that if you really struggle with working out, then you're best to do it in the morning time. Make sure that you've got a good workout space to work out in. There's nothing more annoying than when you're working from home. You're banging into things and you're feeling uncomfortable and your space isn't big enough and there's people coming in. Um, you know, kids and stuff is all good.

But I mean, if you, if you haven't kept it private enough for yourself, just sort out all that sort of stuff. Um, so that you're taking care of yourself. I often find as women that we tend to just by accident, even, like, think of ourselves last and not really maybe respect our own time or respect our privacy time enough. So just have a little thought about your workout space, pre workout. You want to turn your phone off, do these little things for yourself to make your time more enjoyable. So that when you're in your workout, you've got that 30 minutes that's just dedicated to you. I find as well having nice workout gear can really help um with your workouts, putting on a nice pair of shorts and a t-shirt and maybe a little headband and feeling nice going into your session. I can, I feel sometimes helps with consistency and I've done both.

I've arrived into workouts looking like absolute shit and this was when I would be like on camera delivering workouts back when I, my self care wasn't as good and then I got nice gear. Um I got a few pairs of shorts and a few pairs of t-shirts and I feel a lot nicer. Now, all that sort of stuff helps when you're thinking in bed about the workout that you're just about to do, compartmentalize it is another tip that I highly recommend making sure that when you've got a 30 minute workout to do that, you're only thinking about it like 10 minutes before, that's actually a lot easier to do than you think. You just have to tell yourself to stop every time you're thinking about your workout.

So if you're working out at seven in the morning and you're sitting up the night before watching Netflix, and you're starting to think about the workout the next day, go stop and just try and enjoy the moment. I suppose that would be called practic mind practicing mindfulness or the next day. If you've got a work out in the evening time, make sure that you're not thinking about it. Just say no enough, I'm doing this now and I'll think of my work out five minutes before, you know, that tip sounds really, really simple. But I think looking at the sheet I have beside me here with all my stuff written down all the tips written down. I think that was the biggest game changer for me.

I, when it came to anything like my driving lessons, when I was back trying to, you know, get my driving test, uh exercise. I didn't compartmentalize anything. If I had something on that day, I would think about it all day long and looking back what a waste. You're wasting your whole day thinking of something that, that you want to do and that you're going to do. So I really recommend looking at that one and just absolutely refuse to think about it. Um, another tip that I have for you is if you're working out in the morning and I've done both is to go and have a shower straight away, think about you wanting to make your 30 minute workout as close to the 30 minute mark as possible.

So you have your 10 minutes pre workout that you, that you're going to be thinking, ok, I've got to get my workout gear on. I'm going to go and do my workout. I'm going to have a cup of coffee, then you do your workout. And what I used to do then for a while is I used to stay in my workout clothes and get my bits done and, and, uh, and, and, you know, get bits of work done and things like that and then I would go and have my shower and then I noticed then that I was starting to like, not look forward to my shower that I'd left it too long and that kind of in a, in a weird way, put me off the workout a little bit. So what I recommend is thinking about your workout 10 minutes before getting your workout in and then straight bang, getting into the shower as much as it kills you because all I want to do is sit down and have a cup of coffee afterwards. I um for my program.

Now my Thrive coaching program that, you know, some of you listening to are, are on. Um I used to stay in my workout clothes and work until I have a studio in uh in, in Galway where I shoot all the online workouts and get all my work done. And uh my husband Joe works there too kind of Thursday to Friday when he's working on our stuff on all the tech technical side. So it's, it's great. It's like a workout space away from home. We can shoot all the content. I can film all the workouts, you can get everything done and leave everything there. However, there's no showers.

So I used to just go in, get my workout done and then I would work and then I would come home and after a while I just noticed it kind of getting me down a little bit and it made me feel just uncomfortable. So I now go and shower in a hotel next door to me the second I have my workout done and it's, it just compartmentalizes the workout again. It's like, ok, well, that was the part of the day. You were really sweaty and you know, you worked out hard. So now it's time to move on from that as quick as possible. So you can get stuck into the rest of your, your day. And you're not feeling still stuck in that workout state somehow. Um, so just think of it, that, think of your day and think of, think of this like any single thing that puts you off exercising will stop you exercising.

For example, if you want to get your workout done, but you've decided you're going to put a bit of makeup on, have a shower, get dressed and do it in an hour's time. Are you going to go for your workout and undress yourself and get into your workout gear? Take off your makeup, go do your workout, go put your makeup back on, like think of your day and think of all the small little things that put you off exercise and it's your job to eliminate all those little obstacles in your way that are getting in the way of you and getting your workout done.

Just you want a nice clear path between you and your workout. And in my opinion, that just takes a lot of thought, a lot of figuring out what works best for you and your lifestyle and there's no one fits all plan. There's nobody's got it accurate or right. You don't have to listen to anybody telling you that you've got to work out on the first thing in the morning with an empty stomach or all that stuff. I really truly recommend that you just figure out what works for you and when you figure out what works for you. It's just going to all flow really, really, really nicely for you. Um And then my last tip is everything. I've just said.

That's plan A. Ok. So you've got your three workouts, you're doing it three times a week at the non negotiables, exact same days, exact same times. And then you want to have a Plan B and Plan B is for when those things that life gets in the way somebody is sick. Um Work has changed something, something big has changed, however, you're still able to work out, but instead of not quite being able to do plan A and then feeling really bad about it, have a Plan B that you can switch to so you can keep on going, you can keep on going with the consistency and I just want to give you a couple of tips on a Plan B. Ok.

So remember that your plan A is your non negotiables days and exact times that you're working out and then your plan B, these are examples you work out for shorter. So instead of doing 3, 10 minute workouts, you do or 3 30 minute workouts, you do 10 minute workouts, um or you do less. So instead of doing three workouts, you do two workouts, so you're still working out, you're still on the consistency train. Um ok, so then you've got injuries, so you say you're going to adapt your sessions.

So if you've got an arm injury, you're going to do more lower body. If you've got a lower body injury, you're going to do more upper body, you're not breaking your habit, you're adapting. And I, and I see the thing around injuries is way too much that somebody gets injured and they stop exercising and it happens to all of us. We get frustrated with ourselves. However, you're not just stopping exercising, you're breaking a habit that may, you may have found very difficult to start. So it's this stop start that kills us. So really do what you can to avoid the stop start and just keep asking yourself. Well, what can I do?

I can't do my normal workouts. However, what would happen if I showed up at the same day and the same time and adapted my session while I was injured? What would happen while I'm stuck in this position where I'm much shorter on time that I did 10 minute workouts or I did less workouts. And then when Plan B passes, when that time passes, you've everything still set and you're back into plan A and think of it like the ebb and flow of a tide and you're, you're going between plan A Plan B, plan A Plan B the whole time. Ok. Well, I hope you enjoyed this short little episode on how to fit exercise more easily and more simply in your life and how to get a little bit more consistent.

I've created a free resource for you. It's called your tool kit and planner. It's a video with a workbook that's going to help you really plan your month ahead and your week ahead and it's going to help you set really clear action steps, get organised, set clear goals and define your action plan, which is to help you with the stuff that I've just spoken to you about in this episode. It's a free resource. 

I really hope you enjoy it. If you want to just go to jessicacooke.ie/toolkit. And when you do me a favor before you go, first off, let me know if you enjoy this free resource. Um And then second of all, if you could leave a review on my podcast or just share it with a friend, even if you think they might find it helpful, I would appreciate that. So, a short little episode for today, I'll see you on the next episode. 

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  • Great tips and motivation in this. Thanks. Winter here in Wicklow today! Enjoy the spanish sunshine.

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    About the author 

    Jessica Cooke

    I love drinking coffee, and my favourite thing in life (apart from my family) is to help women to get fit and break free from unhealthy habits holding them back. (oh, and also I love playing with my two Miniature Schnauzers, Buster and Ozzy)

    I’ve now supported over 6,779 women over 14 years in my Thrive Coaching Program get fit and break free from unhealthy habits!

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