Getting in the exercise groove!

So you want to make exercise a part of your life? Maybe you have slipped out of our routine you had been in and now you are dragging your feet on getting back into the groove of working out again. Maybe you are new to making exercise a regular part of your life and need a few tips to get things going. Sometimes we just need a little jump start to get on track or maybe some tips for motivation.


Here are some useful ways to help to get in the exercise groove:
Set a goal. Do you want to be able to run 3 miles, to bike 50 miles, to do 20 push ups, or do a pull up? Give yourself something to work towards. Make your goal reasonable. Once you achieve this one, set another one!


Set a deadline for your goal. A great way to do this is by signing up for an active event. This can be a huge motivating factor when you know you have something coming up to train for. I remember many days that my motivation to get out there and really work was because I was training for an upcoming triathlon or event and I DID NOT want to be the last one finishing. If you aren’t ready to sign up for an event, set a personal deadline for your goal and stick to it. Once you have accomplished that goal, make a new one. There is no other feeling like the feeling of accomplishment and you will be excited to keep accomplishing!


Have accountability. Have a blank calendar on the fridge and fill in what exercise you have done for that day. Look over the calendar at the end of the week to see how well you did that week. You will be able to look back and see where you have been and how far you have come. You will also want your calendar to be full instead of blank!


Get healthy with people around you. Go for a jog with your friend, hit the gym together, go for a family bike ride, or get a smoothie together. We should be helping each other and when others know you are on a healthy path, you will inspire them!


Find the exercise that works for you! This is a big one! Just because “Jo Schmo” is a runner doesn’t mean you have to be a runner! We are all different and will like different forms of exercise. Maybe biking, crossfit, dance, zumba, hiking, climbing, or pilates is more your style and that’s great. Just find what forms of exercise you love so you will enjoy it and look forward to doing it.


Schedule your workouts like you would schedule anything else. Put it on your calendar and do not waver. You may need to wake up early before the day gets momentum; you may need to squeeze something in while the kids are napping, etc. Treat it like an important meeting with yourself and make it happen!


Pay attention to how you feel after you exercise. Notice your energy level and your clarity of mind. Eventually this will be why you put on those work out shoes. Those happy endorphins released from physical activity are addicting!


Treat yourself. Give yourself a reward when you have met a personal milestone. We are not talking an ice cream binge reward, but something like a new work out outfit, new shoes, a massage, or something else that you can reward yourself without “undoing” your hard work



Once you get into the groove, it is an awesome thing. You will work out because you know how good it makes you feel! Be consistent and you can get there!



Choose the Four Quarters – Having Quality in Life


Think about those people in your life that are truly by your side.  Those people who you know have your back no matter what, and you can completely be yourself around.  Those are quality relationships… and yes, I’ll take 4 quality relationships over 100 acquaintances any day!

This got me thinking about quality in life and how much more fulfilled we are when we have it in our lives.

I have recently made a huge change in hopes to simplify and find more quality in my life.  I was in a well-respected position at work.  This was definitely satisfying, but it left me with a shortage in time and energy for the things and people who really matter. Once I really realized this, I decided to focus on simplifying my life and I ended up quitting that job.  This has helped me to seriously realize how much more fulfilling a day is when it is filled with quality things (like snuggling and singing songs together outside with my 4-year-old unexpectedly in the backyard) rather than quantity (like getting my whole to-do list complete in one day).

Believe me, I feel pretty dang amazing when my to-do list is complete, but at the end of the day, it’s those quality things that bring joy.

I’m not suggesting anyone quit their job.  That was a necessary step for my path, but what are steps towards more quality in your life? This can be applied to so many aspects and scales of life.  Think about the quality of your relationships, your food, your time spent, your exercise, etc.


Some examples of ways (big and small) to add more quality in life:

Make quality food choices:  Make your food enjoyable!  Skip the calories on the food you may eat just because it’s there.  Choose nutritious foods that your body needs.

Get quality exercise:  Do exercise you really enjoy.  Twenty minutes of bust-your-butt exercise can be better than an hour of lollygagging at the gym (we’ve all seen it)

Have fun: Build a fort with your family in the living room rather than having a perfectly clean living room.  Who remembers a perfectly clean living room a week from today… but you and your family will remember the fun you had building forts together.

Spend your time wisely:  We are not promised tomorrow.  Choose what you do with your time today doing things that matter with people who matter.


Consciously choose the paths that bring you true fulfillment and joy.


Accepting “Imperfections”

I love feet. I always have. I notice all types of feet and I wouldn’t have been able to marry my husband if he didn’t take care of his feet. I love when my kid’s feet get all black from running around outside barefoot. That means they have been exploring, running, and have had the earth beneath them. I especially love baby feet! Those tiny toes are just too much cuteness for me!

Here is a picture of my feet –

ash feet 2

See that 2nd toe? Of course you do! How can you miss it right? I used to be so self-conscious of my feet because I have such loooong toes… especially that 2nd toe. I would hide them in closed toe shoes and feel ashamed of them. I have realized overtime that I am so grateful for these amazing feet that I have been blessed with. These feet have taken me so many places, I have completed triathlons, half marathons, and ran many a miles with these feet and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Now I wear sandals without hesitation and proudly as I have learned that society can make you feel like you must be a certain way to be beautiful or accepted, but we are all unique, and that is what is beautiful.

That song “Perfect” that Pink sings makes me cry every time I hear it. If you haven’t seen the music video, it is worth the watch. (Click here to watch it).  When you look at a mother’s perception of her child, there is no mold the child must fit in order for a child to be “perfect” to a mother… just be themselves. “Perfect” is not the mold that society has made us feel we need to fit within.

We must love ourselves. Get rid of those negative things you may say to yourself. You are perfect just the way you are. Accepting and loving those unique qualities about yourself is the beginning to a happier  and healthier you.

ash feet 1

Now go wear sandals!!