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5 Steps to Finding the Best Time to Exercise

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When you're working full- or part-time and taking care of your kids, the best time to exercise becomes somewhat of a foreign concept. In fact, you likely find yourself in groups of friends -- especially the stay-at-home mom gym types -- stating that your life is simply too busy and hectic for exercise.

Although working mothers find it difficult to make time to exercise, it's an important part of a healthy lifestyle. For this reason, finding the best time for exercise is essential.

Before you convince yourself that you have no time for exercise because you're juggling work and motherhood, think again, and identify the best time to exercise.

Step 1: Decide on a type of exercise. Ask yourself: Why am I exercising? Is it to stay fit? Lose weight? Stay healthy? Do I want to add cardio into my routine? Figuring out your motive for exercising will help you choose a work-out that will help you reach your goal. Identifying a type of physical activity also will help you find the best time to exercise during the day. For example, an early morning wake-up routine might consist of gentle yoga, while a lunchtime cardio fix might include a Zumba class.

Step 2: Schedule time to exercise. Despite how impossible it may seem, there's always time for exercise in your day. Even if you can only spare a half hour two times per week, identify that time slot and get moving. Whether it's waking up a half hour earlier to do Pilates, skipping lunch for an hour of strength training or an evening run after the kids are in bed, there is time to exercise if you really make the effort.

Step 3: Set reasonable goals. If you haven't exercised since your high school gym class, don't start out with an overzealous work-out routine. Even if your main goal is to lose over 50 pounds, don't take on a very demanding exercise schedule, such as five days a week for an hour at a time. If you do this, you're less likely to stick to an exercise routine, and reach your goals. You can even injure yourself if you push too hard. Instead, start out slow and build up to a challenging exercise routine. If it's in your budget, work out with a personal trainer who can help you ease your way into exercise.

Step 4: Make exercising a priority. Even if you set aside time to exercise, you still need to make it a priority in your life. Inspire yourself to exercise. Think about the physical and emotional benefits you're receiving. It's sometimes helpful to give yourself rewards, such as new gym clothing, for completing a good work-out, and sticking to an exercise routine.

Step 5: Don't be too hard on yourself. If you or your child is sick, or you simply had a rough day at the office, it's all right to miss one day of exercise. You simply want to make the time to exercise on a regular basis. Don't fault yourself if you have to skip a day as long as you're dedicated. Remember it's all about taking care of yourself.

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