Jo Burgess, Organisational Expert and Founder of the Life Sorted app says: "Let's cut the BS… I DO NOT like getting up in the morning to exercise. In fact, I freakin' hate it. But, I DO IT anyway."
Jo wakes up at 4:30am to exercise, she believes that exercise has changed her life even if she looks and feels shocking in the morning. "I wouldn't have it any other way because the benefits are so valuable and outweighs the pain of getting up early."
"The hardest step is the first step. The key to exercise is NOT overthinking it; otherwise you'll talk yourself out of it. Have you heard about the five second rule coined by my favourite, Mel Robbins?
When you start feeling hesitant towards something, start counting down from 5-4-3-2-1 and launch into action.
This five-second decision making technique has literally changed my life! It removes any possibility of my brain talking me out of doing something. Remember the only limitations we have in life are the ones we create ourselves!
So, the next time you see that pile of washing or are about to jump into some Lycra, don't delay… instead, hold your breath and start that five-second countdown and GO! GO! GO!"
Jo has put together a list of the four massive mindset benefits of exercise for busy mamas and women:
Improves Mood, Patience And Stress Management
Sometimes throughout the day those little 'cheeky monkeys' can really test your patience. I have to say 15 years ago when I started exercising regularly, the first major change I noticed was the uplift in my mood and increase in my level of patience. The smallest things, like the kids leaving wet towels on their beds (again!) or spilled Weet-bix on the kitchen floor, would set me off with a negative vibe and ruin the whole day. But, after I started jogging in the mornings with my girlfriends I found that my overall mood stabilised and I became more mentally resistant to 'all the things' life threw at me. I was more relaxed and just generally not as uptight.
Let's face it, life is stressful! Between work and family commitments, unexpected obstacles will arise out of the blue (new problems seem to blindside me all the time); with all this stress you need to learn how to manage it or minimise it – preferably both! Well you guessed it… EXERCISE!
These days I do about 4-5 exercise sessions a week (a mix of cardio, resistance training and a session with my PT – who I have been seeing for 15 years religiously), may I add… all nice and early before the whole family is awake.
Exercise de-stresses my mind. I honestly feel mentally clearer and any 'weight' on my shoulders instantly lightens after a kickass workout. Scientifically this is due to the mental benefits of aerobic exercise, according to Harvard Health, "exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones", such as adrenaline and cortisol – which make you feel 'less-stressed'.
Increases Mindfulness And Develops Awareness
Have you ever lived somewhere and then one day noticed something you didn't even know existed… until you looked?
Well that's what exercise can be like. When you get outside to go for a jog/walk, your brain starts to slow down and becomes more mindful and present. When you walk around your neighbourhood, you start to notice the houses, parks, gardens, and the people in your community. When I first moved into my neighbourhood it took me two bloody years to realise there was an oval only a few streets away for the kids to play (facepalm). By being 'in the moment' you're teaching yourself to be more present and mindful.
So go feel the sun on your skin (don't forget the SPF and hat), the breeze in your hair, and hear the waves if you're lucky enough to live near a beach. One of my favourite things to do is walk in the rain and feel the raindrops on my face (much more refreshing than those fancy face mists). The next time you have that soul-crushing day from hell, get out and go for a walk to clear your brain and get present in the moment. And who knows, maybe in the process you may discover a new playground for your kids or a chic new cafe to get your next morning coffee at.