Exercise can be tough when life gets hectic. That’s an understatement, exercise can be nearly IMPOSSIBLE when you get overwhelmed with life and it’s importance slides quickly down the importance scale. A good way to stay on track is to treat yourself as the athlete you are. We all have one inside of us; that tough, determined, energetic woman who yearns to take the gold. Sometimes that athlete can get lost inside of our other identities and we have to make an effort to find and glorify the athlete that we are. If you are struggling to find your inner athlete follow these strategies for pushing that athlete to the forefront.

Find the Right Exercise for You: Try out many different types of workouts before you settle into something that you really love. We often get caught doing what we have known or what we may be good at, but don’t necessarily love. Unleash your inner athlete by doing something you may be new at but have the passion to keep at it and practice hard. It is better to start as a beginner in something that makes your fitness heart sing so that you have the determination to grow, instead of staying in what comes natural but you don’t love enough to make time for it.

Eat for Success: The key to success for any athlete is eating fuel instead of simply food. Athletes don’t limit their intake, they get the right intake and eat as much as their body needs. Keep your focus on how your food makes you feel and journal it so you know what foods make the best fuel for your workout style. You are the best judge at what energizes you throughout the day and your inner athlete will be sure to speak up when it comes to that next workout if your meal was successful.

Invite (or Challenge) a Friend: Friends can be our best motivator when it comes to pushing ourselves to that next fitness level. A friendly wager or challenge can keep you both striving for your best and keeps you accountable to one another. Plus, every athlete loves a challenge so if your inner athlete is still hiding, this just might pull her out to find that fun competition.

Join a Competitive Event: Sign yourself up for a race or other competitive competition to get that athlete blood flowing. The adrenaline of a competitive event is one of the best highs an athlete can have and gives you a goal to stay focused on. You are more likely to stick to your training plans when you have a “payoff” in the end such as the glory picture of you crossing that finish line. The first competitive event can be a little intimidating, so sign up with a friend if the idea of doing it alone is too unnerving.

Set and Evaluate Your Training Schedule: Keep yourself accountable by making a training plan that is visible for everyone in the family. This makes it easier for you to remember what you have to do every day as well as for your family to know when “Mommy Time” is. Stick to your schedule and write in your results after each workout to be able to see your progress along the way.

Your inner athlete may be hiding, but she won’t be for long if you find what works best for you in fitness. Being an athlete isn’t easy, it sure is awesome though!

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