6 Tricks to get you & your familia moving

For years, before the start of summer, I'd begin some kind of exercise program and then lose motivation. This time, exercise has become an integral part of who I am and who I want to be! Here's what I've done differently:

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1. Stop making excuses, make time: Making time for exercise should be as important for Latinas as mealtime. We should promote a healthy and active lifestyle from when our kids are young and the best way to do this is to lead by example. Make exercise part of your family routine.

2. Set realistic goals and build from there: Personally, at my age, I don't need a "bikini body." I started with 30-minute leisurely walks 2 to 3 times per week. A few months later I started doing intervals of walking and jogging for 45 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week. A few months after that, I added 15 minutes of floor exercises to build my core. 

3. Identify motivators: It could be one person or your whole familia (Latina style). For me, music is also a key motivator. I also find that picturing myself fitting into a particular dress or gearing up for a family reunion or celebration motivates me. 

4. Track and measure results: There are so many gadgets and apps that allow you to keep track of your progress and measure results (distance traveled, calories burnt, heart rate). My best investment was a gym membership. Using a treadmill that tracks everything and pushes me to keep up a specific pace has been crucial!

5. Make other lifestyle changes: I would use exercise as an excuse for eating unhealthy.  Promoting an active lifestyle goes hand in hand with healthy eating. On the weekends I allow myself to indulge but throughout the week I've made a conscious effort to eat healthy, nothing dramatic though. 

6. Invest in and wear the right exercise apparel: Wearing the right clothing and shoes is more important than people think. I invested in a pair of walking sneakers and this change got rid of all sorts of pains I had developed from walking. Now I just need to learn to stretch before I walk!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: healthy habits  health  family  exercise