For many of us, the concept of exercising and parenting don’t seem to always go hand-in-hand. With crazy schedules, clingy toddlers, chronic sleep deprivation, it’s hard to find both the time and energy needed to exercise.

Eloise Wellings is a two-time Olympic runner, three-time Commonwealth Games athlete, philanthropist and mum to six-year-old daughter, Indi and four-month-old son, Sonny. Although the majority of us aren’t training to compete at the Olympics, Eloise knows what it’s like to juggle motherhood and find time to exercise.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, we asked Eloise to share her advice on sticking to a fitness routine.

Eloise is set to compete at the Tokyo Olympics which is due to commence on July 24, 2020. However, the Games could be postponed due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

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Find an activity you love

Given that it’s hard enough to start exercising, why not make it easier and start with something that you love? Be it swimming, cycling, surfing or (if you’re Eloise Wellings) running over 140kms each week (!), remember that everyone exercises differently and there really isn’t a right or wrong way to get moving again.  Test out a variety of options to find something you enjoy and suits your body type.

Aim to fit in at least half an hour of exercise each day to move your body and increase your heart rate. Even if it is just a brisk walk to and from the bus stop, a lunch time walk around the block or even dancing – it will help you feel far more energised.

Studies have actually found that short bursts of exercise can be just as beneficial as workouts that are continuous. The key isn’t the duration of the workout, it’s the intensity and consistency.

TOP TIP:  No one wants to be bored, so why not add some variety to your exercise plan and switch it up! Whether it be a different workout, cycling instead of swimming or changing the location. Boredom can lead to lower adherence levels.

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Set realistic goals

Setting goals is proven to help you achieve more because goals help you strategically pick the right actions, put in more effort, and keep you motivated over time.

Your new activity goal should work for you and your lifestyle. It is great to challenge yourself, but break up challenging goals into smaller, more realistic, goals to help keep your fitness on track. Focus instead on increasing healthy behaviours.

Make your goals attainable. If you’re just beginning to exercise don’t worry if you can’t run a 5km just yet. Make it a habit to walk 30 minutes a day, and add time, and intensity from there.

TOP TIP: Brisk walking can be an effective workout to elevate your heart rate, boost your mood, and improve your aerobic fitness level. Plus, your risk of injury is lower. You can walk for free with nothing but a good pair of comfortable shoes from almost anywhere!

Make it social

Nothing makes fitness easier than doing it with a friend. It adds accountability, enriches your social life and is just more fun than doing it alone! Whether you book into a fitness class together, join a running club or even just take a longer route to your local coffee spot – any extra bit of exercise will help you get started.

Working out with a friend will also help motivation levels, as well as challenging you to constantly improve. Having someone alongside you on your fitness journey means there’s always someone to inspire you, correct your form or even just force you to get up off the couch and get out there.

A recent study found that 95 percent of those who started a fitness routine with their friends completed the program, compared to a 76 percent completion rate for those who tackled the program alone.

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Keep your diet clean 

Try to cover all the nutritional bases when cooking for yourself and your loved ones and eat the right types of food. Foods like salmon, kale and blueberries are all full of antioxidants, vitamins and omega-3s fatty acids – all essential nutrients to keep you feeling your best.

Feeding yourself the right fuel is the first step to making any changes in your body and in your mind, so try and add some complex carbohydrates, like brown rice and sweet potatoes, and lean protein like chicken to give you the energy to take on your exercise routine.

Give your body all the help you can

We all need a little boost now and again, and Eloise gets hers by supplementing her exercise regime and clean-eating plan with natural supplements like Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol, the active form of Coenzyme Q10, is one of the most powerful antioxidants and is essential for energy production, good heart health and helps reduce the effect of stress and exhaustion on the body – factors commonly associated with both fitness and parenthood!

And finally… treat yourself!

People who exercise regularly tend to do so because of the rewards it brings to their lives, such as more energy, better sleep, and a greater sense of well-being. However, these tends to be long-term rewards.

Try and set yourself little goals with a treat attached for when you smash through them. For example, try getting through 30 reps of squats a day for a whole week. After that first week, treat yourself to a massage or a manicure or something you love to luxuriate in as a big congratulations to you! You’ll return to exercise the next day with a renewed sense of purpose.

Remember – the hardest part about any fitness journey is finding the will to start. So, here’s that sign you’ve been waiting for.