So there you are, looking in the mirror, one, two, three kids later. Maybe you’re working full time, maybe your full time job is taking care of the home and children.

Whatever your responsibilities are, you have one thing in common with so many other busy moms and working women. You look in the mirror and suddenly you just don’t recognize yourself anymore. There doesn’t seem to be any time to take care of yourself, workout, or eat right. What can you do to change that? How do those handful of moms that you admire from afar manage it all and stay in shape with a seemingly boundless amount of energy?

Is there hope in midlife to change?

Yes! But finding the right program to fit the needs of busy moms and women can be hard to find.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for a fitness program to help you take that big step forward and make some significant, healthy lifestyle changes.

Mindset: Your body will do whatever your mind sets out to do. The thing is, unless we know why we are doing something, it is hard to get started, much less maintain the motivation necessary for real change. You have to identify your “why.” Why do you want better health? Why do you want to be in better shape? Why do you want to lose weight or become more lean and strong? Without a why, you can’t have a goal. Without a goal you can’t know where you are going. So really take the time to ask yourself why? Write it down. Put it where you can see it every day.

hether it be to run around and be more present with your kids, or fit into those jeans that made you feel on fire, just have a why!

Burst and strength training: The secret is out and we have all been duped. We all used to believe spending hours on a treadmill, elliptical, or stair master were all we needed. But time and research have shown differently.

Did you know the average person training for a long distance race or marathon actually gains weight? A combination of strength and burst training has shown to be the most effective weight loss exercise. It also boosts metabolism.

urst or HIIT training is when you do a cardio-based move for an interval of 20-30 seconds, followed by a 10-20 second active recovery stage. When you are looking for an exercise program, look for one that contains both a strength (weights) component and a burst or HIIT training component. The best part about these types of exercises is that results are gained with only 45 minute per day sessions and they are perfect for busy moms and women.

Nutrition: We all know nutrition is key to being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. Unfortunately, we again have been duped by advertisers using “no fat” and “low fat” labels. All those processed foods labeled with “sexy” labeling are actually worse for you then something full fat. Those foods are filled with chemicals and preservatives that effect our hormones, which, in turn, leads to weight gain. Whole food diets and unprocessed foods are the safest way to go. This can be very hard when we all live in an “on the go” and “fast-food” society. In order to beat this, find a program that goes beyond just the workouts and also incorporate education around nutrition and meal-prepping.

here are numerous resources on-line as well. Take 15 minutes a day to educate yourself on clean, wholefood nutrition. You can work out very hard and be dedicated to your fitness, but if your nutrition doesn’t follow, you won’t see results.

Environment: This is the biggest make or break component to any successful fitness program. Environment is key.

e are human. We seek companionship and acceptance, need support and affirmation. You can try to tackle a fitness program on your own, and some people do find success. But most people don’t. If you had people waiting for you, meeting up with you, holding you accountable when that 4:30 a.m. alarm goes off, I can guarantee you, most people rise to the challenge.

If no one is waiting for you, no one is there to lend support, celebrate milestones and get through those last reps with you, then it’s a lot harder to get up and go. When looking for a fitness program, find one with like-minded people who are there to support you and share their journey with you, who will call you out when you don’t show up, who can share and educate each other to help everyone reach their goals.

So, let’s review: you are looking to make a midlife change as a busy woman, working mom or stay-at-home mom. Is it easy? No. Can it be done with the right mind-set and environment? Yes. Do you need to find an exorbitant amount of time? No, 45 minutes with the right training can get you there. Can you skip out on health nutrition? No, you must focus on both.

Amy Camodeca is the owner of Burn Boot Camp in Gilbert. A mom of three, she is also a national fitness competitor. She is offering free of charge the boot camps at 10 a.m. on the first two Saturdays in January. Check out Burn Boot Camp at burnbootcamp.com/gilbert-az.

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