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3 Tips to Kick Start Your Healthy Lifestyle Today!

Madison has many things that make her unique, one being she was raised on Martha's Vineyard. After high school, she went off to play Division 1 lacrosse at Central Connecticut State University, where she graduated with a degree in Exercise Science. After college, Madison became a certified personal trainer and worked as a Countdown Fitness trainer for five years. Not only is Madison a personal trainer, but she also became an Assistant Varsity Coach at New Canaan High School, where she coached me (Caroline!) for two years. As a little time went on, Madison knew she wanted to start a family soon, so she decided to make a career switch. She made the executive decision to go back to school and get her master’s degree at Manhattanville College so she could become a physical education/health teacher. To make her life even busier, Madison and her husband decided to have a baby, and she is currently 15 weeks pregnant on the hunt for her first full-time teaching job.

Trying to find a time to work out is hard enough on its own, but trying to find a time to workout when you are pregnant or a mom of toddlers while having a career could be impossible. If anyone understands this struggle, it’s Madison. Since fitness has always been relevant in her life, she finds a way to build it into her schedule. She likes to work out 5-6 times a week, but that doesn’t mean she is doing an intense hour-long workout each of those days. On the days she is tired or finding herself to be unmotivated, she will still find a way to move her body for 30 minutes. This could mean a 30-45 peloton ride, or a 20-minute bodyweight circuit, or even just get outside and walk. Being pregnant currently, there are days where it is hard to find the motivation and energy to work out. But instead of dwelling on the lack of drive, Madison makes sure to move her body with a lower intensity workout because she looks forward to the time she gets to exercise each day. The crucial part of working out is understanding that it’s a time for you to escape the stress of work and home.

One of the hardest struggles with starting your health kick is prioritizing working out in your already hectic schedule. Madison prioritizes working out because she understands that working out gets our endorphins flowing and puts us in a happier state of mind. When motivation is lacking, and it seems nearly impossible to get yourself up and move, remember the feeling you receive once your workout is complete. To make working out a priority, it helps to physically schedule it into your day, for example, picking a time to exercise and writing it in your planner or phone. This way, you can no longer use the excuse, “But I don’t have time to work out today.” When Madison goes from teaching to coaching to grad school, by the time she gets home at night, the last thing she wants to do is find more energy to work out. However, to make sure she moves her body during those busy days, she plans the night before a 15-20 minute time to workout. Sometimes that means compromising 20 minutes of sleep to get a 2-mile jog in before her day starts. It is also important to remember if you are a morning or night kind of person. If you know working out at night is not something you could ever get used to, make sure you plan your workout in the morning. Even when the weather is not holding up, Madison walks the hallways and the stairs to get extra steps. When it comes to finding a time to work out, we could come up with endless excuses for why we can’t exercise today. Especially with COVID-19 and the gyms being closed, if you don’t prioritize working out and work around the endless amount of excuses you create for yourself, you will never appreciate exercising.

There is no better day to start your new healthy lifestyle than today. Working out is not a job; it is a way to make yourself feel happier. Fitness is such a prominent part of Madison’s life, and with her being three and a half months pregnant, she has fantastic advice on how to enjoy exercising when being a working mom.

Three tips from Madison:

  1. Make an appointment with yourself- actually schedule it into your calendar. Make yourself a priority; you’re important. Take care of yourself so you can be the best possible self for you, your kids, spouse, friends, and family,

  2. Pick a workout you enjoy! Find exercises and activities that genuinely make working out something you look forward to doing. Working out should never be something you don't like- it’s time you get a break from mom life, work-life, and anything else you need a break from. It's YOU time!

  3. Have an accountability buddy. Grab a friend or join a mom group to workout with, it holds you accountable, and it becomes a social outing for you too!

This blog post is co-authored by Caroline O'Dea.


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