Some of my female friends often tell me how impossible it is for them to make time to workout or live a healthy lifestyle. “It’s hard” they tell me, “when I get back from work all I want to do is jump into bed” some say. For those who are married, have children and work, suggesting exercise to them is as good as suicide!

Yes it is hard and I know because I did work in a law firm and anyone familiar with the working hours in Nigerian law firms knows the craziness involved! How did I survive it back then:

1. I hugged every opportunity I had to engage in physical activity: contrary to what many may think, fitness does not start and end in the gym. Your saloon is five to ten minutes’ walk away, but you drive anyways! Your husband suggested you both go on a walk, but you chose to watch TV instead! Your hotel has a swimming pool, but you stayed locked up in the room ordering everything they had on the menu! Your active child suggest you play with him/her a while, but you offered him/her some ice-cream instead! Your office has steps, yet you use the lift! You see you need some lifestyle changes?

2. I found an activity I loved and stuck to it: Before I started instructing Zumba Fitness classes, I religiously used my Home DVDs. Exercise becomes less of a chore when you choose an activity you love. 

3. I watched my diet: Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my food. I look forward to dinner while having lunch! I still love my food, but I watch my portions and try to have a balanced diet. I am glad to say that I have come to a point where I feel empty whenever I go days without eating some type of fruit or vegetable. 

4. I invested in some lightweight fitness tools: fitness tools like resistance bands and jump ropes are light and perfect for travel. There are also tons of exercises one can do using the body or body weight only. For example: planks, push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers etc. OR if you love dancing like me, insert your earplugs, play some music and start dancing!!!

5. I bought myself some active wear: If I look into your wardrobe and see no active wear, I would know exactly how serious you are about achieving your fitness goals. I remember as a teenager when I visited my Aunt in London and we went shopping, she would always walk into the sports shop. For me spending money on sportswear was bad investment. I was young and naive then, now I know better! 

6. I did what I had to do: That’s the summary of it all. No matter how busy you are, truth is you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. If you had a sick child to attend to, no meeting would keep you away from attending to him/her. It all comes down to how much importance you place on your health. If it is not a priority, then you would always have an excuse!

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