At SELF, we talk a lot about making time for yourself. It's our goal to help you find ways to look, feel and be the best you can be. Women tend to get so busy taking care of everyone and everything else that we don't allow ourselves the opportunity to do the things we need to recharge or feel good. In training for her first triathlon just six months after having twins, Jennifer Lopez, now more than ever, is discovering what it takes to manage her family and work life, plus training sessions to reach her goal of completing the race and raising as much money as possible for charity. It's never easy, but her dedication shows us SELF made the right choice for 2008's Most Inspiring Woman.Like Mrs. Lopez, you also need to make time for you! Here are our best hour-saving, life-improving, stress-quashing tricks.
One of the best examples we heard came from Gunnar Peterson, Jennifer's trainer: "We were in Milan a few months ago. "Marc [Anthony, Jennifer's husband] received the key to the city. She was up early, attended the ceremony, business meetings and press interviews and she was in and out of the hotel with the babies. But after all that, we went to a public gym at 10:30 at night. Most people would have said, 'Whew, crazy day, let's bag it.' Not Jennifer."
"With the babies, it's hard. I have to pick and choose my opportunities because I want to spend as much time with them as I can. But I also have to say, OK, I can take an hour for myself and do my training, which is good for me. I know that I need it. But I never let my desire to train or my other goals get too crazy that they will keep me from my babies. I will work to fit in my training sessions so I'll be ready for whatever I'm going for, so that I'm fulfilled in that way, too. I think it's important for all women to have that balance.
"Sometimes I even have the babies in the gym with me. Sometimes they just want to be with you, nobody else. So I'll throw a blanket down right there next to the computer bike and let them play. I'm lucky enough to have my weights, bikes and a treadmill at the house so the babies can be with me, and I'll fit in a workout between feedings.
"We're also lucky enough to have a pool at the house. We'll put down the mat on the grass for the babies. But I don't go easy! I try not to touch the side. During the race, I'm going to be out in the middle of the ocean. So I do this weird turn in the pool. It's like a plane turning in the air. Gunnar was like, 'What are you doing?' And I said, 'There's not going to be a kick-off. I've got to know what it feels like.'"
Sometimes it's impossible to fit in a workout. But Jennifer is a great example that if you commit yourself to a goal, it motivates you to make smart choices and compromises so you can do it--e.g. she can't get to the ocean, but she won't touch the side of the pool. The decision to exercise may not be easy, but in the end, you feel 100 times better than if you scrapped it all together. (We've got 35 motivation ideas to keep you going!)
Want help finding ways to fit in your fitness? Check out SELF's Fresh Fitness Tips (written by a mom of four boys!). Or sign up for our Reach your Goal program for four easy plans for achieving your body goal.
Keep checking back to read more about Jennifer's triathlon training progress and charity initiatives.
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