With a personal chef, creating low-carb meals daily, a housekeeper, a nanny (or two), and a personal trainer, we could start each day looking fabulous, and claim that “we woke up this way”. In the real world, however, and for mere mortal mom’s, finding time for a long relaxing bath without being interrupted is the stuff that myths are made of.
When was the last time you watched a movie, start to finish, without hitting the pause button anyhow? Years? You aren’t alone. And it is not only a matter of finding the time to work out, but figuring out how to integrate fitness into a daily routine, that doesn’t detract from other obligations and responsibilities. No matter how good you look, “mom-guilt” will get you every time.
If getting out of the house and to a fitness class isn’t in the realm of possibility because of your busy schedule, we have eight workout suggestions that can be integrated into your day.
1. Tri-Cep Chair Dips (10 Minutes)
Place a towel on the back of a kitchen chair (to protect surfaces), and push the chair against a wall. Stretch legs out straight, and lower your body, using your arms to elevate in repetitions. This exercise is like a reverse push-up, but uses gravity for resistance. Do the exercise for ten minutes to work abdominal muscles, shoulders, arms and to strengthen back muscles. Check out this instructional video by How Cast.
2. Water Bottle Lifts (10 minutes)
If you love freebies, you’ll find this suggested fitness regime practical. Bypass the need to buy fancy weights; bottles can easily be filled with sand or water, for an effective arm and shoulder workout.
Do twenty underarm lifts holding two bottles, or for lower impact, one arm at a time, to tone shoulders, forearms and the upper arm area (as well as increasing lift strength). Moda Mom shares four different arm exercises with a water bottle you can try at home.
3. Stroller Derby (15 minutes)
No time to go for a run or a jog? It’s easy to combine fresh air for toddlers with your need for a brisk walk. Pack the stroller lightly, and track your race time using an app for marathon training. They didn’t say you couldn’t train with a stroller, right? For more creative ideas to use your stroller for fitness, check out this video from Fit4Mom.
4. Tabata Training (10 minutes)
The Tabata method of exercising involves short, high-intensity bursts that are easy to do inside your home, or at the park. The exercises quickly build cardiovascular strength with what is called “plyometric movement” that is more effective at burning calories and kick-starting the metabolism. This video from BeFit offers a suggested ten-minute workout.
5. Using ‘Baby Weight’ (20 minutes)
Your toddler can be used as an effective counterweight during muscle workouts, and many young children enjoy “moving with mommy” as a fun activity. This video shares a sample “Mommy and Me” workout routine that is effective and fun, from Millennial Moms, and focuses on core exercises.
6. Thighs and Hips (5 minutes)
Working out this area, and targeting it to tone or lose weight, can be a little difficult for many people. But leg exercises can be modified to target the hips effectively, and when done daily, can trim and reshape hips and buttocks. Check out the exercises and demonstration by ModernMom on YouTube.
7. Post-Natal Core (30-day plan)
After delivery, getting back on track with your daily fitness plan is the fastest, and the best way to help your body reestablish core strength. Having a plan makes it easier to stick to your fitness goals, and track progress.
8. Take Over the Xbox
If you have a husband or older children who use an Xbox, you can borrow it for daily fitness workouts that are fun at home. Some programs like Nike+ Kinect training require a Kinect device, while others do not require additional hardware.
Healthy Fitness Benefits You Can Feel
Maintaining a consistent fitness schedule helps lower the risk of chronic health conditions like Type 2 Diabetes, and hypertension (high-blood pressure). Studies have also shown that daily exercise can have a positive impact on energy level, mood (including moderating symptoms of post-partum depression) and reduce cortisol levels associated with stress, which can enhance the function of your immune system, improving natural resistance to bacterial and viral infections.
If you are feeling that the week has been too hectic to work out, consider your exercise to be a natural remedy for stress or anxiety.
Did you know that your lymph nodes, a collection area and filtration system for internal toxins, also benefit from daily exercises? It allows the glands to secrete more lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Coughing and sneezing are immunological functions that also release additional lymphatic fluids, to help eliminate toxins and waste products in the body; and the same holds true for vigorous cardiovascular exercise.
In addition to health benefits, a regular exercise routine can also help you look younger. As we age, changes in bone and muscle density, and prolonged positioning (such as being hunched over in front of a computer) begin to impact our posture. Strength building exercises increase muscle and bone density, helping you retain a healthy, youthful posture, and regular aerobic exercise can also help your complexion by clearing pores of oil and debris, and flushing out toxins through sweat glands.
Start a New Healthy Exchange
If a personal trainer, or a paid babysitter isn’t part of your monthly budget, you can get creative with nearby friends and family in the neighborhood, to help you incorporate focused training sessions into your week. Every mom deserves a mental health break, from time to time. Barter childcare services with other busy mom’s that you trust, and give yourself one or two trips to the gym per week, without the kids for some healthy “me time” to improve mood, fitness and energy.