Today’s post is by guest poster Paula.
I’ve often heard, and even said myself, that there’s just no time to exercise when you’re a busy mom. If we’re not running after toddlers, cleaning up messes, and doing loads of laundry, we’re at least hoping for a shower, right!
And besides, shouldn’t all that running, cleaning, and housework count for something?
Well, yes and no. . .
When time isn’t on your side
Everything we do takes time. Everything. And most of us don’t have enough to go around – or so we say.
But the simple fact of the matter is – we make time for what’s important to us.
Think about what you do each day. How much time do you spend watching T.V. in the evenings? How much gets sucked away on Facebook or Pinterest? How much do you spend on your phone – talking, texting, and browsing. . .
The interesting thing about time, is that once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. So how can a busy mom take that time and put it toward our health and fitness?
Prioritize, execute, repeat
Moving your body to perform chores and everyday activities DOES count to some degree. Occupational and physical therapists often retrain patients using functional training, a classification of exercise that trains the body for activities in daily life.
Quick and effective workouts like Tony Horton’s 10-Minute Trainer use cardio, weights, and functional training, so don’t discount those baskets of laundry you’re carrying upstairs or the toddler you’re giving a piggy back ride to across the yard.
But how can you take it up a notch when you don’t have time to do an actual workout?
7 quick fitness tips for busy moms
Try these 7 quick fitness tips that involve everyday activities and make them into effective mini workouts:
1. bathroom exercises – not as silly as it sounds, the idea is to pick a different exercise and do a set number each time you use the bathroom. For instance, try doing 20 squats your first trip, 15 calf raises the next, and so on. Make 7-10 bathroom trips a day and look at how many muscle groups you can work! Find more ideas here.
2. music – we all have our favorite songs, and working out to them is a sure way to make those few minutes speed by. Pick a new move for each song and workout to the tempo of the music. Slow songs are great for super-slow movements with weights, creating a deeper muscle workout. (source).
If you can fit in a workout, one of my favorites that include slow movements with weights is ChaLean Extreme.
3. walk – this certainly isn’t a new idea, but one we seem to forget. Do you have your favorite shows or movies? Walk on your treadmill, gazelle, stair stepper, etc. while watching. Walking at about 3.5 mph means that during a 90-minute movie you’ve walked an extra 10, 365 steps!
How about walking to the grocery store instead of driving, or parking at the far end of the parking lot. How about your pets? Take Fido for a walk while pushing the stroller or pulling the wagon – you’ll all benefit from fresh air and Vitamin D!
4. mow the lawn – yes, I know it seems backwards to pull out the push mower if you’ve got a riding one, but that hour of so of pushing will do more for your thighs than the jiggling they’ll get while you ride. 😉
5. workout at the playground – Do you spend a lot of time at the playground? There are tons of exercises you can implement while your kids are sliding and swinging. Watch the videos below for great ideas on how to get a workout in while the kids are playing – and if you want to ease into it, simply walk the perimeter of the playground to get yourself started.
7. while sitting – what if you spend a lot of time driving, sitting behind a desk, or cuddling up on the couch reading stories? Squeeze and hold. 😉
Put concentrated effort into squeezing specific muscles. Squeeze your hand into a fist and hold it. . .squeeze those buns and hold tight. . .and don’t forget the importance of kegel exercises. Kegels strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which in turn is important during and after pregnancy, for preventing uterine prolapse, and urinary incontinence.
No matter how busy we are as moms – there are small moments of each day we can sneak in to give our fitness a little priority. Consider joining our free 7-Day Clean-Eating Challenge which incorporates helpful fitness tips like these as well as recipes, menus, and ideas for eating clean, or our 30-Day Bootcamp to take your fitness and health to the next level.
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