Whether you’re coping with new motherhood or juggling big kids and a career, mom life is hectic. When even a shower seems doubtful some days, an hour at the gym might as well be the holy grail. Lucky for you, research shows that mini-workouts rev your metabolism and add up to long-term results.While you still need to dedicate at least a few hours per week to moderate or intense workouts (like BB), some days might be more playground than pilates. In that case, here are some of our top tips for staying toned when you just can’t squeeze in a workout.
TRY THIS WHILE DOING HOUSEWORK.
- While washing dishes or chopping veggies, contract your abdominal muscles and try to keep them compressed while you take 10 breaths. Imagine squeezing your abs in as if you are wearing tight pants & trying to avoid the “muffin top.” Repeat 10 times or until fatigued.
- Got stairs? Every time you have to run up, tack on an extra 2 trips up & down for a quick cardio burst. Want an extra challenge? Hold onto the hand railing and go up your stairs backwards.
- Vacuuming, sweeping, mopping and the like can be a bit tough on the back. Every couple of minutes, give your posture a reboot and put down the mop to do 30 jumping jacks. Try to complete 3-10 sets of jumping jacks while doing your floors. This works easily with any monotonous chore or organizational task. Pick a target number of sets and break your chore up to accomplish them!
TRY THIS WHEN YOU’RE OUT AND ABOUT.
- If you’re still in that stroller/infant carrier stage, pause your walk briefly to throw in a set of walking lunges. Begin with feet together and step one leg forward, then lower into a lunge position until front thigh is roughly parallel with the ground (but front shin is perpendicular to the ground). Step forward and continue to lunge, alternating legs. Aim for 10-20 lunges, followed by some walking. Try to squeeze 3-5 sets into your walk.
- At the park, show your little ones how to use the monkey bars. Traveling across the monkey bars is great for the back, shoulders and arms, and you’ll be the coolest mom in the playground! Bonus points for lifting your little one up so she can reach the monkey bars herself. Next, head to the back of a bench and face the playground so you can keep your eyes on the kids. Place your hands shoulder-width apart or slightly wider and stand back, on your toes, in push up position. Complete 8-15 push ups on the bench. Try 2-3 sets of the monkey bars and push ups, back-to-back, for a killer upper body combination.
- This is an easy one… take the stairs! Forgo all elevators, escalators and ramps when you can and learn to use the stairs. Try taking the stairs two-at-a-time and pressing up through your front heel to really engage the muscles of the legs and butt.
- Walk your errands. While targeted workouts like Belly Bootcamp classes are key to optimizing your weight and metabolism, everyday activity like errands & housework are now known to be key to a long, healthy life. Walk to mail your letters, pick up coffee or grab a few groceries. Try splitting your grocery shopping into a few smaller trips over the week so you can carry the bags yourself instead of driving. It’s not only better for your health, you’ll have that whole European vibe going on.
TRY THIS WHILE YOU’RE RELAXING AT HOME.
- Playing with the kids on the floor is a natural way to inject exercise into your day, a few moments at a time. Little babies can be pressed in the air, swung or rocked. Older babies and young kids can bounce on your legs, ride on your back or simply wrestle! Older kids love to practise sports skills like throwing, jumping and gymnastics. If your heart rate is up and you’re having fun – guess what? You’re exercising!
- Putting down your tiny baby? Squat and bounce to challenge your thigh muscles! Simply keep your bum back and push your knees out instead of forward. Try to squat 10-20 times, then rise and repeat until fatigued or until that little bundle of joy is asleep. We bet you get tired before she does.
- Ahhhhh… kids are down and, chances are, you’re on the couch. Try our TV challenge!
Happy September! Be well.