As a mom, there are about a million things to do each day and a million more racing through your mind. Some days getting to the gym just doesn’t happen… no matter how many times you think about it.
Working out isn’t something you should have to give up. It burns calories and stress… both necessary (in my opinion). While getting to the gym for a “real workout” is preferable, it is not always possible. On those days that you can’t work out, try a few of the exercises below. You can get through your day, your crazy long list of to-dos and manage to make yourself healthier and stronger too.
1. Calf raises or pliés or squats while you brush your teeth. (You could do this twice a day!)
2. Take the stairs. I work on the third floor. It would be easy to avoid the stairs and use the elevator, but why give up the extra leg and butt firming (especially while wearing heels!).
3. Stash hand weights under your couch. On the commercials do bicep curls, overhead triceps dips or lunges. No it doesn’t look particularly cool. But in an hour TV show, you’ve managed to relax, and work out for about 18-20 minutes as well.
4. When grocery shopping park far away and then take an extra lap or two around the store. The extra steps along with the repeated lifting of food in and out of your cart (shelf to cart, cart to check out, check out to cart, cart to car, car to counter, counter to fridge!) will provide a little workout good for your muscles and heart.
5. Baby bench press. Lay flat on your back and hold your baby by the armpits above you. Bring the baby down to your chest and kiss their nose. Repeat and watch out for drool. Multi-tasking… hanging out with baby and building muscle!
6. Walking and talking. When on the phone, pace… around your house, place of work, wherever. A report by NPR found that the average person spends 14 minutes a day on their phone. Rather than spend that time sitting down, walk and talk. I usually walk from room to room returning items my toddler spreads throughout the house to where they belong, put away laundry or even just pace.
Last night I did 8 minutes of Pilates DVD (via my laptop), abs and pushups while my toddler watched his pre-bedtime movie. It wasn’t a fantastic workout by anyone’s standards, but it was 20 minutes of something and that’s better than nothing. Again these activities shouldn’t replace your exercise plan, but supplement it on the days when there simply isn’t time for anything else. If you are looking for something a little harder my favorite at home workout is Spartacus.
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