Adhering to an exercise program can be a challenge for anyone. But for mothers, getting time for workouts can seem to be near impossible. After all, how are you meant to find time for exercising when you can’t even use the bathroom uninterrupted?
Frequent workouts can bring serenity to your day and well being to your body and soul. If you’re serious about fitness but can’t manage to find the time, you just need some planning and a little bit of imagination.
Here are 4 ways to get it done:
4 Ways For Work-at-Home Moms To Stay Fit
Exercise while sitting down
Doing several basic exercises daily while seated in your home office can assist in improving your flexibility, muscle tone and strength. Here are seven exercises you can do that doesn’t even require getting off your seat:
To strengthen your butt, clench your buttocks and hold for ten seconds. Do this several times during the day
- Ankle rotations
Rotate your feet in both directions for five seconds. Repeat a few times during the day . This will make you less likely to suffer from sprains.
- Arm stretches
Stretch out the muscles in your right arm by reaching as far to the left as possible while supporting it in the crook of your left elbow. Hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat three times for each arm.
- Calf muscle toning
Raise your legs up on the tips of your toes while remaining seated and hold for 10 seconds or until you feel a burn. Repeat three times for each leg.
- Twisting the waist
Strengthen your core by rotating your waist while staying seated. Keep your knees and hips facing forward and turn your upper body as far right as possible. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat to the left. Use your core muscles to accomplish the movement, and not momentum. Repeat 3 times
Move to the edge of your chair and lean back on the back rest. Straighten your legs, then lift them above the ground and raise your back off the backrest. Do two sets of 10 reps.
- Leg lifts
Lift each leg until it touches the bottom of your desk surface. Two sets of 10 seconds for each leg will be sufficient.
Exercise with your kids
When you struggle to find alone time to work out, why not include your kids. Children instinctively love to move and workouts can be a great bonding time.
- Purchase a jogging stroller or a “kid trailer” for your bicycle.
- Strap your baby into a baby carrier and go for a brisk walk.
- When your children are old enough, let them ride their bike while you run or rollerblade.
- Make the Jungle Gym your fitness boot camp. No one is ever too old to play outside, right? Do triceps dips off a park bench or incline push-ups and do a few pull-ups on the monkey bars. Not only will your kids love it but you will feel like a kid again.
- Create a home gym by using space you have in your home. You don’t need specialised exercise equipment or a gym membership to work out. Babies are ideal for weight training! Get creative and use what you’ve got.
Try a 10-minute workout daily
When you’re a work-at-home mom, time is of the essence! I always thought that for exercise to be effective, it had to be done for at least an hour a day. But the truth is that anything is better than nothing. Even 10 minutes a day of something is worthwhile. I’ve been amazed to see how effective an intentional 10-minute daily workout can be.
These strength-training exercises are easy to do at home and will fit right into your busy schedule.
- Chair Dips
Sit on the edge of a steady chair, with your hands next to your hips. Slide your butt off the edge and bend your elbows 90 degrees. Make sure to keep your back near the chair, then push back up.
- Chair Squats
Stand with your back to a chair, feet hip-distance apart, toes facing forward. Lean your chest a little bit forward. Bend your knees, tap your butt on the chair, then stand up. Keep your body weight in your heels and keep your knees in line with your toes.
- Butterfly Abs
Lie on your back and put the soles of your feet together. Relax your knees out to the side. Place your hands behind your head. While tightening your abs, lift chest and shoulders up, then come back down.
- Modified Push-Ups
Get down on your hands and knees.While keeping your knees together, walk hands out and lift your feet. Move your hands slightly wider than your chest. Your, head, neck, back and butt must be in line. Keeping your abs tight, bend your elbows while lowering your chest to the floor. Then press back up.
Place your right foot on a secure platform or a stair, and step up with your left leg following. Step down with your left leg. Follow with right leg. Keeping your posture straight up, switch sides and repeat. As you become stronger, do this exercise with weights.
For each of these, do 10 – 15 reps.
Put on some music and move that body
Dancing is a lot of fun and it increases your heart rate, giving you a good cardio workout. In addition to being an incredibly fun form of exercise, dancing is also a way for kids to express their imagination, creativity and feelings. Pop the radio on and dance to your favourite song together! Not only is this bonding time with your child but both of you will get a good workout too. Dancing is free, fun and can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.
Fitting fitness into a tight schedule is tough, and a workout routine is usually the first thing to get scraped from the calendar. But, after some priority setting and planning, it’s manageable.
While it’s advised to make time for a proper cardio and weight training session, always remember that there are a number of other ways you can include exercise into your daily schedule.
Make your well-being and fitness a priority!
Bio: Jana Grobbelaar is an entrepreneur, editor, and mother of three. She is the “Super Mom” and founder of Moomie, South Africa’s largest online parenting platform. Where Moms Meet to connect and chat about all things babies.