Wouldn’t it be great if you could improve your sleep, boost your mood, reduce your stress & anxiety all while setting a great example for your family?
…C’mon, you knew that was coming.
And that’s just it, we are all very much aware of the long list of benefits that go along with exercising regularly. Unfortunately, as the keepers of our families, it can be hard to find the time to actually make it happen.
Below are some simple, and easy ways to add exercise to your existing daily routine:
Brushing Your Teeth: Calf Raises —
For 2 minutes 2x/day, you’re essentially just standing at your sink. Start and end your day with some simple calf raises. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and tighten your core while lifting your heels off the ground. Essentially, you will be standing on your tippy-toes. Lower your heels back to the ground, and repeat until those pearly whites sparkle!
In the Kitchen: Incline Push-Ups —
How many times have you reheated that cup of coffee today? Are you waiting on that pan to heat up? Instead of leaning on those countertops, why not use them for some pushups? Place both hands on the edge of your countertop, walk your feet backward until your arms are out straight with a slight bend in your elbows. Tighten your core to make sure your back stays straight. You don’t want it to sway inward. While keeping your elbows pointing diagonally behind you, lower your chest toward the countertop as low as you comfortably can. Then, push your body away from your hands, just as you would with a normal pushup. Easy as that! *To take things up a notch, lift one leg.
Folding Laundry: Squat Holds —
Unless you’re using hampr for 100% of your washing needs, you will most likely have many moments spent folding laundry. I’m not suggesting you replace your Laundry Netflix binge, I’m simply offering a way to enhance it. To do this exercise: Stand with your feet apart and toes pointed forward. Your behind should be straight behind you as if you are about to take a seat. Keep your chest upright and while bending your knees, lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor. You should maintain enough weight on your heels to still wiggle your toes. Hold that position until you finish folding that t-shirt and then release it back to the start position. Repeat until your basket of clothes looks like super washer, Jeremy came over.
Running Errands: Get Your Steps In & Park Furthest from Entrance —
We all know you’re headed to Target…
If you’ve got little ones to carry, find a stray cart near the back of the parking lot to use.
You’ll be able to walk through those beautiful, red doors with a sense of confidence knowing you are prioritizing your health.
Car Line, At Your Desk, or Seated Anywhere: Kegels —
Do you pee a little when you jump up and down? Do you have to cross your legs when you sneeze or cough? You’ve likely heard of the benefits of doing Kegels, but how often do you actually perform them? Ladies, your pelvic floor needs A LOT more love. To strengthen, first, make sure your bladder is empty. (If you need help identifying your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination midstream.) Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold tight for 3-5 seconds. Be careful not to flex your abdomen, thighs, or buttox. Release to relax the muscle for 3-5 seconds. Breathe freely throughout, and repeat approximately 10-15 times. You should aim to perform kegel exercises 3x a day (morning, noon, and night).
Restless Children: Cardio Dance Party —
Who doesn’t love a good dance party?! In addition to a 3-minute cardio burst, shaking out some stress is also a guaranteed way to boost the mood of your household. Crank up your children’s favorite jam and boogie! Increase the intensity by keeping your arms over your head while dancing. A personal favorite in our house is “Can’t Stop The Feeling” – Justin Timberlake from Trolls.
Tidying Up: Lunge Walk Household Items Back To Their Rightful Place —
I’m just gonna be real with you. Children are tornadoes. Even the brand new ones can find a way to turn the tidiest of homes into a war zone. A great way to declutter AND work on that Lizzo booty is to lunge your way from room to room *If you are pregnant, DO NOT perform walking lunges.
Step one foot forward while keeping your knees behind your toes. Bend your back leg at the knee while lifting your heel so the toes of your back foot are the only thing still touching the floor. By lowering your hips, bring the back knee down to the floor gently. Return to the start and continue by alternating legs.
Bathtime: Planks —
Place your hands on the floor directly beneath your shoulders, and extend your legs behind you. Keeping your core tight, spine completely straight, and behind completely in line with your spine (not up in the air), hold for a count of 10, 20, 30 or more. Release once you feel your form start to fail, rest for a few moments, and then try again!
If you find that this exercise hurts your wrists, perform a plank on your elbows. With forearms resting on the ground in front, make sure that elbows are directly beneath your shoulders.
(*If you are pregnant or less than 9 weeks postpartum: Drop down to your knees, lean forward, and extend your hips behind you.)
Kids Climbing on You: Airplane Leg Press–
If your children love to play ‘airplane’ as much as mine, this exercise will be a hit! To perform: Lay on your back, place a kiddo belly down on your feet, and hold their hands. Being sure that your form is controlled and extend your legs into up and into the air. Return to the start position and repeat. For extra help keeping them entertained, make silly faces and noises as they descend towards you.
Tiny, Crawling Tots: Glute Bridge Tunnel —
With some help from your imagination, glute bridges can easily double as a super fun, kid-size tunnel! Lay on your back, and bend your knees so that your feet are placed flat on the ground. Walk your feet close to your behind, but not touching it. Keep your spine in a neutral position and raise your hips to the sky. Squeeze your behind to drive you up and be sure to keep your spine as straight as possible. Lower once your little one has made it ‘under the bridge’ and repeat.
***Pregnant Mamas who are 20 weeks gestation and beyond should avoid exercises that require you to lay on your back (i.e. glute bridges and airplane leg press). If you are pregnant, DO NOT perform walking lunges. If you are pregnant or less than 9 weeks postpartum, modify plank exercises. You should consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.
Don’t be surprised if, after witnessing your new moves, your children start to inquire about what you’re up to. This is such a great opportunity to open the floor for conversation and to explain the importance of a healthy lifestyle. 9 times out of 10, your family members will want to join you! You can even include your older children by finding a fun way to help keep you accountable.
Trust me – As someone who gets to witnesses strong mamas working out with little eyes on them, there is nothing cuter than watching children imitate exercises.