Many moms struggle to find the time to exercise. Responsibilities such as childcare, household chores, and work can take up most of the day – when we finally get that free hour or two of ‘me time’, the last thing many of us want to do is head to the gym or go out for a run.
Working out at home can often be easier to fit around a busy schedule. You don’t have to spend time traveling anywhere and in some cases, you may even be able to combine exercise with commitments such as housework and childcare. Below are just several tips for exercising at home when you’re a busy mom.
Access exercise classes on your phone
If you love exercise classes, but don’t have the time to travel to a gym, there is another option – take virtual exercise classes from home. Exercise videos have been around since the 80s. However, online videos and live-streamed exercise classes offer another level of flexibility and interactivity – you can watch them on a phone or tablet from any room in the house, and in the case of live-streamed classes, you may even be able to communicate with your trainer and fellow exercise buddies.
You can use so many different platforms to access these exercise classes from Youtube to Zoom to Twitch. There may even be specialist forms of exercise that you can try such as Yoga with apps such as this My Vinyasa Practice app. Make sure to choose the right space to exercise from – your living room or backyard could be good options.
Embrace HIIT workouts
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This form of exercise involves very intense bursts of physical activity followed by short rests. The benefit of these workouts is that you don’t need a lot of time to carry them out – a spare 15 minutes is all you need and it can be just as effective as a typical hour-long workout session.
You can find lots of 15 minute HIIT workout plans online that you can do at home such as this one at Women’s Health Mag. There are also videos you can exercise along to for motivation on Youtube.
Turn vacuuming into a workout
Many household chores can also serve as a workout. Vacuuming is a prime example of this (as is sweeping and mopping) because it forces you to move around and not be stationary.
Take full advantage of hoover time by incorporating exercises like lunges as you vacuum. Also try to make an effort of moving furniture and cleaning behind it – it’s a chance to do some strength training and get into those areas that rarely get cleaned. You can even practice some step-ups while vacuuming the stairs.
Get physical in your backyard
Another household chore that can also serve as a workout is gardening. Tasks like mowing, digging, raking, sweeping, carrying heavy watering cans, trimming hedges and painting fences will all get your muscles working. You can even incorporate squats while pruning plants.
More of us are embracing ‘low maintenance’ yards nowadays with less ‘real’ plants and more stone, decking, and synthetic grass. However, a more traditional garden could be a great opportunity to get outdoors and exercise, plus you can get your kids to help.
Practice exercises in front of the TV
It’s always tempting to spend our free time catching up on TV series rather than exercising – but why not do both? There are lots of different exercises that you can do in front of the TV.
A few great exercises to do while watching TV include squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and static exercises like the plank. Using the sofa, you could also try doing some tricep dips or elevated push-ups. You could even consider buying yourself an exercise bike and going for a cycle while you watch TV.
Exercise with your kids
You don’t have to wait until the kids are asleep or at school to exercise – there are all kinds of exercises that you can do with your kids.
Many types of exercise can also be a form of play for young kids. You can simulate weight lifting by lifting up your kids, or you can form the plank and let them pretend you’re a tunnel that they can crawl under. You can also play family games in your yard or put some music on and dance together. There’s no denying that exercising with kids can be exhausting, but it’s also one of the more fun and rewarding ways to work out.