Between busy work schedules and diaper duty, moms have a lot on their plates. As a result, many opine that they lack time to work out. Ironically, though, the busiest people need exercise the most to boost their energy and get through the rest of the day.
Most women think getting in a workout means joining a gym, but anywhere that allows movement can transform into your personal exercise studio. Try these tips to whip that mom bod back into tip-top shape!
Mix It Up
When the treadmill starts making you feel like a pet gerbil, shake up your fitness routine by trying hip and trendy workouts. The best news? Some of these workouts take only a short time to provide a huge caloric burn.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) challenges you to go all out for short blasts followed by a quick active rest. You can use light hand weights or bands or even no equipment at all to burn major calories in just 15-20 minutes.
Functional fitness training keeps your body in top shape for performing everyday tasks, like lifting heavy groceries or squirmy babies. Planks, squats and other basic movements burn calories quickly while decreasing your risk of future injuries.
Rock It Out
Remember the carefree days when all you needed to do to stay in shape was dance the night away? Although 2 a.m. may now mean feeding time and not after-party hour, you can still burn calories while getting your groove on.
No time to make it through a full Zumba class? Take mini dance breaks throughout the day. Put on your favorite jams and get down in the comfort of your living room.
Do your tiny tribe members love video games? Games like “Just Dance” let you and the kiddos both enjoy a good workout while having a blast playing together.
Knock It Out
Kickboxing helps you relieve your frustrations while toning up your muscles. Like dancing, you don’t need a lot of time to break a sweat. Thanks to the miracle of technology, you can find a ton of 10-minute kickboxing workouts for free on YouTube.
If your kids are old enough to learn basic self-defense, why not find a martial arts dojo and sign up together? You’ll get a good workout and enjoy quality time with your kiddos while learning a potentially lifesaving skill.
Take It Outside
Which would you rather inhale — eau de gym or fresh outdoor air? Taking your workout outdoors isn’t only free, it also helps your body produce vitamin D naturally to keep your bones strong.
Many urban parks have fitness trails consisting of a running/walking track with spaces for circuit exercises like pushups. Those who crave peace and quiet can head to the nearest forest or nature preserve to take a brisk hike. Carrying your baby in a papoose adds resistance, although few grandparents complain about watching the kids for a few hours to give you a much-needed mental and physical break.
Get a Bit Wet
Aquatic workouts take pressure off bones and joints and allow those with injuries or painful chronic conditions to move more freely and easily. Many YMCAs and community recreation centers have pool facilities and feature relatively inexpensive membership fees.
Another advantage of such resources is that many centers offer swimming lessons for your children. All kids benefit from learning how to swim, as it helps reduce the risks of drowning significantly.
More the nature type than a parks-and-rec kind of soul? Any boats requiring the use of paddles provide a great upper body and core workout. Even paddle boats get your legs moving a bit, and the little ones can join in the fun — just be sure to have them wear a well-fitted life jacket.
Moms who enjoy mind-body exercises can choose from a ton of hip new yoga classes to stretch and tone muscle. If you’re suffering from postpartum back pain, you may adore sky yoga classes, which use long strips of cloth suspended from the ceiling to let participants soar while they take pressure off the spine. If you’re unabashed about showing off your stretch marks, naked yoga allows for a greater range of motion and cultivates self-love and appreciation for your body.
If you can’t sneak away for an hour or more, why not bring the little ones along? Children possess natural flexibility, and participating in family yoga classes brings your loved ones closer together. As a bonus, kids who regularly practice yoga improve their ability to focus and concentrate, upping academic performance. Schools that have implemented yoga into the curriculum report decreases in behavioral issues.
Work It, Pretty Mama
Having children doesn’t have to mean hanging up your tennis shoes and sports bra. Once you add exercise back into your routine, you’ll have more energy and patience to deal with the demands of child-rearing. Plus, your little ones will learn the importance of physical fitness by following your example.