Last week, Equinox trainer and mom of two Kristy DiScipio shared her tips on fitting fitness into your busy life. If you weren’t brave enough to try the killer downdog push-ups, here are a few more tips you may be able to work into your life!
Fit Tips for Busy Moms
Schlep Better. When carrying your baby, the diaper bag, the stroller and all the other necessities, make it a point to alternate sides to even out the balance of your working muscles.
Invest in a Jogger Stroller and a Baby Carrier. Walk, jog or bike whenever possible, and place your children in a stroller or child carrier. The extra resistance will make the workout all the more efficient with great cardiovascular benefits and toning for the legs and core. You can also use the stroller as extra balance so you can do plié squats to tone the inner leg muscles. Other stroller moves include squats with two hands on the bar to hit the glutes, or turn sideways with one hand on the bar for leg swings—a great dynamic stretch for the hip flexors.
Use Your Baby as Weight. No time to fit a workout in at the gym? Work out at home by incorporating your little one into your workout. Walk up and down the stairs with your child on your back in an infant carrier. Hold the baby in front of you as you do squats and lunges. Sit your baby in front of you as you lie on your side and do leg lifts. Find your inner comedienne, laugh and joke with your baby as you do burpees, jumping jacks or while running in place. If your baby is in its walking stages, play follow the leader and have them march in line with you. Simon Says is also a big favorite of mine when children are in their toddler years. Be silly, outrageous and most importantly, have fun!
Pre-Bedtime Rituals. Do some child-friendly yoga. Let your imagination run wild as you become the down-dog, angry cat, wild child, silly monkey, or the yawning lion. Tell stories as you work through each posture, creating an environment of serenity and imagination. My kids loved this while I read Where the Wild Things Are, I Love You This Much and Curious George.
Talk to Yourself. Don’t let your attitude blow it for you. Turn the frown upside down and get moving! A shortened or modified workout is better than skipping the whole thing because it keeps you consistent. Become your own coach, talk yourself into it rather than out. A great motivation is using your trigger words, those cue words that fire you up and inspire you to be fearless. If you are not sure what your trigger words are, find them. Take 5 minutes and write down with no expectation or judgment the words that come to your mind when you want something and are willing to give anything to get it. Review your list, choose your top three, and start talking to yourself!
Playtime. Get out of house and head to the playground or local park. Swing across the monkey bars, climb stairs, do step-ups, triceps dips, and push-ups on the park bench. Some city parks have built-in circuit training, called parcourses. Both my kids and I love this outdoor challenge. We make it a game and have lots of fun and it doesn’t seem like exercise at all. There are multiple stations throughout the park/trail, with equipment and suggested exercises, such as doing push-ups, ab curls, ladder drills or climbing stairs. Each station offers a suggested number of repetitions based on your fitness level and even has pictures/diagrams of the exercises.
Quick Tips for Anytime
- Wear a pedometer and get to 10,000 steps.
- Stop eating the kids’ leftovers.
- Walk your kids to school. Jog back home to get an extra cardio/calorie burn.
- Use a stability ball instead of a chair at your computer.
- Cut down what you eat by 1/3.
- Only take the stairs.
- Hula hoop with the kids. (Or take a hula class like FBG Tish!)
- Get 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Have fun!
Even if you can only incorporate a tip or two into your busy life, it’s better than nothing. What tips do you have for sneaking fitness into your day? —Erin