Who Has Time for Exercise?
What’s a busy mom to do? We asked Janet Pappas, ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fit for Life Personal Training in Illinois, for some ideas about adding exercise into our everyday routines. Here’s what she recommends:
1. Stroller Walking
While walking with the stroller, whether fast or slow, stand up straight with good posture. If you can’t keep good posture while walking quickly, you may be walking too fast or you may need to shorten your stride and take more steps. Try keeping the stroller handle close to your body. This helps with cardiovascular endurance and overall leg toning.
2. Stair Stepping
Going up the stairs is a great exercise. You can work your muscles differently by running up the stairs–on your toes using a more explosive move–or by walking up them slowly with deliberation, pushing through the heels, squeezing the glutes and exhaling. Swing your arms if possible. Any way you do it helps to develop the thighs and glutes.
3. Sink Squats
When standing at the sink doing dishes, squat while holding on to the sink for support after rinsing each dish. Keeping your head up and looking forward, straighten your back and lean slightly forward from hips. Squat down to a comfortable level, keeping your knees behind your toes, then push up through your heels to standing position. Be sure to squeeze those glutes on the way up! This will help overall glutes/leg development.
4. Computer Posture
When sitting at the computer, concentrate on good posture, which is actually quite challenging if you’re not used to it. Feet flat on the floor, thighs parallel to it or a bit higher, sit up straight with shoulders relaxed and shoulder blades slightly back and down. This will help the torso muscles learn to stabilize better and relieves tension in the neck and shoulders. You’ll also look and feel more confident.
5. Baby Push-Ups
And finally, you can do kid push-ups. While playing with your preschooler or baby on the floor, lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Start with the child lying on your chest face down, get your hands underneath his chest, one on each side, and press him up into the air. Straighten your arms just short of locking your elbows. Lower and repeat, as often as baby wants! This helps chest, tricep and front shoulder development.
*From MomSense magazine, September/October 2003