According to the World Health Organization, adults should get between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days per week. However, you might find it difficult to carve out a full half-hour for your health if you’re a busy mom. What can you do?
Fortunately, there’s no rule saying that your workout has to be consecutive — you can squeeze it in by completing 10-minute chunks. Furthermore, you don’t need to join a gym or invest in a bunch of pricey equipment. Here are six quick ways for moms to get a workout.
1. Walk or Bike Your Errands
Do you want to make the world a cleaner and greener place while squeezing in your exercise? If so, put your feet to the test. The next time you have to run to the store, get there via shank’s mare.
Ensure you dress comfortably for the weather. Do you live in leggings? That’s a good thing when it comes to sun protection. Most athletic wear has a higher ultraviolet protection factor than ordinary clothes, providing as much as 50 UPF compared to a mere five for a cotton T-shirt. A sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes is a must to protect your feet and joints like your knees, hips and lower back.
On average, you burn about 50 calories on a 10-minute walk. If your nearest grocery store is 15 minutes away, you can fulfill your daily exercise quotient by walking there and back. You’ll even work your arm muscles carrying the bags, although it might be more comfortable to wear a backpack or invest in a stroller with storage space.
Biking is another fabulous transportation choice, and most kids love riding in their carrier until they’re old enough to pedal beside you. If you don’t like getting all sweaty, consider an electric bike. The pedal assist function helps you power up hills without burning out your quads — although you’ll still burn calories while reducing your carbon footprint.
2. Take Your Kids to the Playground
According to the WHO, kids need even more exercise than adults. Movement is crucial to developing their wee muscles and skeletons, and the playground offers the perfect place for your tot to run, skip and jump to their heart’s content. This toddler fitness bonanza can also help moms get a quick workout.
For example, you can get your heart racing like a sprinter’s when you perform a set of ten bench jumps. If this move seems too intimidating, you can start with a lower object, like a curb. Use the monkey bars for pullups and the swings to perform pistol squats and ab roll-outs. Benches also make the perfect spots for incline pushups and triceps dips.
Many playgrounds have paved pathways for walking and jogging. Of course, you could also get your cardio in while chasing your little one in a mean game of tag.
3. Go for a Swim
Teaching your child to swim isn’t a failsafe against drowning. However, it can help prevent it — and you can’t supervise them every minute. Sign them up for age-appropriate swim lessons. Many children take to the water like fish if you introduce them early enough.
Hit the lap pool while your little one learns to dog-paddle. Aquatic workouts are fabulous for moms with chronic pain conditions like arthritis — the buoyancy of the water supports most of your body weight. Even walking in the pool gets your heart pumping, with the liquid serving as a natural resistance, especially if you add a set of water weights to tone while you stroll.
4. Learn a New Skill With Your Littles
Have you always wanted to learn to drive a golf ball, ride a horse or bowl without the bumpers? Chances are, your little one could benefit from some lessons, too. Why not invest in a little mother-child bonding and sign up to master the strokes together?
What are some fun lessons you might like to try? Consider the following:
- Horseback riding
- Batting cages
- Martial arts
5. Spruce Up the Old Homestead
Could your home use a little TLC? You can get a fantastic workout while putting things in order and making your floors spic and span. All you need to do is tackle your cleaning with a vengeance.
For example, you can burn more than 100 calories during a half-hour of vacuuming, assuming you weigh more than 120 pounds. Mopping, scrubbing walls, and making beds all increase your heart rate, too, if you don’t pause for a breather. Do you want to tone your arm muscles? Bake some homemade bread — all that kneading gives your upper body a great workout.
6. Put On Your Boogie Shoes
What’s one of the most fun ways to burn calories and get in shape? Dancing. You can even bring the kiddos along for the party. Put on your favorite jams and have a dance-off in your living room.
You could be doing more than protecting your physical health — you could give your brain a substantial boost. Researchers studied the relative impact of activities like crossword puzzles and biking on cognitive ability. They found that dance emerged as the clear winner for preventing dementia because of the neuroplasticity involved in memorizing and following the steps, mixed with the juicy endorphins produced by exercise.
Quick Ways for Moms to Get a Workout
To protect your health, you should get at least a half-hour of exercise most days of the week. However, it can seem challenging for busy moms to meet that mark.
When things get hectic, try the above quick ways for moms to get a workout. You can break your fitness into smaller chunks and make it a part of your daily routine.