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After hours of taking care of kids (who wake up way too early), picking up the house, making meal after meal after meal, and making sure everyone is dressed and strapped in to car seats before going to storytime, who can even think about putting forth even MORE energy to exercise?
When you’re an exhausted, overworked mom, it’s easy to understand how exercise has fallen to the bottom of the to-do list.
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The reality is, however, that regular exercise actually fuels the Mom engine.
Even as a certified personal trainer and health coach, going to the gym just isn’t for me. With three busy kids, I need to find ways to exercise at home that work with what I like to do and fit into my family life schedule.
The good news is that at home workouts for moms are just as varied as the moms themselves!
Please note that you should receive clearance from your healthcare provider before starting any new fitness program. This is especially important in the early postpartum months. Knowing that you don’t have a prolapse, weak pelvic floor, or diastasis recti is important for your long-term health and quality of life.
Are at home workouts for moms done with the kids or without the kids?
For some moms, exercise is all about the escape and the me time. For other moms, getting in a workout at home with the kids around is necessary just because there is no down time. It either happens with the kids around or not at all.
If you’re working out with your kids, your workout options are going to be things that keep them entertained. Maybe it’s inventing obstacle courses in the back yard. Gather all those balls, frisbees, and jump ropes. Take turns designing challenges for each other. You’d be surprised how much fun you can have while moving your body in different ways.
Not so much of an outside gal? Put on a 10-minute set of music in the living room and have a dance party. The good news is that scientific studies support exercising in very short bursts of time. Cardio workouts done in as little as 7 minutes can deliver benefits to the heart, lungs, and big muscle groups. So not only does this dance party this get everyone up and moving (and count for mom’s workout!) but it can help break kids out of cranky moods, too.
When my kids were emerging readers, I would set a timer for 30 seconds, and each kid would get to shout out a verb and then we’d all do the action of the verb until the timer went off. It’s fun to watch as everyone wiggles, slithers, jumps, leaps, or shakes. Remember that exercise doesn’t have to look like a workout in the gym!
If you have stairs in your house, you can set up a challenge for yourself: go up and down the stairs for 3 minutes. As your kids to watch and help you keep track of how many flights (including partial flights) you complete before the timer goes off. You can use this as a standard to beat the next time.
Whether your home workout includes your kids or you use a bit of your family’s daily quiet time to fit in your workout, you’re doing something great: You’re showing your kids that taking time to exercise is important to you. When you model healthy choices, it’s more likely your kids will grow up thinking a regular exercise routine is part of being an adult.
At Home Workouts for Mom Only!
Knowing why you want to use your precious alone time to exercise on a given day will help you best match the workout with your objective. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular workout objectives and the right types of exercises to do to meet those goals.
In the decade-plus I’ve worked with postpartum women, strengthening the core is one of the top reasons new moms want to get back into a fitness routine. And for good reason! Getting your core strength back allows you to move more fluidly and comfortably throughout your whole day. Fit2B is a streaming service of “tummy-safe fitness” workouts, so even moms with diastasis recti can participate safely. I highly recommend this core building program as a first-stop for fitness for moms.
For those moms looking to increase your energy, you’ll need to find a workout that is low or moderate intensity. If you workout too hard or for too long, you’re going to be even more tired than when you started! (And what mom has time for that?!)
A great workout for increasing your energy involves deepening your breath, stretching your muscles, and very gently raising your heart rate. Yoga and mat pilates are both good low to moderate intensity at home workout choices. Yoga with Adriene is a fabulous FREE option that is loaded with options based on time, yoga familiarity level, or body condition. (Don’t think you’re really a “yoga person”? Give Adriene a try. She’ll make a believer out of you!)
If you are motivated to move your body because it helps you rev your metabolism and burn calories, you’re going to have to be willing to get your heart rate up and sweat. Circuit training or high-intensity interval training is a great at home workout option.
At home interval training workouts are my personal favorite, so I designed two programs based on scientific fitness training principles. Balance Virtual Bootcamp and Balance Virtual Bootcamp:REBOOT are both at home workout programs that are designed for efficient, effective exercise that will boost your heart rate and metabolism. These virtual bootcamps use minimal equipment and can be done in a small space, and each workout takes about 30 minutes.
And if you’re just looking to exercise more to do something good for YOU in the midst of your day of taking care of everyone else, well done! You’re worth it, Mom! There are lots of good at home workouts for you to choose from so you can be your best self.
About the Author
Karen Shopoff Rooff is a certified personal trainer and perinatal fitness specialist who loves educating and empowering moms to build a realistic healthy lifestyle. You can find her at Well Balanced Women and connect on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.