Raising a family is one of the best jobs in the world. It is also one of the toughests I have five young children and while the youngest just went off to first grade I still have trouble finding the time for working out. For stay at home moms, taking the time you need for yourself seems impossible. Most of us naturally put our children’s needs above our own. Sometimes boosting self-confidence is hard when your focus is elsewhere, which is why we, at Prescription Fitness, would like to bring some helpful advice. For me working out is one of the best ways to relieve stress, stay in shape, and boost energy. Fortunately, these can all be achieved while you’re caring for the little ones. For those that can’t make it to the gym, take advantage of exercising at home. At Prescription Fitness we are always helping women put a plan together that they can do outside of our gym as well inside with our professional trainers. We know your time is important so we help you fit it in to your day.
1. Walking or Running- which ever you prefer, both are fantastic forms of cardio. If you choose to walk, always walk at a fast pace. We aren’t strolling through the mall, were boosting our heart rates to burn calories and work our muscles. When it starts to hurt, think firm because that’s what’s happening to your butt! Choose a fun environment, this will keep the young ones happy and you motivated. Whether it’s a park, the beach, or even around the neighborhood, all will keep them satisfied because there will be new stuff to look at. If you are able choose a location that offers steep inclines, take advantage. Hills are the best way to work out your lower body quicker and more effectively. Kids like new things..so explore your community and find a new place to walk every now and then..the adventure alone will help them deal with your workout.
2. Legs- Since you have warmed your body up it’s time to work out specific muscle groups. Your legs have just gotten a great work-out, but finish them off by doing a couple sets of lunges and squats. This can be done in the comfort of your own home. To maximize results use a set of 3-8 pound dumbbells (if you can’t get them, choose something from around that house that you feel comfortable holding…. a gallon milk, or even your 9mos. old!)) Start off slowly. Another great work-out is leg raises, this can be done by lying on your side and lifting your leg. To up the intensity keep it below your shoulders and hold it in place.
Proper Lunges: If you can hold two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. Step forward with one leg and lower your upper body down, bending your leg (don’t let your knee extend past your toe when lowering.) Keep your legs hip distance apart. Push up and back into standing position. Do this a couple times then switch. Keep your body straight, do not slouch. Have firm control and lower at a slow pace.
Proper Squats: Stand with your feet a little further then hip distance apart. Keep toes pointing forward and lower until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Lift back up slowly while flexing your rear. Keep your back straight as you lower.
If you have stairs utilize them. Go up and down a couple times until you feel the burn. Concentrate on each movement. You can even stop at the edge of the stair and proceed with calf raises (Stand on your toes and lift yourself, do this in repetitions until you feel the burn.) Once again, flex your butt! You’ll achieve a better work-out. This is great when doing laundry…the basket adds some weight resistance!
3. Arms- Depending on how much toning you want to do, arms can be done a couple different ways. Try starting off with arm circles. Hold you arms out to the side at shoulder height and proceed with circular motions. You can raise the intensity by making them bigger and smaller. Do this for about a minute or more if you’re comfortable. Holding a small weight in both hands is another great way to up the intensity. Start off slow, you don’t want to hurt back or shoulders.
Push-ups are known for working out your chest and arms. Although they seem tough at first, they are effective. For females, doing pushups on your knees makes it a little easier. Keep your arms a little further then shoulder length apart, but don’t go out to far. Try doing 5-10 at first and see how you like it. If you do not feel comfortable with doing push-ups, you can always use dumbbells. Work-out your biceps and triceps and chest.
4. Abs- Due to the fact that you carried a baby for 9 months, sometimes your belly doesn’t want to respond like it used to. For a lot of women it becomes there most troubled area. Don’t let it stop you! Start off with some simple abdominal work-outs to help strengthen those muscles again. If you just had a child, take it extremely slow for it’s been a while. Start off with sit ups and crunches. Don’t push yourself by doing an abdominal workout that can pull too much like butterfly kicks or bicycle. These are simple starters, go at your own pace.
We have gone over just a few different kinds of exercises that can get you started down the path to a healthier you. It is time to do something for yourself. This does make you a better mom! Contact one of our Prescription Fitness training centers to help you get started with the program that is right for you and that fits into your schedule.