We all know we should exercise daily. Yet so many busy moms throw themselves on the bed at the end of each day, tired and overworked, with exercise definitely NOT checked off from the to-do list! A little deep thinking made me realize how many missed moments we bypass in each day while doing things like, well, waiting.
Waiting for the water to boil, waiting at a red light or for the mail to come or the kids to come home.
So in this time, why not sneak in some exercise to tone your body and even burn a few extra calories? While these won’t raise your heart rate to be considered fat burning, ANY movement is always revving up your caloric burn, more than standing, and especially more than sitting.
Here are 5 ways to sneak in some exercise:
Do you drive to the bus stop? Is it walkable? Consider leaving early enough to walk there and both you and your kids will reap the benefits of a brisk walk and fresh air! Bus stop time is also perfect for squats and toe raises if you’re not shy about doing them in public.
If you work, try arriving 10 minutes earlier if possible, parking farther and taking a walk to your office. Remember, taking the stairs over elevators any time you can will add up over the course of a week too.
Whether you watch day or evening shows, any time a commercial comes on – sneak in some exercise. Stand and do squats or lunges. Try doing circuit training during the length of each commercial: jumping jacks, squats, push ups and crunches are great to try. Since most commercial breaks run 2-6 minutes, you can get a lot done over the course of an hour show!
I was amazed at how much time I spent just standing waiting for water to boil, stirring pots, etc. I started doing leg lifts and squats while waiting and was pleasantly surprised to get in 50+ for each leg. If you have a stool or low counter, you can even do a few tricep dips. Sure, the kids may giggle, but your arms don’t have to jiggle.
What exercise can one possibly do at red lights you ask? Kegals. Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor disorders are high on the list of major inconveniences for moms, so start squeezing. Squeeze and tighten just the muscles you’d use to control urine flow, not abs, butt or thighs. Hold for a count of 10, relax for 10 and then repeat 10 times. Perfect red light exercise and no one knows you’re doing it either. This one can be done waiting on lines at stores as well.
Fall is a great time of year for yard work like raking, transplanting, weeding those overgrown gardens and thatching. All of the above will work your arm muscles, your legs and your back and burn calories while doing a necessary chore around the house. Raking and bagging is more of a work out than those loud leaf blowers and you can also get the whole family involved!
Think about the times during the day you spend waiting, or the extra chores you can do, and you’ll definitely be able to add time daily for toning your muscles and even burning some extra calories without having to hit the gym each day. Of course, a good cardio routine a couple of days a week is the way to stay strong and fit.