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5 Tips for Busy Moms: How to Exercise at Home

5 Tips for Busy Moms: How to Exercise at Home

Getting into an exercise routine is tough, and even more so as a mom. There’s never enough time in the day, and when you do exercise, your body aches the next day and you feel like no progress has been made. But, we all know the benefits of exercising regularly: better health, greater happiness, and a reduced risk of disease. Thankfully, you can still get in regular exercise without having to hit up the gym. Here are five things you can do to make your at-home workouts a little easier.

Set a Goal

goal-setting

    Without a goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You need to have something to work toward, and having the vague, undefined idea of exercising every day can lead to slacking. So, it’s best to figure out why exactly you want to get in better shape.

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    Do you just want to increase your flexibility, or are you looking to burn off some fat? The reasons you want to work out will affect what exercises you set out to do and how long you’ll have to spend on them each session. Do your best to come up with an attainable goal and write it down. This will help keep you accountable.

    Pick a Good Workout Routine

    the-perfect-morning-workout

      Once you have an idea of why you want to start exercising, you’ll next want to find a workout plan that allows you to reach your goal. For example, if you want to lose weight, you’ll want to find some good cardio routines you can do. If you’re trying to get toned, bodyweight exercises might be the better option. When doing research on a suitable routine, the internet is going to be your best bet here. Also, keep in mind that you’ll want to find routines that you can do in the space and comfort of your home. For example, this Lifehack article has more than a dozen stretches and low-intensity exercises you can do at work and that are easily adaptable for home workouts.

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      Set Aside Time

      Set-Aside-Time-Read-Each-Day

        Obviously, you’re going to need some time to work out at home, whether that’s three times a week or every single day.

        “But,” you might say, “I don’t have any time!” While this is certainly true in some rare cases, there’s almost always a way you can make more time. Whether you choose to carve in a little time while everyone is in bed or you multitask exercising while cooking dinner, there’s always a way you can fit exercising in. Try your best to block out a regular part of the day and your habit will become much easier to fall into.

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        Get a Workout Buddy

        Get a Workout Buddy

          If you need some help committing, or you just want someone else to share the pain of exercising with, having a workout buddy can do wonders. Not only do you keep each other accountable, but you also motivate each other. By pushing each other to succeed, you’ll have more fun and you’ll progress much quicker and easier than if you were working out alone. If you’re having trouble finding someone to work out with, perhaps the kids can get active with you. Not only would it be a great way to connect with your children, but it’d also be a great learning experience for them as well.

          Map Your Progress

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          Track-Your-Progress

            Nothing’s as motivating as seeing yourself make progress toward a goal. If you’re doing some simple exercises, consider keeping a workout journal and writing short entries about how the day’s workout went. In a short amount of time, you’ll be able to look back and see the progress you’ve made. If you stick to your routine, what once seemed so difficult will be laughably easy. Even better is if you can keep track of any quantifiable data, such as how many pushups you’ve done or how long you can hold a plank.

            Featured photo credit: 7 Simple Exercises Busy People Can Do Anywhere, Anytime via lifehack.org

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            Published on April 22, 2019

            11 Partner Yoga Poses for Couples to Build Intimacy

            11 Partner Yoga Poses for Couples to Build Intimacy

            Our partners are mirrors to our true self. By embracing a partner yoga practice with one another, we not only lean on each other for support – literally and metaphorically – but we also exercise our vulnerability with one another.

            Science has found that by doing so, we’re strengthening our social connections and relationships, which leads to longer lives, healthier habits, reduced stress, and a deeper sense of life meaning.[1]

            So how does yoga help with this exactly? In Sanskrit, “yoga” comes from the word yuj, meaning “to yoke” or “to unite”.[2] It’s only appropriate to mirror that definition with a partner, and in essence, begin to unite two people as a whole. Partner yoga also has its roots in building trust and communication, which are cornerstones of a healthy, intimate, and successful relationship.

            Let’s break down some poses for a deeper dive:

            1. Breathing Together

              A great yoga practice begins with the breath. It’s a simple yet powerful way of connecting to your own body and noticing any sensations that arise.

              Find a seated position with your partner, your backs touching. With eyes closed, tune into you breathing, and begin to deepen the inhales and the exhales.

              You will feel the rise and fall of your partner’s breathing, as you tune into each other’s rhythms. See if you can still maintain your own breath, even when it becomes tempting to mirror the breathing of your partner; allow this rhythm to lull you deeper into becoming present and aware of each other’s space.

              Even in unity, you honor your own body and breath, and that honor extends outward to your partner. With this life force – prana [3] – you’re able to find a richer connection to each other with a simple act of breathing.

              Do this exercise for 3-5 minutes, or as long as it is comfortable.

              2. Partner Twist

                A twist is a great natural detox for the body. When the torso is twisted in the opposite direction, the movement acts as a wringing action for the internal organs, and via an exhale, built-up toxicity can be eliminated from the body.[4]

                With your backs touching, take a deep breath in. As you exhale, gently twist, going in the opposite direction of each other. Take one hand and place it on your opposite knee, with the other hand reaching back for your partner’s. Use a yoga strap if this is not available.

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                Allow the breathing to once again sync you with your partner’s rhythm, and notice what it’s like to have the support of your partner’s hand to help ease a little deeper into the twist.

                Stay in the twist for 5 full breaths, and then switch sides.

                3. Backbend/Forward Fold

                  While your backs are still touching, communicate who will fold forward and who will come into a backbend. You’ll have a chance to switch sides.

                  The person folding forward will reach their hands forward and either rest their forehead down on the mat, or place it on a block for support. The person doing a backbend will lean back on their partner’s back and open the front of their heart and chest. Breathe deeply here, and see if you can feel each other’s breaths again.

                  In yoga, the heart is thought of as the place in front and back of your chest, as it’s the same area opening. So in this pose, even though you’re doing the opposite move, your hearts are still connected. Think about how that translates to your relationship off the mat.

                  Stay in this pose for 5 full breaths, and switch when you’re both ready.

                  4. Soul Gazing

                    This exercise is deeply personal and nourishing, as you sit facing your partner, gently gazing into their eyes.

                    Rest your hands on their knees or in their hands, and allow them to do the same. This will further connect you with the power of touch. Once you’re settled (and the giggles have subsided from direct eye contact), begin to truly see your partner.

                    In the chaos of our days and weeks, we don’t often get the chance to sit down and take in the person with whom we share our life. Gently gaze and take in your partner’s features, uniqueness, and energy, and allow them to see you in return. Not only is this centering for the rest of your practice, it’s also deeply loving and compassionate.

                    Stay in this exercise for 5 minutes or longer, if you both feel tuned in.

                    5. Seated and Supported Cat/Cow

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                      From a seated position, reach for your partner’s forearms and interlace.

                      As you inhale, arch your back and lift your heart to the sky, maybe even lifting the gaze to expose and open the throat. As you exhale, round the spine and pull back, using the resistance of each other’s arms as support, bringing the gaze inward toward your chest.

                      Repeat the movements 3-5 times, or as long as you feel comfortable.

                      Allow this support from your partner to begin to build trust and surrender, as well as communication. Speak out to what feels good in this pose, and ask your partner the same.

                      While the pose is done in tandem, your experience of it in your own body is going to vary. Take this time to share those sensations, and become curious of your partner’s.

                      6. Seated and Supported Forward Fold

                        In relationships, we know that we don’t have to do everything on our own. We have our best ally in our corner to help us out.

                        Likewise in this pose, come into a wide-legged seat with the soles of your feet touching. Reach the arms forward and interlace, and then take turns gently pulling one another closer past middle, using each other as resistance in this Forward Fold. Stay here for 5 full breaths each.

                        While this pose is a deep stretch, maybe opt for more of a playful approach! If laughter comes naturally or someone cracks a joke, go along!

                        Find fun in working out and being with one another. It’s a surefire way to relieve any stress or tension, and remind each other of the simpler things that bring you both some more smiles.

                        7. Partner Boat Pose

                          When it comes to postures that are challenging, having a partner mirroring and supporting you can go a long way to giving you that extra boost of confidence and energy. And because they’re doing it with you, too, you can both share in the achievement of rocking this core-engaging posture.

                          Start in a seated position, facing one another, a little further away to give enough room for extending the legs. When you’re ready, come into Boat pose one leg at a time, until the soles of your feet are touching.

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                          Use them as resistance to further stabilize this pose. If available, reach for each other’s hands, and find each other’s gaze. Smile and breathe. Communicate how you’re feeling and root each other on for 5 full breaths.

                          8. Double Downward Dog

                            Speaking of building trust, this pose will give you and your partner a chance to work together toward a common goal. This pose is also all about communication, and speaking your mind when you’re ready to come down or are feeling a sensation that you’d like to share with your significant other.

                            With your partner in traditional Downward Dog, set yourself up by coming into a Forward Fold at the top of the mat. Lifting one foot at a time, place your feet at the base of your partner’s spine. You may need to adjust your feet or walk your hands back once you get into this, to readjust.

                            Once in the pose, breathe there for 5 full breaths, before you switch. After you come out, touch base on how it felt and what you experienced. Share in the pose together by bringing in your specific perspective.

                            9. Reverse Warrior Partner Pose

                              If it’s not evident from the photo above, this pose is all about creating love – literally and symbolically.

                              Begin in Warrior Two facing away from each other, with the outside of your back foot touching. Allow this back foot connection to unite you together in the pose, building a shared foundation from which you can stabilize.

                              Take a deep breath in, and on an exhale, come into your Reverse Warrior by lifting one arm overhead and reaching back for your partner’s grasp, creating a heart shape in the middle of your joined pose. Use a yoga strap if catching your partner’s hand is not available.

                              Take your other hand and wrap it behind your waist. Settle your attention on your breathing and press into your partner’s foot as they do the same. Likewise, mirror the support of their hand in yours.

                              The love you create in your relationship is a two-way street. Remind yourself of all the wonderful ways in which you give and take to build that love. Take 5 full breaths here, and then release when you’re both ready.

                              10. Double Tree Pose

                                No man is an island, and likewise, no tree thrives without support.

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                                In this partner pose, begin in your own Tree, by lifting one leg and pressing the sole of the foot into the thigh or down lower on the calf.

                                When you’ve caught your balance, extend one hand to your partner’s and meet them, palms touching, in the center between your respective Tree postures. Take your other hand and reach it back behind your partner, giving them a loving embrace. Stay here for 5 full breaths before switching sides.

                                Even though your Tree pose is your own, find the center connection that brings you both together in unity.

                                Allow yourself to feel and appreciate the support you get from your partner, on and especially off the mat.

                                11. Standing Partner Backbend

                                  Opening our hearts to each other is the most raw way of showing our vulnerability. That’s why this pose is so powerful in tandem. By using each other for support, you’re reassuring your partner that anything is possible (and better) when you have each other.

                                  Start standing and facing each other, as you interlace each other’s forearms. Take a deep breath in as you hold each other’s gaze, and on an exhale, lean back to open your heart to the sky, using each other’s arms as resistance. Stay here for 5 full breaths, or as long as it’s comfortable for you both.

                                  Release and end with a hug, honoring the space you’ve created for each other and yourself.

                                  Final Thoughts

                                  Partner yoga asks for vulnerability. Through the power of touch and synced breathing, we forge deeper and richer connections in our relationship with our partner.

                                  The experiences we share together and individually in these yoga postures become topics of communication that can help us learn more about each other and ourselves, further growing our intimacy to heights never felt before.

                                  Practice these poses with your partner whenever you are craving that bough of connection or intimacy. Challenge each other with postures that are both energizing and restorative, and tune into each other’s unique experiences for more wholesomeness in your relationship.

                                  Featured photo credit: Victor Freitas via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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