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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 February 14, 2019

            15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

            15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

            Starting such a journey is never easy and you must remember this is not a crash diet, it is a lifestyle. Don’t panic and think you have to do it all at once as this will most likely overwhelm you. You may also find yourself giving up because crash diet are not sustainable.

            The best approach is to make simple changes to your daily habits and over time, you will notice all your bad habits have turned into good habits.

            Accordingly to a study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.[1] And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

            Here are 15 fitness goals to help you on your journey:

            1. Drink More Water

            W.H.Auden said it best when he said ‘Thousands Have Lived Without Love, Not One Without Water’. With any diet, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Drinking water will support your body with digestion, transporting nutrition to your body and even help improve cognitive function.

            Ideally, you want to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day i.e. if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.

            Hopefully, by following this rule, you will be able to maintain a consistent consumption of water per day.

            2. Add Some Lemon & Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Water

            It is recommended we sleep for about 8 hours a day, this means we spend about 8 hours per day dehydrated. Therefore, hydrating your body first thing in the morning is absolutely necessary.

            The best way to achieve hydration is by starting your day with a glass or even two of water. For that extra boost, add lemon juice and ½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. The lemon and apple cider vinegar will help your body with detoxifying, cleansing and digestion

            3. Stop Drinking Your Calories

            Yes, keeping hydrated is important but try to avoid high calorie drinks such as soft drinks, speciality coffee and juices as they are full of fast acting sugar.

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            Really push yourself to stop drinking such drinks and before you know it, you will notice the benefits.

            4. Start Stretching More Often

            Always remember to stretch! The benefits are vast and the repercussions of failing to stretch can be dramatic.

            Do yourself a favour and always stretch before and after a workout. This will promote a healthy cool down, improve flexibility and reduce next day aches. Failure to stretch can lead to injures and muscle damage.

            So, the next time you work out, don’t forget you dedicate a few minutes to stretching before and after your workout. You will thank me for it later!

            Here’re some simple stretching exercises you can start trying:

            15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

            5. Add in Some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

            You may have heard about HIIT training because it is the big thing right now and believe me when I say ‘It works!’.

            The benefits include lower body fat, increased stamina, leaner muscles and fantastic hormonal benefits.

            HIIT is where you perform an intense exercise, for a very short time frame (about 30 seconds) followed by a slower exercise for about 90 seconds.

            Performing a HIIT routine for 1-3 times a week will lead to great results.

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            6. Focus on Your Breathing When You Work Out

            For the most part, breathing is second nature to most of us. But when exercising, you may find yourself holding your breath and this is not good.

            It is important to consciously take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, this will fill your lungs with oxygen.

            7. Build More Lean Muscle

            We all want to have lean muscles because not only does it look good, it has great health benefits:

            • Improved posture
            • Reduced body fat
            • Improved metabolism
            • Strong bones
            • Protects and improves joint health
            • Improves stamina

            Learn more about building muscle in this guide:

            How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

            8. Decrease Body Fat

            This may seem like an obvious one but it is one of the most important steps to a healthier you. Reducing your body fat has a lot of benefits such as:

            • Improved joints and tendons
            • Lowered risk of diabetes
            • Reduced risk of heart disease
            • Reduced inflammation
            • Better performance and endurance
            • Improved appearance and confidence
            • Better hormonal profiles in your body

            Remember, it is not a race to see how quickly you can decrease your body fat, a healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week.[2]

            Crash dieting or pushing yourself too much in the gym can lead to you achieving an unrealistic target, and you may find yourself gaining all the weight you have lost.

            Think of it as a lifestyle and take it slow and steady.

            9. Eat More Greens

            What you eat is the most important factor in a healthier living plan. It is important to ensure you are getting as many nutrients and vitamins from the food you are eating as possible.

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            Focus on dark, leafy greens as they will provide you with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants – all of which you body needs!

            Don’t forget to avoid processed and manufactured food. They are usually high in fat and have minimal vitamins.

            10. Start Eliminating Sugar

            Another top goal you can start immediately is reducing the amount of sugar you consume. It also won’t cost you anything, save you money and improve your health in the long run.

            There’s no surprise we eat too much sugar and this should be one of your top goals moving forward (eliminating or drastically reducing sugar).

            Cutting out liquid calories is a great way to start. If you’re looking for something sweet, turn to fruits or even dark chocolate.

            11. Allow Yourself to Rest and Recovery

            The workout is where you go to breakdown the muscle tissue and it builds back through proper nutrition, rest and recovery. It might be tempting to go to the gym for two hours every day as hard as you can to achieve your goals but that’s not the most effective approach.

            If you don’t allow for proper rest and recovery, it can set you back a few steps. Your body is more prone to injury and even illness as you can weaken your immune system from all the progressive intensity the body is facing.

            12. Get More Sleep

            When you are deprived of sleep, you make it next to impossible to achieve your health and fitness goals. Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones in your body and over time these can lead to a lot of inflammation and chronic diseases.[3]

            Make sleep a priority to let your body heal and rejuvenate. A good approach is 7 to 8 hours. Also, allow yourself some wind-down time and a pre-bed routine to help get more consistent sleep every night.

            13. Focus on the Habit and Not the Result

            It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve a certain look or shed time off of your mile, but the more important focus is on the habit that will bring you those goals.

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            Don’t look at the scale, the tape measure, or the body fat percentage. Focus on the habits that will lead to those achievements.

            Don’t compare yourself to where others are, you’re right where you need to be.

            14. Take Your Fitness Outside

            This may be hard depending on the weather you experience, but the more you can be outside exposed to fresh air and sunlight, the better.

            Being stuck in the gym doing cardio while staring at a wall won’t do much for your mental stimulation.

            Try to challenge your body more by getting outside. Hiking is great and also just running and walking. Give yourself more mental stimulation and a constantly changing environment. It also beats breathing in that recycled gym air.

            15. Do at Least One Pull Up

            This is a great last goal to focus on because it’s a great test of strength and to see how you are progressing with your fitness.

            If you haven’t been able to do one, you know what a challenge it can be. Having the goal of doing at least one pull up will not only show you how far you’ve progressed but is a great way to become dedicated and motivated.

            The Bottom Line

            It will become more attainable through the year if you’re consistent with your fitness. Set yourself a concrete timeline as when you want to accomplish some or all of these goals. In fact, start making one of these goals happen this month!

            This guide on achieving goals will be helpful for you:

            How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully

            Featured photo credit: ivan Torres via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Phillippa Lally: How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world
            [2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight
            [3] Unity Point: The Scary Truth About Sleep Deprivation and Chronic Diseases

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