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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 July 9, 2020

            10 Easy At-Home Leg Toning Workouts for Women

            10 Easy At-Home Leg Toning Workouts for Women

            As you grow older, it becomes hard to balance and have stability in your joints if you’re not engaging in leg toning workouts. You start losing muscle mass, strength, and function over time. Furthermore, if you’re physically inactive, you’ll lose 3 to 5 percent of muscle mass each decade after age 30.

            Thankfully, you can still score your strongest legs ever with the help of leg toning workouts. Strong legs help you support your body better and make you more attractive. Also, they are less susceptible to injuries.

            The best part? You don’t need fancy and expensive gym equipment to fire up those leg muscles. You can do that right at home.

            Ready to get strong? Here are the best at-home leg toning workout moves for women.

            1. Bodyweight Squats

              The squat is often referred to as the king of all exercises. It’s an amazing way to tone your legs. Not only does it help you build lean muscle, but it also works your abs, butt, and hips. Also, if you’re suffering from back pain, it’s a great option as it doesn’t strain your back when done right. To do a squat:

              • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out.
              • Bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
              • Pause for a moment and push yourself back to your original position.
              • Repeat.

              For extra support, consider doing this near a wall. Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps twice or thrice a week.

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              2. Forward Lunges

                When it comes to strength training, lunges are one of the most popular choices. It strengthens your legs while improving mobility and stability. Lunges also sculpt your butt and abs. What’s more, it can also help improve your posture. In order to do forward lunges properly:

                • Stand tall holding a dumbbell in each hand with your feet hip-width apart.
                • Take a big step forward with your right leg and lower your body into a lunge until both knees are bent 90 degrees.
                • If possible, lightly touch the floor with your left knee.
                • Push off on your front foot to bring yourself to the starting position.
                • Repeat on the other side.

                Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each leg. You can also do it without dumbbells if you’re just getting started.

                3. Single-Leg Deadlift

                  Single-leg deadlifts targets all the major muscles, such as hamstrings, glutes, and even your core. It develops strength, balance, and stability. Another advantage of doing single-leg deadlifts is that it improves mobility through the legs and hips. To do a single-leg deadlift:

                  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
                  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing the front of your thighs.
                  • Lean forward and shift your weight on the left leg with your right leg extended slightly behind you.
                  • Lift your extended right leg until your body is parallel to the floor, arms hanging down.
                  • Slowly return to the starting position.
                  • Repeat and switch legs after doing all the reps.

                  Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps with a 60 second break in between. If you’re new to this, you can also do it without weights.

                  4. Jumping Jacks

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                    Jumping jacks are an excellent leg toning workout move. They work your quadriceps, glutes, and hips. According to one study[1], they may also improve bone density. Additionally, this exercise also increases strength and agility. Here’s how you do jumping jacks:

                    • Stand straight with your legs together and arms to your sides.
                    • Jump into the air and spread your legs slightly beyond shoulder-width apart while your arms stretch over your head.
                    • Jump back quickly, bringing yourself to the starting position.
                    • Repeat.

                    Start with 3 sets of 10 or more repetitions of jumping jacks.

                    5. Single-Leg Calf Raise

                    See the source image

                      The single-leg calf raise strengthens both your lower legs and helps improve balance on one foot. This is important because it can improve sports performance and prevent injuries. Furthermore, it can also help prevent the onset of knee pain. Finally, it may also increase the size of your calves. To do a single-leg calf raise:

                      • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and arms on your hips.
                      • Bend your left knee and bring it hip-level.
                      • Lift your right heel off the ground and balance on the ball of your foot.
                      • Pause for a moment and lower your heel.
                      • Repeat and then switch sides.

                      Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps on each leg. Consider adding weight to make it more difficult.

                      6. Side Lunges

                        This leg toning workout move targets the sides of the glutes and quadricep muscles. It’s also a great exercise for tight hips and groin. Needless to say, it strengthens both your legs and boosts stability. To execute a side lunge the right way:

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                        • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands clasped in front of your chest.
                        • Take a big step out to the right and lower your right knee until it is bent 90 degrees while pushing your butt back.
                        • Keep your left leg straight during the process.
                        • Push back and return to the starting position.
                        • Repeat.

                        Shoot for 10-12 reps and switch sides. Aim for 3 sets on each leg.

                        7. Plank Leg Lifts

                          Plank leg lifts work your butt and upper legs. With this exercise, you’ll also be able to get the benefits of a regular plank, meaning it will tone your whole body. It trains your core, glutes, and shoulders. Even better? It also trims body fat and improves posture. To do a plank leg lift:

                          • Begin in a low plank position with your body straight and weight on your forearms.
                          • Tighten your abs and raise your right leg, pausing for a moment.
                          • Lower your right leg and do the same with your left leg.
                          • Repeat.

                          Do 2-3 sets of 15 reps. Brace your abs and glutes during the process.

                          8. Glute Bridge

                            The glute bridge makes one of the best leg toning workouts for beginners. It sculpts your legs and improves hip mobility. If done correctly, it also enhances core stability. This exercise is also safe for people with chronic back pain. To do a glute bridge:

                            • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your arms at your sides.
                            • Squeeze your abs and glutes.
                            • Raise your hips off the floor until your shoulder, hips, and knees are in a straight line.
                            • Pause for a few seconds and return to the starting position.
                            • Repeat.

                            Shoot for 2 sets of 10-12 reps. Do this 2-3 times a week. You can also wrap a resistance band around your thighs to challenge your endurance.

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                            9. Step-Ups

                              If you’re looking to strengthen your thighs, step-ups are an excellent choice. It targets the quadricep muscle that helps protect the knee. What’s more, it also improves balance and stability. You can do step-ups anywhere. All you have to do is find a bench, chair or any raised platform. To do a step-up properly:

                              • Begin standing facing a step.
                              • Place your right foot on the step and left foot on the floor.
                              • Press through your right heel and bring the left foot up until your left knee forms a 90-degree angle.
                              • Hold this position for a moment and then return to the starting position.
                              • Repeat and switch legs.

                              Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each side. To make it harder, hold dumbbells in your hands.

                              10. Dumbbell Good Morning

                              How to Do Good Mornings With Perfect Form | Muscle & Fitness

                                Dumbbell good mornings mainly target the hamstrings, but they also improve hip and back strength. You’ll also be able to develop stronger glutes with this exercise. Overall, it’s a great exercise for toning your legs. To perform this exercise:

                                1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent while holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level.
                                2. Hinge forward at your hips, and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor.
                                3. Hold this position for 4-5 seconds and return to your original position.
                                4. Repeat.

                                Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

                                Final Thoughts

                                There are so many benefits of having well-toned legs. Stronger legs not only look good, but they also give you greater independence as you age. Therefore, it’s important to take good care of them.

                                In addition to exercise, you should also consider exfoliation and moisturization to keep your legs smooth, healthy, and firm. Always remember that strong legs are important if you want to live a healthy and active life. So, start working those leg muscles today, and you’ll thank yourself later.

                                More Tips on Strengthening Your Legs

                                Featured photo credit: Sergio Pedemonte via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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