From checking on the kids to making sure that cupboards are well stocked, mums are busier than ever these days. Although adjusting to the ‘new normal’ can feel rather hectic, it’s our responsibility as parents to always exercise. Not only does it safeguard our health, but it also teaches our children the importance of staying physically active. If you need some help with breaking a sweat, here are five easy exercises to try out!
1. Garden Squats
Squats are very popular among the fitness community — and for good reason. Performing a squat builds leg muscle, while also enhancing your balance and mobility for your overall fitness. And if you’re wondering where you can squeeze in a squat, then look no further than your own garden. As we’ve previously shared on our ‘Simple Tips to Prepare Your Garden for Summer’ post, gardening is a great way to keep yourself busy this summer. From weeding to watering your plants, there are a lot of gardening tasks that involve squatting. To this end, it’s important to pay attention to your form so you can reap the rewards of this exercise. Try to keep your knees behind aligned with toes, and always look straight ahead.
2. Family Planks
While crunches are inarguably the most popular abdominal workout, it goes without saying that they’re quite taxing to do. Thankfully, planks are not only much easier to perform, but they’re just as great for strengthening your core muscles, too. What’s more is that you don’t have to worry about holding them for minutes on end, according to a report on The Telegraph. It’s best to perform three sets of 10-second planks. You can even ask your kids to join in this exercise to help build their foundation for physical activity.
3. Pushchair Lunges
To strengthen your lower body, lunges are an exercise you can rely on, as it engages the hips, hamstrings, and glutes. The best part is: you can hit two birds with one stone with Ready Steady Mums recommending pushchair lunges to help activate your lower abs and pelvic floor. When you’re out for a stroll with your little one, go for a stride and take your upper body down until your thigh almost reaches the floor. Just be sure to read up on your unit’s safety features to ensure that your baby stays comfortable and safe while you take your enhanced walk. If you are worried about the pushchair moving while you do the lunges, try out stationary reverse lunges instead. Just make sure you have the brake on to stop the pushchair moving forward or backwards. A guide to pushchairs by iCandy highlights how most brake pedals are located on the rear axel and can be engaged to keep the pushchair stationary for an extended period of time. When doing your pushchair lunges keep your back straight and shoulders down so that you’re using the proper form. Lastly, cool yourself down by walking slowly for about five minutes.
4. Shopping Bag Arm Curls
If you ever find yourself carrying a heavy bag of groceries, you can use this as an opportunity to do some arm curls. These are the perfect move to tone your bicep and lower arm muscles. And all you need is two heavy bags to help you execute this exercise. To perform a proper arm curl, hold the bags in each hand with your palms facing upward and slowly lift them towards your shoulders.
5. Home Skipping
Although skipping rope is a beloved childhood activity, it’s also a wonderful (and easy!) way to incorporate some cardio into your fitness routine. In fact, Women’s Health points out that 10 minutes of skipping is equally effective as 30 minutes of jogging. If it’s been a while since you’ve last skipped, you can invest in a premium skip rope like this one from Beast Gear, as its locking mechanism prevents the cable from slipping. And to safely perform this exercise, you should do it in your garden. But indoors is fine, too, as long as there are no objects in your way.