When my kids were little I could lift their baby carrier and stop traffic with my biceps.
Not literally of course, that would be dangerous and counterproductive. 😉
But being a former weakling when it came to upper body strength, (I am a long torso/short leg body type,) the reaction to these muscles was such that it made me re-assess my day as it related to exercise.
Clearly, being a mom and having small children caused me to be in the best shape of my life.
Cue strongman biceps and a rock hard bum.
(Okay, okay, I am exaggerating. I’ll drop the ‘rock.’)
In those days we had a station wagon that swinging the kids into and out of required a good back and set of glutes.
Oliver would add a cardio component to this car seat workout by refusing to be strapped in so we regularly engaged in a wrestling match that it was always necessary I win.
And he was a determined opponent.
It was probably the only time of my life I can state I shared something in common with Hulk Hogan.
And of course, I was a mom with twins so everything was doubled from day one.
Over the years, the kids have learned to climb and strap themselves in, put on their own clothes (former scene of yet more wrestling matches – WWE had nothing on the us, we could have had our own reality show entitled ‘The Golden Smackdown’) and have stopped hanging onto my legs and going ‘uppie!’ in a way that even the most exhausted parent can’t refuse.
Not unless they want to fall over.
So I have had to get more creative and proactive in the ways I incorporate exercise into my day.
Fortunately, ‘creative’ and ‘proactive’ are my middle names. Ones I much prefer to my real middle name.
So read this list.
See if you can’t reframe your thoughts about your daily activities.
Learn that carrying all those shopping bags does have a benefit.
(But, take it from me, don’t get all sweaty folding laundry – it ruins the wash.)
I hope you get some new ideas.
Let me know what they are in the comments!
30 Effortless Ways For Moms To Exercise Without Even Noticing
1. Stretch high to get something off the top shelf rather than use a step.
2. Use, the biggest, heaviest cookery book you can find.
3. Do pushups against the counter while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
4. Hold your stomach in when you bend over to tuck the sheets under the mattress.
5. Bend at the knees as you pick up the toys.
6. Do some chin-ups on the monkey bars when you’re at the park.
7. Use a hand whisk when blending – make sure you use both hands. And whisk HARD!
8. Keep your tush tucked when you vacuum.
9. Bend your arms forward at the elbow when carrying in groceries. Hold your bags away from your body.
10. Sprint across the quad at school.
11. Stand up while using the computer.
12. Watch TV crossed-legged, back straight and over the hips, hands on your knees.
13. Fill laundry baskets high, hold them away from you body and appreciate the arm, back and butt exercise as you lift it around the house putting clothes away.
14. Make bread by hand.
15. Contort your face while putting on makeup. (Make sure no-one is looking – you might frighten someone.)
16. Shoulders back and down while driving. Pull stomach in for as long as you can.
17. Encourage your kids to use the tire swing and push and spin them to exhaustion. They will love you for it.
18. Put your kids in a stroller and walk, walk, and walk some more. Especially up hills. (Go with a friend and get exercise, vitamin D, fresh air, and some social all at the same time – oh, how I miss this ultimate workout.)
19. When your toddlers demand ‘uppie!,’ give in. Every time.
20. Bend over as far as possible when blow drying your hair upside down.
21. Unload your plates from the dishwasher and carry as many of them as possible at one time to their spot on the shelf.
22. Wear a pedometer. It doesn’t actually cause you to exercise but it does count how many steps you take as part of your day and that makes you feel good.
23. Buy a trampoline for the kids and use it yourself.
24. Keep a kettlebell or other weight in plain sight in your bedroom and every time you pass it, give it a few swings or pumps.
25. When you bend over to spit out your toothpaste, clench your buttocks and stomach, do not use your non-dominant hand to support yourself against the basin.
26. Consider the navigation of a child, bag and a stroller through a narrow doorway when there is no-one to help as a mind/body workout.
27. Straighten your leg every time you take a stair before putting the other foot down.
28. Take steps two at a time but see above and make sure you keep your shoulders over hips as you do so.
29. Walking around a theme park for hours is exercise, you know. Trust me on that one.
30. And if you go on a rollercoaster, brace yourself hard against the sides. (Note to self: Why am I even telling you that when a) of course you would do that or b) you wouldn’t dream of going on a roller coaster in the first place – and I don’t blame you, me neither.)
Over time if you bring awareness to how you can tweak everyday actions, you’ll see that just about everything a mom does can be a mini- or micro-workout.
If you go one step further and start pushing those strollers up hills or spend fifteen minutes a day engaged in a formal workout, you’re golden. And not Alison Golden, either. 😉
Being a mom can be a hard, physically demanding job.
Make that fact work for you.
Be awesome out there!
Do you have any wrestling prodigies – and can you now see that as a positive thing? 🙂 Do you have any exercise tips we can all benefit from? What could be my real middle name? (Hint: it is the name of a month of the year.)