I leave my fuzzy slipper socks and pullover on the side of my bed as soon as the temperature begins to drop in early falls. Anything to make getting out of bed and beginning my routine any easier. First up is breakfast for my two boys ages 6 and 10. I have to also make sure that my youngest is at least half matching and that no one forgets their lunch. Then after a little whine and a little stretch my daughter, age 4 pops up like a jack in the box as if she were born equipped with an on-off switch. She is all ready to begin her day. If I had a morsel of that child's energy, I would be a super mom mix up of June Cleaver and Judy Jetson.
So, my boys get on the bus around 7:50 a.m. and it's now chow time for my daughter and then straight to hair and accessories. It's amazing what a fashion sense a four year old has these days. I don't think I particularly cared what I was wearing when I was her age. Just trying to let her dress herself as independent as she is, with her clothing right side out for me, is a good day, and we are ready to go.
On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays my daughter goes to Preschool from 8:45 until 11:15. This allows me 2 short hours for a few simple errands and much needed gym time. Which can be allowed, it's all about how you schedule yourself? I try to do at least 1 hr of cardio and 1/2 hr of weight training. I have also made up two separate workout options depending on personal preference.
Workout Option One:
At the gym.
- 1 hour of cardio class or cardio machine w/ 1/2 a hout of weight training.
- 1 Hr. dancing Salsa or Hip-Hop. OR using cardio machines, preferable elliptical or treadmill.
- 1/2 Hr. Full body workout, including chest, glutes, hamstrings, back, abs and biceps.
- Chest: Butterfly machine (I switch from machines to dumbbells every 4 weeks or from machine to machine to switch it up)
- Glutes: Using the squat rack. (you can switch to doing wall squats, one legged squats, squats w/barbell or reverse lunges).
- Hamstrings: Hamstring machine or lunges with the Bosu.
- Triceps: Dips using a bench, pullovers, the triceps dip machine or advanced pull-ups.
- Biceps: Reverse curls with bar, cables, hammer curls or medicine balls.
- Back: Bent over rows with dumbbells or bar, lat pull down and back exercises to strengthen the core such as Yoga and Pilates is always incorporated into my back routine.
- Abs: Crunches on the stability ball or Bosu, leg raises w/ roman chair, military crunches or an abdominal machine.
Workout Option Two:
At home routine.
- 1/2 walking outside or on a treadmill or other cardio equipment.
- Bicycling inside or outside.
- Dancing (just turn on your radio and turn up the heat)!
- Pop in your favorite workout video, try Carmen Electra's strip tease.
- Biceps: Bicep curls w/dumbbells or soup cans (or milk jugs - see ad below) if you must. (other option is medicine balls or exercise bands)
- Triceps: Tricep Dips off a chair or your coach, overhead with your NIFTY soup cans, medicine balls or dumbbells.
- Chest: Good OLE push-ups with or without a Bosu or step.
- Back: The Cobra stretch and the cat stretch or on all fours alternating your legs and arms. Left arm comes forward while right leg stretches back and switch. Hole each for a couple of seconds while keeping the ABS stabilized. Upright rows with dumbbells.
If any of the above stretches are difficult, rest on your forearms as demonstrated below, instead of pressing up off of the floor with your hands.
- Abs: Using a chair, hang your legs over the side. Using your knees to keep your grip and perform crunches. The plank with alternating knee drops or crunches with or without a Bosu or stability ball.
- Legs and Glutes: Forward and reverse lunges, wall squats w/heavy books placed on the knees or using dumbbells etc...
You can also using a stair to lunge off of for a better workout when doing your lunges. If you want to take your workout outside and have a nearby high school or park with stadium seating, running up these stairs is an excellent leg and glute builder. (preferable skipping a stair).
Making Your Workout More Effective
You can constantly change up your workout in numerous ways. Whether it is at the gym or in the comfort of your own home. Take advantage of the upcoming equipment at your gym, such as the Bosu, medicine balls, power bars and exercise bands.
By performing your usual exercises with different techniques and resistance levels, can significantly benefit your workouts by tricking and challenging your muscles.
Get the most out of your membership by getting in on the latest aerobic trends such as Bosu classes, hip-hop, circuit training, salsa, strip tease and Zumba!
At home, you can change your own furniture into effective workout equipment. Take your workout outside, for a bit of roller blading or jogging, YES, we all know about the "Baby Jogger." Even go cycling with baby on board.
You can take a trip to the park, while your children play, mommy can burn off some calories too. Chase your kids around and get into the fun. Remember the monkey bars? Give them a run for their money; it's an awesome strength workout! Their are plenty of places to perform push ups, pull-ups and tricep dips in a playground. Or bring along the basketball and shoot some hoops, be the cool mom on the block!
The point is there aren't any excuses. If being "Fit" is what you really want, then there is always time to crunch it in, even between diapers and dinner. If I can do it... ANY mamma can. It will always be a challenge, heck, life itself is a challenge. I love a challenge. It comes down to what you want, because no one can do it for you.
The benefits of exercise and a healthier lifestyle will pay off big time... even in the bedroom. Believe me! So no more excuses - mini-van mom. Get healthy, be fit and change your prior attitude. Get the entire family involved. Fitness CAN and will change your life for the better. Good Luck!