photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/energepic-energepic-27411/
Hands up if it’s been awhile since you have exercised. I sit here with both hands up knowing it has been far too long since I have done steady exercise. As a mom of two toddlers I get most of my exercise chasing down my kids for a bath, racing after them outside, and the hundreds of steps that lead to the play room and laundry room. I have always thought; hey this is enough to keep me in shape. What I have not considered is that even though I am getting some physical activity, it isn’t enough. Maybe I have toddler induced biceps from multiple pick me ups throughout the day. Maybe I have toned legs from all those stairs but maybe I also had the left overs on my kid’s plate. Being one who hates to see wasted food, maybe I eat their left overs all the time, and maybe a few brownies as well.
So on this road to self-discovery of my somewhat good and certainly not perfect habits I realized I need both daily exercise that was simple and left me feeling encouraged. The road of motherhood is filled with many different things for each of us. My road was filled with stretch marks, the inevitable extra tummy skin, and the all over self-doubt about my physical being. I know we don’t all feel this post baby but for those of us that do, myself included, it can be hard to motivate yourself to start daily exercise. My plan to begin exercises on the regular had to be something easy. I know easy seems not enough but sometimes it is just enough to build up confidence.
If you are a momma who tries the best she can and needs to think more about your health, well I want to share my experiences and offer some simple exercises. I can’t promise these exercises will give you a slim and slender body type but I can say it can help you reach your beginners goal. Baby steps. I know I say it a lot but baby steps work for me and can work for you too. As hard as it can be and I know it can be hard, try to carve ten or fifteen minutes out of the day to focus on you. We all have to start somewhere, so let’s get this exercise lifestyle started.
I’ve been accused of being a “crunchy” mom. My favorite food at Taco Bell just so happens to be the Crunch Wrap Supreme and honestly that’s about as far as a crunch exists in my world. The real truth of the matter is this girl hasn’t done a crunch exercise in about five years (shhhh that stays between us). Being that me and the crunch have been distant friends, this exercise is my first choice to start with. Pre baby I did a lot of crunches but what I didn’t know is I was doing them very wrong. If you may feel you aren’t doing the best crunch you can do, check out this video link from YouTube that can direct you on the proper crunch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKmrqcoCZ-M.
Baby got back….fat. Yep the dreaded back fat. How do you even get fat there? I can’t explain it but the mirror doesn’t lie. This momma has some toning to do and it must be of the toning variety. A great exercise to tone the lower back area, specifically the area at the waist line is simple. You can hold a weight, 5lbs or more depending on your comfort, up to mid chest area. You then will turn from side to side while moving the weight. You do not actually move your hips. You are literally moving your abs in the same motion as the weight you are holding mid chest. Doing this small exercise will help to tone your ab muscles as well as tone that little bit of extra at your lower back.
These legs are made for walking. If you are someone who loves to run, I say run. If you are someone who doesn’t love to run, hey we can walk. Walking burns calories and it a simple exercise we do all day without giving much thought to. If you have a desk job, get up and walk on your lunch break. Maybe there is café down the road from work, you can walk there instead of drive. If you live close enough to your child’s school, get them in on the routine and walk with them to school. Let’s be honest ladies, we like shopping so why not window shop at your local mall. You are burning calories and putting miles on those legs, all while deciding you fall wardrobe. Again this is a simple exercise but you will see the results in your increased stamina and metabolism.
Like one of my all-time favorite musicians David Bowie, let’s take a note from him and “Just Dance.” Dancing has been the easiest and most enjoyable way for me to exercise. Its again simple. It is easy to do it without really recognizing the benefits and it usually involved great music. I have always danced. My kids followed suit and love to dance as well. We are not ballet dancers and we do not take formal lessons. We just like to, as my kids put it, “jam out” to music on Pandora. Even if exercising seems daunting to me at times, I can’t turn down an impromptu dance competition with my five-year-old.
The biggest thing to remember with simple exercises is to enjoy them. Find what you like and what works for you. If it’s one crunch a day, or hey maybe half a crunch a day. Next week maybe it will be two and then three. The wonderful thing about life is choice and enjoying what you do. I feel the biggest mistake made when beginning exercising is assuming you can do the whole workout video and do so as graceful as the teachers. There are no rules to exercising except the ones you make for yourself. So I say “We are going to start a revolution” of positive thoughts, simple exercises, and goals that meet our life and needs.
Please feel free to share any great exercise ideas in the comment section below!