But it’s not easy. Lack of sleep, a low point in fitness and a huge life change can all make exercise a difficult mountain to scale. We hope we can help out a little. It’s not easy but it certainly is possible to get back into great shape, try some of these movements at home / work:
1. Clean and presses
Why? Picking up heavy, wriggling kids puts a lot of pressure on the lower back and shoulders. This exercise can help strengthen these areas. Sticking your butt out, as though you’re about to sit on a chair, is great toning for the legs, glutes and core, and the press is great for the shoulders and core.
How? Hold a weight, which may be your child or some dumb bells, in between your feet. Squat, keeping your feet flat, gaze up and torso tall. Pick up your weight, stand up and try to press it above your head. Practise first with a medicine ball or something similar before trying it on your child!
Sets and reps: 2-3 sets of 8-15.
Why? Skipping is great cardio, you can do it anywhere and it’s great for circuit training.
How? Roll the wrists, not the forearms. Stay light on your feet and up on your toes. The smaller the jumps, the better. If you have a weak pelvic floor, try stepping through with one foot instead of jumping.
Sets and reps: 50 skips (if you have time, add 10 squats, 5 push-ups and a 30-second plank for 5 circuits).
3. Game of tag
Why? What if I told you mucking around with the kids could be great for your cardio, agility and strength? A five-minute game of tag is fun as well as exercise. High-intensity interval training is one of the best ways to burn fat and tag is the easiest option for mums with mobile toddlers. And you’ll give the kids a fun, incidental workout too.
How? Go into the backyard or, better yet, a park and play a fast-paced game of tag. Quick changes of direction and acceleration are a bonus. Playing with several kids can add to the workout. Give the kids a head start and then chase them down. It’s probably best for the mums to have a little warm-up first. The kids will be fine!
Why? Strengthens and tones the quads, glutes and calves and can also be good cardio.
How? Place your right foot on a knee-height bench. Move the left thigh forward until the knee is hip height. Pause, lower the left foot to the ground, then push up into your next rep. Do all the reps on one leg, then switch. Use your arms as though you are sprinting.
Sets and reps: 20 each leg (if you have time add 10 shoulder presses and 15 sit-ups).
These are some simple everyday movements that you can perform anywhere anytime, google or Youtube the names if they are unfamiliar to you.