As our world has been changed by COVID-19 kids going to the gym day care is not currently an option in most states, and home work outs are great… until they get interrupted by the little ones who are now home too. Good news is you can get fit even without exercising the ‘traditional’ way. Many of the things you do every day are workouts in disguise. Adding a little twist to them will allow you to get your daily fitness practice.
Guide for Busy Parents: How to Turn Everyday Tasks into Mini-Workouts
1. Turn grocery shopping trip into a full-fledged workout
Park your car as far away from the stores as possible and walk at a brisk pace. Walking 3,000-4,000 steps a day benefits your cardiovascular health as well as speeds up weight loss (Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports). You can use a fitness tracker or a smartphone app to learn how many steps your walks provide and plan the route accordingly.
Don’t forget that shopping can also give you some resistance training. However, as hauling heavy bags for long is bad for your back, it’ll be better to make multiple trips. This will help you increase the number of steps as well.
2. Cook with vigor
Cooking isn’t as physically demanding as shoveling snow or gardening. However, you do burn off some calories while chopping, mixing, etc. To turn this activity into a fitness workout add a bit more vigor into your movements.
For example, make a few sit-ups while chopping veggies. You can also forego a mixer to give your arms some hard workout. Do a few stretches when switching between different tasks as this will not only help your weight loss effort but also relieve the aches that develop in your body during cooking.
However, spending time around delicious foods often leads to ‘distracted eating’ especially when you are home ALL DAY. Help yourself out and make nutritious treats like smoothies made with our Fruit & Veggie blend or chocolate protein muffins using our Chocolate Protein + Superfood.
3. Vacuum more often
The process of vacuuming is a mini cardio workout in itself. Doing this chore more often will ensure that you get this full-body exercise that gets your blood flowing and fat cells burning.
This will also provide the benefit of removing dust and other particles that might trigger allergies or respiratory problems in a child.
4. Play with your children
One of the best workout ideas for busy moms is to simply dedicate some time every day to play with your children. It’s best to do this outdoors, and this way your walk to the park will also be a form of exercise.
Play active games, like soccer, basketball, badminton, or just throw Frisbees. You can also play tag or hide-and-seek if the place allows. Your main goal is to get both yourself and your child moving. This will not only boost your weight loss program but also get your child into the habit of being physically active.
These shared play sessions can turn into shared workouts or sports practices as your kids get older. Exercising together is a great bonding activity that also enhances the weight loss effects of the workout.
5. Do yoga on the couch
Do you have a 15-minute break you plan to spend relaxing on the couch in front of a TV? Turn it into a gentle workout by doing some couch yoga. These exercises are simple and won’t burn fat cells as effectively as aerobics. However, practicing yoga enhances body awareness and improves your flexibility.
Some forms of yoga are advanced types of resistance training, just using your own weight instead of dumbbells. Progress to these trainings gradually and the body-shaping benefits you’ll see will motivate you to replace your couch with a yoga mat quite soon.
6. Wash your car by hand
Washing your car by hand saves you money as well as offers you a great cardio workout. Turn on some music and give your all to those crunches you’ll have to do when washing. If you do this every weekend, your car will be in pristine condition and you’ll get a great boost to your workout program.
One thing that might prevent you from getting this kind of exercise is that this task requires quite a bit of time. If you are a busy mom, you’ll have to consider your schedule carefully to fit the car wash into it. It’s best to do this early in the morning so you can get on with your business later on and not worry about getting more exercise until the next day.
Written by Guest Author for The Healthy Moms Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.