Some time in my twenties my metabolism abandoned me. My nightly bowl of ice cream started clinging to my hips and it only got worse after having a few kids. It became obvious that my fitness regimen was failing—largely, because I didn’t have a fitness regimen. I knew that if I wanted to keep my waistline in check, I would need to get fit quick or stop eating so many cupcakes. And let’s be real—I wasn’t giving up cupcakes.
Unfortunately, being a mom doesn’t exactly leave you with heaps of free time to work on your hot bod. When my alarm goes off, I hit the floor and often don’t stop until my kids are tucked (peacefully) in bed at night. By that time, I just want to put my feet up and enjoy a glass of wine. Climbing on a treadmill at 5am or midnight is just not something I can, realistically, commit to.
However, as a mom, I am nothing if not resourceful, so I developed a workout that fits perfectly into my crazy schedule without compromising even one second of my free time. I call it “Momnastics,” and I do it every day without fail, to get fit and stay fit.
It’s important to stretch properly before any workout. The last thing anyone needs is a pulled hamstring. I accomplish this by collecting lost toys from underneath furniture. This is guaranteed to have you bending, stretching and contorting like a gymnast, in no time. If you’re up for the challenge, you can couple this with dust bunny removal for a next-level workout.
Pro Tip: Deep breathing is not recommended during this portion of the program.
Like, Really Loose
By the time I handle all the rogue toys I’m usually loosened-up and ready to really get at it. If not, I spend a few extra minutes bending repeatedly to pick-up socks and other casually discarded garments from my family. There is never a shortage of clothing that didn’t make it in the laundry basket. I like to shoot these at the hamper like fabric basketballs to up the ante.
Arms like Tay Swift
I don’t know about you, but I have a bit of a problem area on the back side of my arms. I combat these undesirable lady-wings with some good old-fashioned strength-training. I start by telling my toddler not to climb on the furniture. This will instantly trigger him to scale a book shelf or an armoire. I remove him from the furniture and repeat five to ten times. Don’t worry, toddlers are already programmed for this type of repetition. There is nothing like lifting a 30 pound two-year-old to build some solid muscle.
Focus on Your Core
When one of my kids is acting-up, I use the opportunity to incorporate some core-strengthening into my workout. What’s better for core-strengthening than yoga? With one hand planted firmly on my hip, I lean forward, slightly, while extending my other arm, with a pointing finger, and I count. 1…2…3…hold it. I call this Mom’s Pose. And I do it no less than twenty times a day. (Now you know why moms live in yoga pants.)
Let’s Go Cardio
The last segment of my workout is my favourite: cardio. I even let the kids get in on this one. Instead of passively listening to The Hot Dog Song or Let It Go for the hundred billionth time, crank it up and dance like you are at a rave until all your muscles are engaged (Are raves still a thing? How old am I?) Don’t forget to use a slotted spoon or a hair brush as a microphone—this does absolutely nothing for your fitness goals, but it makes the kids laugh and at the end of the day, you’re basically running on endorphins and little smiles.
So, there it is. That’s how this mom gets her daily workout. Unconventional? Sure. But, you have to go with what works for you. I don’t have a fancy gym membership or a personal trainer, but my workout partners are cuter, the showers are cleaner, and I feel like I’m keeping my heart rate up while accomplishing my daily tasks. One day when life is less hectic, and my kids are older, I may have more time to really focus on my fitness goals, but for now I’m dedicated to Momnastics.
*I’d love to read all of your Momnastics fit-hacks in the comments!*