Our schedules can change drastically with new life events. Maybe you’ve had your first baby, and are suddenly sleep deprived and can’t figure out when to squeeze in a workout. Or perhaps a heap of new work and responsibility got piled onto your desk and getting to the gym most days is on hold for the time being. If this sounds like you, don’t give up on your fitness altogether. When fitting fitness in is a challenge, it’s time to get creative.
If you’ve missed your workout today but still need to get food on the table for the family, or just need to feed yourself, here are some ways to multitask. You can do these five exercises in the kitchen while you’re getting ready for your day or even while you’re cooking for your family. They can help strengthen your body and help you feel great too!
- Jumping jacks while blending
Why not maximize those couple of minutes that we spend waiting for our blender to blend or coffee maker to brew? Set your timer for one-minute intervals and fit in as many jumping jacks as you can to get your heart rate moving, first thing in the morning.
- Plank while reading the morning paper
Do you spend a few minutes each morning reading the paper or skimming the news on your tablet? Get horizontal in a low plank to help strengthen your core. The innermost muscle of your core is called your transverse abdominus (or TVA), and when strengthened, may help reduce injury. To activate your TVA, draw your stomach in and hold it while you continue to breathe. Then get into your plank position and hold for as long as you can, keeping good form. Repeat a few times as you catch up on current events.
- Squats while stirring
Squats are a great lower body exercise to help strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and quads even while you stir your stews, soups and oatmeal. Doing squats now can help make it easier to pick up your kids or move boxes, and can be crucial for many forms of movement.
Just be sure to do them with proper form. First, tighten your core and stand with feet hip-width apart or slightly wider. Pretend you are sitting onto a bench and stop right before your butt hits the surface while putting your weight into your heels. Stand back up and repeat 25 times or until you start to feel tired. If you don’t have your weight in your heels, you may not be activating your glutes. So, watch your form for best results. And watch out for hot stoves!
- Standing crunches
You don’t have to get out the yoga mat and to get down to work on your waistline. Standing up, touch your fingertips to your ears like you were doing traditional crunches and lift your knee to your elbow; first on one side, and then the other. Do this twenty times on each side all while drawing your stomach in to work your obliques.
- Side leg lifts at the sink
While washing the dishes or ironing your clothes you can also squeeze in some outer thigh tightening exercises. While keeping your core tight so you can balance on one leg, lift the other leg directly out to the side as high as you can while keeping a straight knee. Bring back down and repeat 20 times. Then switch legs and do it again.
How do you squeeze workouts in?
Note: Consult your health care provider before starting any exercise regimen.