The Five Pronged Approach, Step Two: Move it Around

Continuing on our journey towards fitness, lack of flab and increased mental fortitude (I’ll take one out of three, actually) — here’s number two: Move it Around!

Lots of new moms are hampered by our previous pre-mom notions of what a workout consisted of. We recall the days where we put on our workout clothes, drove to the gym, put in 45 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill and then spent another half hour in the weight room. The total evolution often took at least ninety minutes. And guess what. We don’t have ninety minutes anymore. I’m lucky if I can eek out a half hour to myself in the course of a normal day between work, the kids, the hubby, dinner, groceries, Dragon Tales and everything else!! I know I’m not alone on this. And it’s easy to look at all that and let the idea of exercise slip away to live in the land of “wouldn’t it be nice” right next door to long quiet baths and backrubs with no expectation of sex. However, there is a way to fit exercise into a schedule with no room for anything, but your mindset about what constitutes exercise must change a bit.

It doesn’t take ninety minutes — not all at once, at least. If you can find thirty minutes throughout the day, you’re doing pretty well. And I don’t mean that you have to change your clothes and get all sweaty for ten minutes and then change back, and do this three times a day. Just move more. Ideas:

1. When you walk to the the bathroom at the office/school/house, make the walk longer on purpose. Get up and move as often as possible, even if you’re just taking a longer route from your car to the drug store.
2. Stand up while doing common tasks — laundry, talking on the phone, watching TV. You burn more standing than you do sitting.
3. Fit strength training into empty minutes — a set up pushups can happen using the kitchen counter while you wait for the hot chocolate to heat up in the microwave. Standing squats don’t have to happen in a gym — you’ve got 30 seconds while you wait for your kid to put his shoes on to get out the door.
4. Commit to using the blocks of free time you have to getting healthier — if you do have a free half hour, go for a walk — it clears your mind, boosts your energy and your metabolism.
5. Enlist the kids. Instead of sitting in front of the TV right after school, make a habit of a family walk. So dinner is a half hour later, who cares?

Are you smelling what I’m selling? You’ve got to get creative. And you don’t have to get all Jane Fonda’d* up to make it happen.

* I use this reference only as a widely-recognized aerobicizing symbol. I recognize that she is also a filthy traitor.

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