Are you too busy to exercise? We know that ‘health is wealth’, but it’s always easy to blame the lack of time, money or motivation to keep fit.
On the contrary, parents have multiple commitments in addition to raising children. This is why we, busy mums, should keep ourselves in the pink of health, by eating healthily and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Not sure how to start working out? First, go easy on yourself. If unsure, always seek professional advice before embarking on a new fitness program.
Here are some easy and almost-free exercises for busy mums to try!
Skipping or Jumping Jacks
As kids, we used to skip with skipping ropes during recess or PE lessons. Now as adults, we can skip at home, or at an open area in your estate. This cardio workout helps your heart pump faster, while getting those leg and arm muscles working too. Do be mindful if you have knee pains or injury.
When to sneak it in: Give yourself 15 minutes a day to skip in the morning before work, or after work. Then hop into the bathroom for a nice, warm shower to start or unwind for the day.
Fill 2 water bottles of equal weight and voila! Free weights! Or, simply use bottled drinks bought during your grocery run. There are also weights available at sports shops or online stores. Busy mums can say ‘hello’ to toned arms soon!
When to sneak it in: When brushing your teeth, hold onto the weight and work them with the hand that’s not holding onto the toothbrush. If not, simply dedicate a quick 15 minutes when you’re about to change before heading to work.
Push-ups or incline push-ups
For regular push-ups, you can pretty much do it anywhere and anytime. For incline push-ups, you will need a stable elevated surface. Besides the chest, you’ll also be working your back, core and legs. Incline push-ups put lesser pressure on those joints than regular push-ups, making them ideal for those whose arms need some warming up first after not exercising for a long time.
When to sneak it in: Use the side of your bed, a bench at the park, your table in the office or a cabinet that is sturdy and stable. No fancy equipment needed.
I personally set aside 15-30 mins to do Tabata at the start of my day. For those who love high intensity workouts but have limited time, Tabata is a great option as it’s a type of HIIT and requires no equipment too. I’ll use a yoga mat and wear indoor sports shoes to cushion impact on my joints. Simply search for Tabata workout videos on YouTube and pick a suitable one to try!
When to sneak it in: I do Tabata before I shower in the morning. To me, since I’m already going to start my day refreshed and clean, might as well sweat it out before going to work.
Instead of driving to pick my son from childcare, I’ll choose to jog (5km) there. It helps me overcome procrastinating against exercising as my end-goal is to reach that destination to pick him. Jogging is a good “me time”, giving me clarity or time to think about ideas on the things I’m working on. Go easy if there are knee concerns. Be sure to also put on proper footwear with support for runs.
When to sneak it in: Some go jogging after sending their primary school kids to school – this can be a good “me time” at the nearest beach or park, or around the neighbourhood. For me, I prefer jogging in the evenings and run to pick my son. It’s also a good way to set a positive example to my child that no matter how busy mummy is, I will make time to exercise.
The benefits of exercise extend to our physical body, mental clarity and emotional wellbeing. Pregnant mummies should keep themselves active during pregnancy too. If you’ve older kids, there are also fun ways to weave in fun and exercise when pregnant too.
Prevention is better than cure – the best health insurance you can gift yourself
It’s easy to neglect ourselves after becoming parents. We can get the maximum coverage with our insurance and health policies and draw up a financial roadmap for our retirement, wealth accumulation or our children’s education.
However, it is also important to invest in our health today to contribute to a healthier us tomorrow.
Find the opportunities to exercise and make a conscious choice, mummies! Try out these quick and virtually-free exercises and let me know how it went! Let’s be stronger, healthier and happier mums for ourselves and those we love!