Can’t get a “real” workout in today? Push yourself for 3-5 minutes and move on with your day. Shake out the cobwebs, move your joints and gulp some sweet, sweet, oxygen. Even you have time for this one, busy mama!
It’s that time of year again…the time when you skip your workouts in favour of shopping, baking, scarfing hors d’ouevres and getting drunk, all the while imagining how ridiculously fit you’re going to be. (Starting in January, of course.)
It’s true that social obligations and emergency wine drinking disasters might interfere with your usual workout schedule, and that’s okay from time to time, but you can maintain that spark, and prevent a coronary when you do get back to the gym, by injecting tiny bouts of exercise into your routine.
You’ll instantly feel energized, and you might even make better choices at tonight’s holiday party. Every positive choice you make helps you stay out of the “Screw it, I’m off the wagon!” mindset that tends to spiral into a cycle of bingeing, shame, and deprivation.
Squeeze this super do-able routine into your “non-workout” days (maybe even a couple of times since you’ll probably find yourself in the kitchen several times per day) and you can stop negotiating with your higher power when you actually make it to your morning spin class.
The Kitchen Challenge
Waiting for water to boil? Kids screwing around with the last of their morning oatmeal? 5 more minutes on those muffins? Let’s go!
This workout is suitable for mamas who have recovered fully in postpartum. Not sure if that’s you? Check out this video!
Counter pushups + mountain climbers
Face counter with hands shoulder-width apart, on balls of feet and body in a straight line (pushup position). Drop into a pushup — try to tap your ribcage right on the counter each time — then press back up; immediately begin running knees up toward the chest while still maintaining weight over arms on the counter. Do 1 pushup, then run knees to chest, alternating, 10 times. Too hard? March the legs instead of running. Too easy? Bring your hands narrower into a triceps pushup position and/or run the knees 20 times per rep. Repeat the whole sequence 10 times.
Sit on the edge of the chair, hands tucked next to your hips, fingers down. Lift your butt off and squeeze your shoulderblades back to lift your chest and chin up. Bend your elbows to lower yourself until your elbows are at 90 degrees, then press back and up to bring shoulders back over wrists. Too hard? Bring your feet closer to your bum. Too easy? Extend legs to partially straight or straight. Complete 10-20 reps.
Chair plank + leg lift
Face chair (push the chair against the table or wall so it doesn’t slide) and place hands shoulder width on top, stepping feet back into an elevated plank position. Keep weight over upper body so shoulders are directly over wrists and you are light on your feet. Exhale & lift left leg into air, squeezing butt for one count, then lower and exhale as you raise right leg into air, squeezing butt again. Too hard? Omit leg lifts. Too easy? Drop to elbows and toes. Continue alternating for 20-30 reps.
Squat + can raise
Hold 2 cans or jars (or actual dumbbells if you got ’em) at your sides, with feet hip-width apart. Squat and freeze at the bottom of the squat while you raise arms out to sides in a “T” shape, just to shoulder height, then down, and rise out of the squat. Too hard? Squat, rise, then perform the side raise. Too easy? Hold each squat at the bottom for 3 side raises before standing up. Continue the squat, raise, stand pattern for 10-20 reps.
Amazing! A full body workout in under 5 minutes. If you’re feeling ambitious, do it all over again for a challenging 10 minute workout.