Monday, February 10, 2014

Quick Exercises for New Moms (and Other Busy People)

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In the past several months, I’ve had to replace lifting weights with lifting a baby, cleaning spit ups instead of clearing sit-ups, pushing a stroller instead of doing push-ups. As a fitness junkie, I was eager to get back to working out as soon as the doctor said it was okay to do so. But as a new mom, I soon discovered the challenge of fitting exercise into my daily routine. True, I have had the good fortune of spending my maternity leave back home in Asia, surrounded by family who can help me look after Baby K. Yet I still struggle sometimes to find time in the day for fitness. The problem is, I never really get a good chunk of time to do anything at length. I always heard about how babies need constant attention. I’m now experiencing that firsthand for myself. It’s always a spare 20 to 30 minutes here or there. Maybe if I’m lucky, I get a couple hours to myself when the baby is napping during the day.

But where there's a will, there's a way! I recently started setting aside 30 minutes in the morning for exercise and have managed to stick with reasonable success. On days when I’m feeling lazy or plans go astray, I still try to do some yoga stretches or go for a walk with the baby. Currently, I’m doing the 30 day squat and plank challenge, a great way to firm up the quads, hamstrings, abs, and butt and strengthen the back! The combination workout targets multiple muscle groups so it's a great postnatal workout for new moms who want to tone up. And the best part? It can be done anywhere - in the nursery while the baby naps, in your office cubicle, in the park, or in the bathroom if you so choose! I’m hoping I’ll see results by the end of the 30 days (I'm only on day 6 so far). Watch out for a post-challenge report on the blog!

Check out the 30 day squat and plank challenge schedule I put together below. 
A few additional tips:
  • Please be sure to follow correct form and technique for these exercises (Youtube videos for squats and planks)
  • Try to follow up this short exercise with lower body stretches so that you aren’t sore the next day. (Some yoga stretches that I found helpful were pigeon poselizard pose, and the kneeling hamstring stretch)
  • Remember to breathe while doing squats and planks! For squats, breath in as you bend low, breathe out as you stand up
  • For more intensive squats, sink low and try to get your thighs parallel to the floor
  • You can do the squats and planks in whatever order you want - it's up to you!
  • If the number of squats is getting too much for you, you can break them up throughout the day or build them into a longer workout. For example,  on the day you have to do 100 squats, you could do 25 squats at four different times in the day. Or you could do 25 squats after every 10-15 minutes of running on the treadmill
  • Partner up with a friend for this fitness challenge - it’s more fun that way and you’re more likely to stick through the whole month!

2 comments:

  1. WOW..this workout looks intense.
    Way to go girl.

    Aditi
    So-Saree
    www.sosaree.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  2. how does this work? you do half the squats then a plank and then rest half of squats?

    ReplyDelete

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