As a trainer, I hear a lot of misconceptions about fitness. I hear a lot of excuses about why people can't/don't/won't begin an exercise program, or why they can't maintain one. I have said it before, and I'll say it again and again, working out sucks! It can be very hard to fit a substantial workout in to our busy lives, especially when those busy lives involve tiny, needy creatures sucking all of the life out of us. Constantly. Every. Waking. Minute. Or, hey, maybe you don't have kids, but you have a boss, and that not-so-tiny creature is just as needy.
Over the next few months, I'll be tackling some misconceptions of exercise. I'll be looking at these excuses, disecting them, and finding you some solutions. You're welcome.
Today's excuse is one I hear from a LOT of people. Daily. Even if they aren't my clients.
I'm here to burst your bubble, moms and dads, but let's be real, mostly mom, hanging out with your kid all day is not a workout. Is it tiring? Hell Yes! The mental warfare my little shites pull all day is enough to drive anyone to the bottle of Zoloft I have strategically placed next to the coffee grinds. I'm shocked if I stay awake much past their bed time, because shit, man, parenting all day is exhausting. It isn't a workout though. I'm sorry.
I guess there are exceptions, like your kid is a running or climbing protege and you are literally chasing them with an elevated heart rate for 60-90 consecutive minutes, five days a week. If that is you, then hot damn! Way to go!
For the rest of us, bending over to tickle little Harold, wipe his cute, poopy butt, or walk clean(ish) folded(ish) laundry up the stairs 8,000 times a day, isn't working out. It's getting your Fitbit happy with some steps, but it isn't going to put a serious dent in your caloric deficit. Throwing legos that you've had to peel out of your foot into a window isn't the same as a shot-put workout either (side note: I effing HATE legos...and Play-doh). Fear not, my fellow mothers, I'm here to help make "chasing your toddler all day" actually work to your benefit.
Don't do anything to change the activities of your day. You won't be having to go purchase a $400 jogging stroller or a new bike, just do you. Unloading the dishwasher? Cool. After every trip you make to the cupboard, do 10 pushups on the counter.
Need to do laundry? Try doing a wall sit while you fold. Take breaks as you need to, but folding while lifting your sweet ass, kind of amazing. Before you start, maybe separate the clothes into like items, fold all of the shirts together while doing a wall sit, when you're done with the shirts, take a :15 rest and move on to the next group of like items.
Time to put away the laundry? Walking lunges! You can do this as a method of travel all over your house if you'd like. Just be sure to keep your toes in front of your knee so you don't get hurt. And watch out for those mother effing Legos.
Make a wager with little Betsy. If she's anything like the fools I birthed, she loves a challenge. Teach her how to do a Burpee and then tell her you can do more than her. Then beat her. You'll feel good about yourself, your body will feel better, and Betsy might get so mad about losing (like my little Norah) that she'll go sulk in a corner for 10 minutes and you can get some coffee or pee with the door closed!
I hope these little exercises will give you a little extra pep in your step. You can also throw in some jumping jacks while your kids are on the trampoline, or destroying the grown up zone in your house. Try and do :30 bursts throughout the day. Maybe even :60.