Having little ones at home can leave you feeling like you don't have a spare second in the day. Between rushing to and from school and picking the little ones up from activities and trying to squeeze in daily errands too, it's no wonder that the average mother only gets 17 minutes of 'me time' each day. So how can you fit in exercise when you have no time? We give you all the tips you need along with with a working mom workout routine for you to try.
How can I find time to workout with kids?
Finding time to exercise as a working parent can feel almost impossible, but it doesn't have to be! Try some of our ideas and see if you can fit exercise into your busy day.
1. Get a training buddy
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to partner up. Whether it's a work colleague, your husband/wife, a friend, or a family member, working out together can make things more fun and interesting. Not only this, but if you have someone to be accountable to and someone who you will let down if you skip your session, you'll be more motivated to get that training session done!
2. Utilise playtime
When it's your child's playtime, get involved and burn some calories! If you have an energetic toddler, run around with them by playing adrenaline-fuelled games that involve running or chasing. If your children are a little older, find games where you can both get active, especially in the garden if it's summer time as there are lots of benefits to training outdoors.
3. Try dancing
Dancing is something that burns a lot of calories, will get you up and active, and can be very fun! If your children are very energetic, put on some music and dance away. This will not only help them burn off that extra energy and get you moving, it can be a great bonding experience.
4. Swap your car for walking or cycling
By combining your errands with exercise, you can make the time to get active without compromising any of your daily activities. Try walking or cycling to the shops instead of driving, or walking your children to school. It may be easier than you think to get around without your car!
5. Exercise before you start your day
By getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual, you could fit in an entire workout and start your day right. There are lots of workouts you can do in under 30 minutes, like this 5-minute punchbag workout, 10-minute tabata workout, or this 20-minute home workout. Even a short workout is better than no workout at all, and it'll energise you for a productive day. If you don't want to get up earlier than you already do, try this lunchtime HIIT workout instead.
How can a stay at home mum lose weight?
There are lots of tips and tricks to losing weight if you are a stay-at-home parent. Follow these dos and don'ts to make sure you're staying healthy while at home with the little ones.
1. Don't eat anything you wouldn't feed to your kids
There are lots of things you wouldn't feed to your children because the salt or sugar content it too high, so why feed them to yourself? A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you wouldn't give it to your child because of the ingredients, you should avoid it yourself too. Stick to whole foods and try to avoid anything overly processed or pre-packaged.
2. Don't snack mindlessly
If you find yourself in a rare moment of calm when your child is playing happily alone or watching a television show, it can be tempting to mindlessly eat food that you don't really need. Avoid temptation by not having snacks in the house, and stick to eating at set times.
3. Do make mealtime an occasion
If mealtime is an occasion to look froward to when you eat together with your kids, you'll be less likely to have an unstructured day. Try to have at least one meal a day together as a family where you sit at a table and focus on what you're eating, rather than grabbing whatever is nearby because you're so rushed off your feet. This might mean deliberately making time for it in your day, but it will be worth it ultimately.
4. Don't eat through stress
Being at home on your own with the kids all day can get pretty stressful. If tempers raise and tantrums ensue, make sure you're not reaching for food as comfort. Comfort eating is something that many of us do without realising and can be an almost impossible habit to break. As above, not having any temptation in the house will help with this and always count slowly to 10 before you eat a snack so that you're not eating it out of a stressed panic.
5. Do make food fun and creative by getting the children involved
Getting your kids to help in the kitchen is a fantastic way to bond and to help them develop vital skills for later in life. Let them get creative by coming up with new recipes and help them with the cooking. If you really want sweet treats, bake cookies or cupcakes together so that you really feel you've earned them and can have fun in the process.
Working mom workout routine
If you have kids at home or are pregnant, try this working mom home workout routine by Sundried ambassador Carly Newson.
We often go for the traditional approach to exercise and stick to the tried and tested methods. We jog, run, cycle, weight train and so on, but have you ever thought of trying something new?
Fitness crazes are something we are used to seeing come and go because people can’t help but invent new ways to do things. A lot of sports just modify themselves slightly and create a craze that sticks. Spinning, for example, has become a massive hit and a great way to keep fit.
So what else is there as an alternative for those who want to shape it up?
Hula hooping is a great way to get fit as it raises your heart rate, improves your cardiovascular performance, and will strengthen and tone your core, arms, legs, and back. If you'd like to know more about hula hooping, check out our ambassador Emma Barrett who does hula hooping full-time!
Pole fitness classes have gained a lot of popularity recently as a new way to get in shape. They are a fun and social way of getting fit as well as strong as it is very hard work! Pole fitness will improve your balance and coordination as well as your cardiovascular fitness and it's a great way to spend the evening with your friends. Pole fitness is suitable for both men and women.
If normal yoga isn't enough for you, then you may want to try aerial yoga. By supporting your body weight on an aerial sling, you will be able to achieve yoga poses and deep stretches in a more relaxed way. One of the primary features of using a yoga hammock is its ability to take pressure off the spine and joints as you practice stretches and positions with the support of the sling.
Ballet dancing is classically a great way to keep in shape but it takes a lot of discipline and a lifetime of practice. A ballet barre is a straight bar attached to the wall which ballerinas use to support them while they practice and hold demanding isometric movements. Isometric holds are exercises that you do while not moving (think of the plank.) A modern barre workout is one that has been adapted to suit modern gyms and uses weights and yoga poses to help you achieve a better posture and more toned physique.
Trampolining is another gym-based workout that is gaining a lot of popularity. Using mini-trampettes, these classes are high intensity and fast-paced meaning you are bound to work up a sweat! This is a fairly specialised workout so your local commercial gym may not offer it, but if you go on the look out you will be able to find a gym nearby that offers this type of class. Check out this video of a trampolining class in action!
Exercise is supposed to be enjoyable and it is worth exploring some alternatives whenever you can. The body gets used to the same type of training very quickly, so if you do the same thing at the gym every day you will stop noticing any changes in your fitness and physique.
Summer is finally here, which means it’s the perfect time to exercise outdoors! Outdoor workouts are great because you can bathe in the glorious sunshine and reap the extra health benefits of the vitamin D exposure from the rays. Getting active in the sun can be social too; get your friends or family to join you so that you can all get fit together! No more hours spent staring at a blank wall in the gym, it’s time to get out there and learn to enjoy moving again!
This outdoor workout can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment so you can do it whenever the mood strikes. Maybe in your garden, while the kids play, or maybe in the park with your friends. Always remember to warm up properly before a workout and stay hydrated by always having a water bottle with you.
The first round is a small circuit comprising of 5 exercises. Aim to complete each exercise for 60 seconds with no rest. If you are a beginner or you have an underlying injury, take it at your own pace and rest whenever you need. If you want more information on how to do an exercise, click the name of the exercise.
The second round is based on a Tabata style of HIIT training. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is a great way to burn fat and get fit. Tabata consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, and you can repeat that as many times as you like with as many different exercises as you like. In this workout, you'll be completing 8 rounds (1 round = 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest) to last 4 minutes with all different exercises. Go straight from one round to the next until you are finished.
Your final round is based more on body-weight strength training. You don't need equipment to have a good workout! Complete 3 sets of 10 reps on each of the following exercises with 30-60 seconds of rest in between each one. This is a full body workout which will target every muscle group. Take the exercises slow and perform each repetition with care, focussing on the muscle under tension.
Well done for completing the Sundried Summer Workout! On completion of this workout, you should really be feeling the effects! If not, you can either work harder or make the exercises tougher! Remember, exercise is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, and you should fuel your body with nutritious food afterwards. If you find a particular workout boring, don't make yourself suffer by doing it! Find something you love, and you will find that staying fit has never been so easy.
The shoulders are a body part that can get neglected. Ask anyone which body part they'd like to change, not many people will say 'shoulders'. But having strong, sculpted shoulders is an important part of keeping fit. Follow Sundried's shoulder workout to get strong shoulders and get admirable shape in your upper body.
Complete 20 of each of these exercises to warm up your body so you are limber and ready to exercise.
- Forward and Backwards Arm Circles
- Torso twists
- Star Jumps
- Heel Flicks
- High Knees
Pike Push Ups
Start as though you were about to complete a regular push up with your arms extended beneath your shoulders in a plank position. To complete a pike push up you now bring your bum into the air as high as you can and complete a push up from this position. This puts more focus onto the shoulders. You’re going for 12.
Lie on your side and place your elbow directly underneath your shoulder with your forearm flat on the floor. Push your side up so you’re propped up on your elbow, keeping your body streamlined with your hips lifted. Hold here for 30 seconds, before switching and repeating on the other side.
Plank With Dumbbell Row
For this move, you’ll need a pair of dumbbells. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, come into an extended plank. Leading with the elbow, lift your dumbbell up towards your armpit in a row. Return the dumbbell to the floor in an extended plank position and then repeat the other side. You should complete 12 on each side, alternating arms each time.
Round The World
Still using your dumbbells, start in a standing position. Hold your dumbbells in front of you with your palms facing away from you and your arms straight so your hands are in line with your hips. Create a slight bend in the elbow and then circle the arms up above the head and in a large circle. Bring them back down to your hips, that's one rep. Try 15 and feel the burn in your shoulders!
Shrug and Roll
Relax. Raise your shoulders up towards your ears and give them a roll, circling forwards and backwards.
Bend and Stretch
Bend over and let your upper body hang loose, if your arms are dangling against the floor, grab your forearms to allow a further stretch.
Cross-Body Reach Behind The Head
Lift your right arm straight up, then bend at the elbow and let the hand fall behind your head. Bend your left arm round and reach towards the right hand. Your aiming for them to meet by your shoulder blades. Swap and do the same for the other side.
Our arms are one of the most commonly exposed body parts. Being body-confident is important for our self-esteem and so being proud of a toned pair of arms can go a long way. Follow Sundried's ultimate arm blast workout routine to tone your arms and never feel afraid of wearing a short sleeved top again!
Complete 20 of each of these exercises to warm your body up so you are limber and ready to exercise.
Forward and Backward Arm Circles
Grab a dumbbell in each hand, taking an underhand grip (with your little finger closest to the top of the dumbbell). Start by holding the weights in front of your face, maintaining a slight bend in the arm, circle the weights around your head, complete 10 reps clockwise and then 10 reps counter-clockwise.
Start with your feet just outside shoulder width and select a pair of dumbbells you can hold extended out to your sides in line with your shoulders. Keeping your arms held out straight, rotate at the hip to bring one dumbbell towards the floor, shaving down your leg until it is just over the foot. At this point, your other arm should be extended above your head. Slowly, keeping your arms extended, hitch at the hips to reverse the movement towards the opposite leg. Complete 10 reps per side.
Hindu Push Up
Start in a downward dog position, making sure you push through your heels to lengthen the hamstrings. Leading with your nose, dive your head down through your hands and then up towards the ceiling to extend into upward dog. Reverse the movement by pushing your bum back into the air to return to the start position.
Find a bench, table or even your sofa to perform dips from. Placing your hands on the edge of the sofa, extend your legs out straight in front of you, keeping your hips lifted. Bend at the elbow to a 90॰angle and then lift your weight back to the start position. You can make this exercise easier by bringing your legs in, which puts less of your weight on your triceps. Complete 10.
Sit down with your legs extended straight in front of you and your arms by your side. Place your palms on the floor and lift your hips up towards the ceiling, so your body forms a diagonal line. Hold for 30 seconds, without letting your hips drop!
Diamond Push Ups
Diamond push ups focus on the triceps. Place your hands close together so your fingers and thumbs touch to form a diamond shape. This is the position you’re going to push up from. If 10 full push-ups are too tough, try taking it to your knees for now and work your way up.
Sumo Squat with Jab and Cross
Start in a wide squat position, with a light pair of dumbbells in hand and your feet pointing outwards. Sink into a squat, keeping your chest lifted and from here jab and cross punch in front of you, holding your weights for added resistance. Complete 30 seconds.
Bend and Stretch
Bend down keeping your legs straight to stretch your hamstrings and back, then rotate your shoulders and bring your hands behind your neck with extended arms, you can clasp your palms together or hold a resistance band or towel to create extra tension.
Overhead Tricep Stretch
Place one arm above your head and fold at the elbow, using the other hand push your elbow towards your head until you feel a stretch across your tricep, hold and then repeat for the other side.