Mothers can benefit significantly from meeting the recommended guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Aside from reducing the risk of several health issues, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, regular exercise can help moms cope with the demands of motherhood by giving them a boost of energy and considerable relief from daily stress.
Unfortunately, despite its value, exercise is not a high priority for busy mothers who already have a lot on their plates. Between parenting duties, family responsibilities, and sometimes work commitments, it’s certainly a challenge to find the time to go to the gym and work out.
Perhaps you’re one of the many busy moms who would like to exercise but struggle to include regular physical activity in their schedules. If so, consider doing it at home whenever you have a few minutes until your next task or appointment. These exercises are simple enough that even beginners can do them at home—no special gym equipment is needed. So, put on your comfy shirt and leggings and try these exercises out!
Side Leg Raises
This exercise routine will help strengthen and shape your hips, thighs, and buttocks for better posture, body stability, muscle endurance, and core strength, among others. Perhaps the best thing about a side leg raise is that it’s low-impact and hardly strenuous. All you have to do is lie on your left side with your left arm holding your head and your legs extended. Then, raise your right leg toward the ceiling as high as you can and hold for a few seconds. Bring your leg back down slowly, and repeat ten times. Do ten leg lifts on the other side as well.
Try to complete this exercise in bed right after waking up in the morning to boost your energy. You can also do this routine when your child is busy playing on the floor. Just lie next to them and do your leg raises. Better yet, ask your kids to try this exercise with you.
Squat exercises help engage your core muscles, strengthen your lower body, and prevent knee and ankle injuries. You can also improve your flexibility and firm up your behind if you do this routine regularly. To squat the right way, stand straight with your feet apart and parallel to each other. Place your hands on your thighs, then slowly bend your knees to a 90-degree angle as if you’re sitting on a chair, making sure to engage your abdominal muscles as you do so. Hold this position for five seconds before going back to a standing stance. Make sure to keep your posture straight as you do this routine.
You can complete a set of five or ten squats while doing laundry, waiting for meals to cook, or picking up toys. If you have a toddler, try squatting while holding them to engage more muscles and increase the difficulty level of your exercise.
Aside from improving strength, flexibility, and balance, this exercise is also an excellent way to maintain muscle mass and bone density in your lower body and prevent injuries. To perform a lunge, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips, then take a step forward using your right leg. Lower your body until you create a 90-degree angle with both knees. Bring your hips back up, and then return to your starting position. Step forward using the opposite leg and repeat.
Try doing two sets of ten lunges per leg before organizing your groceries, as you cook dinner, or before going to bed. If you want to increase the intensity of this routine, you can hold your baby or a bag of groceries while lunging.
Walking in Place
If you haven’t exercised in a while, walking in place is probably the best routine to help you get back to an active lifestyle. This exercise is ultra-easy and low-impact, yet it can help boost your heart rate and metabolism, improve blood circulation, and burn calories. An article by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America even stated that a 10-minute walk might be as effective as a 45-minute workout in reducing anxiety and depression. Most importantly, you can walk in place anytime and anywhere.
Consider walking in place for ten minutes as you fold the laundry, wash the dishes, or vacuum around the house. You can also try jumping or running in place if you want a more challenging routine.
Aside from lower-body exercises, you can also do arm curls to boost upper-body strength and build arm muscles. This exercise is pretty straightforward. Hold onto a couple of full water bottles or food cans and drop your arms to the side. With your palms facing forward, use your biceps to pull the items up toward your shoulders. Bring them back down slowly while engaging your arm muscles.
Do five to ten arm curls whenever you’re in the kitchen, or you can grab your makeshift weights and walk around the house with them. It’s best to use items of identical weight, so your muscles exert more or less the same amount of effort while flexing.
The routines above are just some of the many simple exercises you can do at home to boost your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Carry them out as you play with your kids, do the laundry, and perform other household tasks. These exercises may be short, but they can be just as effective as any workout session if you keep repeating them throughout the day—every day.