You’re inspired to join a boot camp class — until you read the class times. Whether 6 a.m. or 6 p.m., you’ve got kids hanging off you and a household to maintain, and push-ups pale in comparison.
But you don’t have to bid adieu to solid abs and sculpted shoulders quite yet. Save your babysitting time and money and do a little boot camp in every room of your house, while fixing dinner and maintaining that all-important quality time with the family.
That’s what Toronto-based Sarah Green, certified fitness instructor and mom to two boys, recommends to her class participants. Mostly parents, they’re always looking for exercises to do at home while tending to the kids. Here are Sarah’s suggestions for the hot zones in the house.
• Try doing step-ups on a stool while you wait for food in the microwave. Step up with the right foot, up with the left, down with the right, down with the left. Switch lead legs halfway through the time on your microwave. • While putting away dishes, reach up on your tiptoes to strengthen calf muscles. Lunge into movements while putting away dishes in lower cupboards.
• Cleaning up food crumbs and milk spray under the table is a fact of life. While you’re down there, crank out 10 full push-ups. • Waiting for the tykes to munch their food (and not eating with them)? Try 10 reverse lunges on each leg. It’s also a good lead-in to talking about the importance of eating good healthy fuel to make our bodies work in a variety of ways.
• While hanging out with the kids, try holding a plank position for 30 seconds, working your way up to a minute. Teach your kids the move and cheer each other on. It’s also a good way for new babies to enjoy some tummy time with mom. • Work some jumping jacks, burpees, or squats jumps into a fun game of “Malfunctioning Robot” or “Friendly Monster.” Or put on your favourite music — it could be Raffi or Rihanna — and show your kids how to bust a move. • Crawl on the floor to put toys away. Engage your core and feel the abs work to pull your knees in and reach with the arms. • Lying on your back, lift your baby or toddler in the air for an airplane ride that is fun for them and challenging for you.
• While supervising a kid on the potty, drop down to plank position on your hands. Then bring one knee in toward the chest, alternating legs in a mountain climber move. Do 10 on each side. Junior still taking care of business? Switch up the move to bring your knee to the opposite shoulder. • When the kids are in the tub, you need to be close — so how about triceps dips on the edge of the bathtub? It’s sure to elicit giggles from the tub occupants
After all that, you’ve groaned, sweated a bit, laughed and burned calories, while still getting stuff done and being with the kids. Plus, the tykes saw their parent actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle, setting the stage for them to also make fitness a priority in their lives.
What other clever ways are there to sneak in fitness?
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