Feeling too lethargic, too busy, or too bored to work out?
It’s time to throw those reasons out of the window. Here’s how
It’s another stare-down with your running shoes. Before you know it, your good intentions are out the window and you find yourself seated back down on the couch. Perhaps you’ve never been a gym rat. Or perhaps you took a long break from exercising when you fell off the bandwagon and now you’re finding it really tough to get back on track. It doesn’t matter what your excuses reasons are, here’re some clever ways to work fitness into your day.
#1 “I’m Too Busy”
If you are strapped for time, skip the gym and get into strength-training while you Netflix at home. Try to aim for 10 to 20 minutes of strength-training every day, doing two to three sets, with 10 reps of each exercise.
With arms straight and out to the sides, make circles with your hands. Do 10 circles in each direction to form one repetition, and repeat.
Start with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and shoulders rolled back and away from the ears. Inhale, bend your knees, stick out your butt and keep your back straight. Depending on how flexible you are, the perfect squat will have you sinking your hips below the knees.
Lie on your back, knees bent at a 90-degree angle and place your hands behind your head. Inhale and as you exhale, bring your face and knees towards each other, and squeeze those abdominal muscles.
#2 “I Hate to Exercise”
So you’re not in love with exercise, but you know how important it is for overall good health. Here’s how you can sneak workouts into your day (without going to the gym or heading out for a run):
Whether you’re rushing for the train or running late for an appointment, break into a brisk walk and keep to it for at least 10 minutes every day.
This is the perfect exercise for those who would rather sit down. A wall sit is an isometric exercise that works in a static position—you don’t have to move, you just have to hold the position. This move helps to build strength at the lower body over the duration of the hold; the longer you can hold the pose, the greater increase of muscle activation and strength. Here’s how to do it: Stand around two feet from a wall, lean your back against it, and sink your bottom down so that your legs form a 90-degree angle. For a start, hold the position for 15 seconds. You can hold it for a minute, two minutes, or however long you’re able.
Schedule a Date
Instead of heading out for movies or karaoke, why not go for an exercise date with a friend or partner? Focus on the socialising part, and the exercising part will pass by quickly. Biking or canoeing are great outdoor options, but if it starts to rain, bowling and rock-climbing are great wet-weather options too.
#3 “I’m a New Mum”
Between having to juggle breastfeeding, baby-sleeping schedules, nutritional diets, catching cat naps, working, and keeping the house in liveable condition, it’s all too easy to skip workouts. However, to be the best mummy you can be for a happy and healthy baby, you’ll first need to be happy and healthy yourself. Work these exercises into your daily routine to regain your strength after giving birth.
Walk 10,000 steps every day
Take baby out for longer walks in her stroller, or switch it up by going on regular evening strolls together with the rest of the family.
Practice Post-natal Yoga
Especially beneficial for new mums, post-natal yoga focuses on poses that help to strengthen the back muscles, pelvic floor, and core abdominal muscles. Deep-breathing exercises are also incorporated to dissolve tension and help bring about a sense of relaxation for the mind and body. Sivananda yoga teacher, Lay Peng, teaches pre-and-post natal yoga at The Yoga School with emphasis on alignment, mind-body connection, breath works, and relaxation. Check out her classes here (it is recommended that mothers start post-natal yoga four to six weeks after vaginal birth, and 10 to 12 weeks after a caesarean section).
Yoga With Baby
If stepping out regularly to attend yoga class is not an option, you can complement your practice by doing yoga at home with baby. If you’re attempting baby-wearing poses, skip the downward-facing poses like plank and downward dog.
– Downward Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) – This is a great strength-building pose that doesn’t require baby-wearing. Place your little one on his back on the yoga mat, facing you. And as you get into the downward-facing dog pose, maintain eye contact with baby. The pose may look simple but it is highly effective in building upper and lower body strength at the same time.
– Tree Pose (Vrksasana) – Stand with your feet together, holding baby in your arms. Slowly bend one knee, and place the sole of the foot against the calf of your standing leg (or your inner thigh, if you’re feeling especially balanced.) Bring your leg down and repeat on the other side. If you are still finding your balance, do this pose next to a wall to give you something to hold until you’re more stable.
– Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) – Get into the pose, then place baby on your hips. Let her sit facing you, with her back supported by your thighs. As you inhale, press your feet down and lift your hips upwards and away from the floor. Hold baby with both hands so that she doesn’t fall.