originally posted at Extraordinary Mom's Network 10/13/08
OK, folks, let’s face it. As we get older we get wider.
I don’t know why that happens, but it does.
After 3 kids, a combined total of 19 weeks on bedrest, and 2 cesarean sections I got quite a bit wider. “Broad in the beam,” you might say.
Yet, when on earth am I supposed to exercise?? I mean REALLY!!?? I had 3 kids under the age of 3 1/2. Sheesh.
So, I started doing some very silly little things that would increase how often I used certain muscles throughout the day.
Now, I will tell you that this ain’t the way to get the scale to plummet, but it has strengthened some of the major muscle groups and given me more tone. Plus, after awhile, it becomes habit….which is good, cuz those kids bankrupted my memory bank. That, however, is fodder for another day.
So, here you have more or less 10 things to do throughout your day to help strengthen the body and increase the metabolism.
When my oldest was a newborn I started lifting him over my head using both hands while sitting or lifting him straight up while leaning back in a recliner. 10 times in a row. Now, at that time he weighed less than six pounds. This wasn’t too hard. Now that my youngest weighs over thirty pounds, it’s a bit more of a workout.
But here’s the thing. Just do it everyday at a specified time of day. (Mine was before that early-morning feeding when my children were newborn, then that after-dinner-not-yet-time-for-bed-time as they got older). As the kiddo grows, you get stronger and it won’t be long till your arms and shoulders show it. This, by the way is a modified bench press and the kids LOVE IT.
The next thing I started doing was to squat to pick things up off the floor instead of bending at the waist. Come on, Moms, how many zillion times a day are we picking things up off the floor? OOO my legs ached when I first started this! But today I can squat with relative ease, this works the thighs, hips, and (oh the bane of a woman’s existence) the droopy buttcheeks.
Speaking of droopy buttcheeks. There are two very easy ways to fight the droop.
One, when you walk somewhere (everywhere), with each step clinch the cheek of the rear leg as you “push off” to take the next step. Make it a part of how you walk. John Wayne had the swagger, Mightymom has the step and squeeze.
Two, while laying in bed, waiting to fall asleep, squeeze each cheek 15-30 times. Every night. Buttcheeks are muscles, and if you use them they will shape up and start fighting gravity. (Boobs, I’m sorry to say, are NOT muscles … there’s no fight in them, no matter what you do.)
Now, the other thing that starts to droop is the belly. Cesareans are wonderful things….but they leave a crease over which that belly just wants to flop. So, to keep the belly flop in check, I started holding in my stomach like a teenage boy at a pep-rally. But I picked specific times of the day to do this. It seemed like I spent a fair amount of time either fixing meals, standing at the stove, stirring something or waiting on the microwave. So this became my ab workout time. Anytime I found myself standing in the kitchen I made a determined effort to hold my belly in tight. I noticed that when I stirred or brushed my teeth my belly jiggled….so that was a good time to hold it in too. Nowadays, my hubby does all the cooking, but I do spend a goodly amount of time programming those stupid IV pumps…so that’s now my ab workout time.
Also, when laying in bed waiting for sleep (I spend a lot of time waiting for sleep) I will lay on my back and just hold those ab muscles tight for a count of 30 or 50 or 100…..it’s a combination of an ab workout and counting sheep, clench the butt at the same time and you get a 3 for 1 combo pack.
When you have 3 rugrats crawling around and playing on the living room floor you tend to vacuum rather frequently. Now, as much fun as vacuuming is…you can up the workout by simply grabbing one of those hooligans and putting them on your hip for the ride, keeps them out of trouble too! I honestly don’t think I can remember how to vacuum without holding a kid…..just feels like I’m forgetting something. (FYI I started this because the baby (all 3) would always cry when the vacuum was going….but was ok being held.)
Another function of having 3 very young kids is how to go to the store. Mostly Subvet handled this, but every now and again you just have to go. Well, I usually had all 3 sit in the buggy….but getting them in and out of the buggy and getting the buggy put away was always a hassle. So I started parking next to the buggy bin in the parking lot. Even if it meant parking WAAAAAY FAAAR AWAAAAY from the doors. This way I could just grab my buggy, throw the kids in from the van and be on my way. Of course this resulted in doubling the amount of parking lot walking I did with each trip. But it was much safer as I never worried about one of them waltzing in front of an oncoming car.
I have also found myself spending a fair amount of time waiting in line for one thing or another. So I started going up on my toes and down the whole time I’m waiting. Looks impatient to the others in line, but really I’m just toning my calves a bit. Note, when you do this make sure and lift your toes too to stretch out those calves and prevent shin splints. You’ll look like a kid rocking on your heels teeheehee.
Being a stay at home mom gets lonely at times. When I get lonely I tend to get on the phone and start yakking with people. I usually have my knees crossed and a kid hanging off my foot while I yakk, and am lifting said kid up and down. Remember to change legs periodically and this is just as good or better than the weight machine at the gym for working those thighs.
The other thing I tend to do is to dance. I dance all the time…to anything. The kids and I know all the dance routines to all the Wiggles and Barney songs….and we make up routines to everyone else’s songs. Not to mention the radio. It doesn’t matter what your dancing looks like, if you’re up and moving it’s more than you’d be doing otherwise.