After giving birth to my first child, it became glaringly obvious to me that finding time and motivation to exercise can be downright tricky. I realized that I needed to start incorporating exercise into the endless housework chores that now made up my day as a mother. And so, I created The Housework Workout.
A few things to note when doing this Housework Workout:
Yes, you will look like a complete dag doing it. Embrace it. Crank up some music, have fun, let the endorphins fly. (Your children will think you are the most entertaining person in the whole world, and isn’t that what matters most?!)
You can wear whatever suits. If you are still in your PJs, don’t waste time changing, just get moving.
Retrain yourself from thinking that you don’t have time for exercise; instead tell yourself that exercise will give you time. Studies have proven this. People who exercise are more productive than those that don’t. Why? Because exercise gives you energy. Surviving life as a parent requires energy, so we need to stay active.
As you load and unload the washing machine, squat down to do so. Stick your bum back as you squat down, pretending you are going to sit on a chair. As you come up, squeeze your butt cheeks together. Keep your knees straight over your toes and don’t let your knees go forward over your toes.
Kitchen sink glute activation
I don’t know about you, but I feel as though I spend hours standing at the kitchen sink. Now and again, do some glute activation exercises. Squeeze your butt cheeks together and hold for 5 seconds. Build up the time you hold for. Repeat as many times as you wish, each time thinking “I am getting a beautiful toned bum and this is really good for supporting my poor overworked back”.
Whenever you need to unpack the dishwasher, you can throw in at least a dozen lunges.
Lunge down and collect an item or two from the dishwasher. Keep knees and toes pointing straight ahead with your back knee dropping straight down as you lunge. As you go up and down, think about keeping the weight in the heel of the front foot and squeeze the butt cheek of the forward leg as you rise.
Toy tidy pelvic floor squeezes
When you are crawling around the floor picking up the countless toys, take the opportunity to do some pelvic floor squeezes. The all four position is a great way to really focus on squeezing the pelvic floor. Squeeze and hold for a count of 5 seconds then relax. Build up the time you hold for. Repeat as many times as you want. More the better!
High dusting calf raise
If you need to reach a high shelf or do some above-head dusting, stretch up on your toes and add in a few calf raises. This exercise won’t change your life or your body for that matter, but it’s a good one for circulation and restless legs often associated with pregnancy.
Did you know that people who live in houses with stairs are, on average, three kilos lighter than people who do not? This is a great example of how incidental exercise can add up to benefit your health. (If you are of the bigger busted type, this one is the exception to my “don’t bother changing out of your PJs” rule. You’ll need to throw a bra on for this one!)