Winter forcing you to stay indoors? You’re not alone – one look outside at that never ending snow and the last you’re thinking is bundling up the wee one for a walk or let alone going to the gym! As a mom of 3 winter born little ones, I know that the days can get long and frustrating. Here’s a great 15 minute workout for you to do during nap time, play time or any time throughout your day to fend off the cabin fever and give you energy to manage your little ones as you stay warm and avoid those wind chills.
3 mins – warm-up
- Start walking of the spot or step touches – 1 minute
- 30 seconds of Jumping jacks – a great way to get yourself moving and body warmed up. Got a toddler at home – get them to jump along with you. Got a fussy little one – take out your carrier. Modify the jumping jack to either step touches or step toe taps. Make sure to bend your needs during the modification to get your heart rate going.
- 30 seconds of high knees jogging – Give yourself a target. Place your hands at hip level and touch your knees to your hands. Modify for your little one by taking out the jump and just continue with the high knees. Even incorporate you baby by softly tapping their bum with your knees – softly! – trust me – the giggles will instantly start.
- 30 seconds of step touch with large shoulder roll. Modify with your little one by lifting them up and down to open your arms.
- 30 seconds of boxers shuffle – shaking out your legs and arms and rolling your head from side to side. (you know like when their introducing the boxer “and in this corner ….)
Squats – great exercise for your legs and bum – and one you can easily incorporate with baby. Feet are shoulder width apart and facing forward. With a tall torso, bend down, sinking your bum as if you’re going to sit down. Ensure that your knees do not pass your toes and are in line with your ankles. You can have your wee one in your arms (either facing you and your arms extended, facing you and snuggling them close, or having them facing out, seated in your arms like a swing (depending on size/age).
Squat for 20 seconds – rest for 10 and repeat 4 times. Total time – 2 mins (4 sets of 20 seconds with 4 sets of 10 second rest) – Breathing – exhale down into the squat, inhale back to standing.
Standing ab crunches – Start with both hand extended over your head, with your belly button tucked into your spine. Lift one knee towards your chest and pull your arms down and if you’re pulling on a rope – alternate back and forth between legs. Keep your torso tall and hip level. Key is to crunch your midsection, not your back. Crunch for 20 seconds – rest for 10 and repeat 4 times. Total time – 2 mins (4 sets of 20 seconds with 4 sets of 10 second rest) – exhale as your crunch, inhale as your lengthen out
Heel pushes – move down towards the floor on your hands and knees. Lift your right leg up into 90 degrees, with your foot flat and facing the ceiling. Your hip and your knee should be level – this is starting position. Pulse/push your foot towards the ceiling, making sure not to drop your knee past hip level. Continue for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest – 4 times. Incorporate your little one by placing them between your arms for some fun faces and giggles. Repeat on your left side for another set of 4 20 seconds with 10 second rests.
Alternating leg drops – lay on your back with your hand tucked underneath your bum. Tuck your belly button right to your spine. Lift your legs straight in the air (modify with a slight bend if need be), lower your right leg to the point where your back begins to arch. As soon as you feel the arch, return your leg back up to starting. Alternate between your two legs, ensuring you bring your legs back together each time. This exercise attacks the lower (transverse abdominals) belly. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to lower your legs further and further. Continue for 20 seconds 4 times with a 10 second rest between each set.
- Core stretch: Lie flat on the ground with hands over your head, legs straight. Take a few deep breaths in and out. Then move your legs to feet flat on the ground, dropping your knees to one side, hands out in tea position and looking the opposite way of your knees. Take a few deep breaths in and out and then switch to the other side.
- Lying glute stretch: Still lying on the ground, feet flat on the ground, knees bent – bring your left foot to your right knee. Place your hands behind your right thigh and slowly lift your right knee (with the left foot still place on the knee) towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on other side
- Quad stretch: Standing (can use the wall for help), grab your right foot behind you and bring it to your bum. Ensure your hips are pushed out to feel the stretch through the top of your thigh. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat.
15 minutes – and your energized and feeling good about yourself.