Mum life is hectic. Not only are you trying to juggle all your balls, you are also trying to juggle all of your little persons balls (and sometimes not so little persons 🙄). You know you need to exercise, you start your day with the best of intentions, but often you get to the end of your day so exhausted that the thought of doing some exercise is now just a hazy memory.
BUT HANG ON, exercise doesn’t have to be that heart raising group fitness class down at the local gym that goes for exactly 60 minutes. There are other ways you can move more (aka exercise) through your day.
Yes, it’s a not so little secret….incidental exercise!
Incidental what? I hear you say? Incidental exercise is any activity built up in small amounts over the day.
I know, I know – the thought of moving more through your day is already exhausting but weirdly by moving more it helps to boost your daily energy expenditure and keep your energy going. Plus, there is the huge array of health benefits such as maintaining your strength and fitness for everyday functional activity, promoting weight loss if that’s one of your goals and benefiting your mental health and general well being.
Why does it work so well for mums?
- Every minute you are active adds up, so if you can’t get to do a formal workout, you have may still have done a decent amount of activity through the day.
- It’s a great place to start if you have been inactive for awhile.
- Many people can find it easier to be active in lots of little ways through the day.
Here are my top 10 ways I increase my movement while at home with the kiddies:
- Housework. Yes, I know, I’ve started with the most boring job of all. But it ain’t boring if you pop on some music and boogy away. The kids might laugh but hopefully they join in with you!
- Ad Break Challenges. Challenge your children to do some squats, pushups, tricep dips, crunches etc during the ad breaks. Who can get the best score? If you are still on ABCKids and haven’t graduated to ad break TV yet, that’s cool – change the challenge; do two squats everytime Peppa Pig snorts….you get the idea.
- Pace around while you are on the phone. Gone are the days of getting tangled in the telephone cord, that is so 1990’s – walk around while you chat and get your steps up!
- Grocery Shopping. Ok, I know this is almost as bad as housework. But let’s break it down here – 25 metre aisles x 10 aisles = 250 extra metres you are walking. Shall we add weights? Go shopping trolly-less. Yes, that’s really playing with fire!
- Try not to sit still for more than half an hour each day. *Every mum snorts into her coffee* 🤣 Sit still? What a luxury!
- Have a walking coffee date. Why do we need to go to a cafe for our friend dates? oh, well I guess if you snorted to number 5 the answer may be obvious here…..but if you want to get that movement going, have a walking coffee date instead. If the kids are in tow that’s fine, you don’t need to be breaking any world record walking times.
- Join in on your children’s activity. I found myself the other day climbing the slippery dip so that I could be ‘the tunnel’ for my children. I secretly enjoyed it though 😝. Why let them have all the fun? Slippery dip, flying fox, monkey bars here I come!
- Play a physical game. Children aren’t spending their time judging you when you play with them, they are too busy being excited that mum is joining in. Have a running race (if your children are like mine, I have to ‘lose’ everytime anyway…), play soccer, basketball, relay races, ninja warriors, superhereos, hopscotch, hoolahoops…..
- Obstacle Course. No need to wait for the annual Miss Muddy event. Make your own obstacle course at home minus the mud – or not!
- Interactive Video Games. Are they even called ‘video games’ anymore? I’m not sure, but I do know that there are a heaps of interactive ones out there. If you can’t get your teenager off the console, then join them!