Update: I wrote this silly exercise post 5 years ago, back in 2013, pre kids. I now have 2 little ones and I thought it would be fun to share how I keep up my home exercise “routine” these days. Routine is in quotes because there is no routine. Here’s the quick update on my exercise routine: we walk a lot. Even though the number on the scale has not changed much, I swear stuff has moved!
Below is the original post from April 23, 2013. You can find my updates in italics.
That’s right I do lunges while I brush my teeth. I call it multi tasking my BlissDom (blog conference) roomies called me nuts. I seriously assumed it was normal practice to stretch in the bathtub and do squats for a 2 minute teeth brush session, but after a little facebook post, I realized that not everyone does that. After a few emails and tweets I learned that some people DID want to know more about my my exercise practice I call: Easy exercises to do at home. I’m here to tell you how I exercise everyday and don’t run or have a gym membership or really even spend any extra time exercising.
So, love is a little strong. But, I don’t want my gymnastics muscle residue to turn to fat and I don’t want to pay for a gym membership, not to mention I wouldn’t know what to do with weight machines even if I did go to the gym! I choose to do my old school gymnastics conditioning moves throughout my day. Note: I don’t do all of these things everyday, I just do them as they fit into my every day life.
10 Ways to Add Exercise to your Daily Life
1. Parking “trick”
Park far away at Target. And it’s not just Target, any big box store in a crowded parking lot. So this exercise trick does 2 things for me. 1) I don’t get angry in the parking lot, I just go to the back and park. 2) I walk (usually really fast) into Target and get a few extra steps in for the day.
Like I said above, most of my exercise these days comes from walking. I’m lucky to live in an area where the kids and I can walk to 6+ parks, 3 grocery stores, tons of restaurants/ food trailers, music class, and the kids museum. So, I push 2 kids in a stroller to the grocery store a few days a week and walk to at least one park almost every day. On the weekends, Andy and I go on long walks. Typically 3+ miles where we go eat breakfast and then do something fun with the kids. Mila rides in the stroller and Max gets to choose between his scooter or his bike.
2. Bathtub stretching
Stretch in the bathtub. I don’t take tons of baths, but when I do, I always stretch. This tip probably won’t work if you’re over 5’9, because you won’t be able to fully stretch out your legs. Here’s what I do: Pike stretches, pull my flexed feet back, try to touch my head to my knees. I think the bathtub is the perfect place for stretching since your muscles are already warmed up!
I still love to do this when I can! But, baths?! Ha! Who has time for that? Ironically, I likely stretch more these days, typically when I’m “playing” with the kids on the the floor in their room. I’m a retired gymnast, stretching is in my bones or uhh… ligaments? I also stretch in the shower!
3. Walkie talkie
When I talk on the phone, I walk around the block. If I know the conversation is going to be longer than 15 minutes, I just step outside and start walking. Walking around the block also provides privacy! No snoopy Andy wondering what I’m talking about, ha! #multitaskingpro #gettingintheextrasteps
I remember the days! I occasionally take a phone call if both kids are strapped into the stroller, but both kids are only ever both in the stroller if we walking to the grocery store. Otherwise Maxwell insists on riding his bike. In which case, there is no talking on the phone while walking leisurely.
4. Lunges while brushing my teeth
I exercise while I brush my teeth. I have a sonicare toothbrush with a built in 2 minute timer. So, while I’m brushing I pick an activity to do. I don’t count, I just do the named activity for 2 minutes. I’ve been on a lunge kick, but I’ve also been known to do wall sits, calf raises, or squats while brushing my teeth. I like lunges because they allow me to move around. I like to lunge up and down the hallway, not just in one place… go figure, ha!
I still do this one! My favorite move these days is calf raises on the edge of the bathtub! And then after the timer goes off, stretch your calves for a few seconds on the edge of the bathtub. You won’t regret it.
5. Counter push ups
Counter push ups in the kitchen. This happens for most often when I’m baking cookies or roasting veggies and staring at the timer. I usually pick a number, let’s say 50. Then I tell myself I have to do 50 counter push ups before the next batch of cookies comes out of the oven. I might do 2 sets of 25 or whatever… oh and switch it up with wide arm and arms close together.
I still do this one too.
6. Commercial exercise
Andy and I have a few TV shows we really like, like Parks and Rec and Seinfeld. So, while we’re watching, I will sit in the straddle on the floor and then on the commercials I’ll do 30 crunches or something of the sort. I like to have goals, like by the end of the show I will have done 100 sit ups. Then I don’t feel guilty about watching TV and wasting time!
By the time I get myself in bed these days, there is no thought of exercise. Not to mention, we haven’t had cable in years, so commercials don’t exists, ha!
7. Squat and pee
(I can’t believe I just typed that!) So, in public restrooms or even sometimes at home… I do the “hover” for 30 seconds or so. Talk about multi- tasking, ha! Come on, I know y’all “hover” too! And it’s good exercise!
I still can’t believe I typed that! #AndStillTrue
8. Kid toys
Hula hoops, jump ropes and trampolines are fun. There’s are a lots of bars and restaurants in Austin these days that have hula hoops for patrons to play with. Guess who always hula hoops? Me! Me! Here is Andy hula hooping recently… you have to watch his moves, ha!
Andy and I also jump rope occasionally, we need to that more. Oh and one day we will own a trampoline, I super love those things. Pogo sticks, rip sticks, razor scooters and unicycles are fun too. My little brothers are into Razor scooters and they used to be hard core rip sticker-ers. We had a unicycle growing up, but that thing is Dangerous, with a capital D!
Sadly, Vine is gone now so you can’t see Andy’s ridiculous hula hoop moves. I still love trampolines and one day, we will have one in our backyard! But, the kids and I do use hula hoops outside on the regular. I rake leaves a lot too. It’s like vacuuming, but better. And I feel like I’m being productive while the kids play outside.
9. Take the stairs
Maybe I’m just a maniac, but I can easily get myself in a tiff if I take the escalator or the moving sidewalk in the airport and a super slow person is in front of me. So this bit of exercise ensures that I end up at my desired location with a few more steps and a calm demeanor. I am nuts, huh?!
I’m still an avid stair taker. And I even do it with both kids in tow. It helps wear Maxwell out, and I carry a 25 lb weight! Win- win. Maybe? You can see my adorable 25 lb weight above.
Handstand contests. Or hula hoop contests. I was a gymnast most of my life, so I like handstands and cartwheels and what not. I also love a friendly competition. Handstands are good for you and I even think a good handstand can cure a headache! If you can’t do a handstand practice walking your feet up the wall and holding it for as long as you can. Once you’re comfortable with that, start practicing in the grass, and now you’re ready for a handstand contest! Who can hold it the longest?! And if handstands aren’t your thing, grab the hula hoops!
I still do lots of handstands at home! I swear going upside down cures headaches. Andy thinks I’m nuts, but you should give it a try. So, here’s another move I’ve added to my repertoire, do a handstand, I always do mine against our pantry door, typically this happens while the kids are having a snack. Then, touch one hand to a shoulder, and then the other hand to the other shoulder, and repeat until you’re tired.
I still do most of the exercises on my list, but to sum up my new exercise routine at home with kids, here’s what I do most:
- Walk, a lot while pushing a stroller. I like to walk with a destination in mind, not just around the block.
- Rake leaves. Or yard work in general.
- Do hanstands.
- Stretch while “playing” with the kids.
- Stairs. I even let Maxwell talk me into walking about multiple flights of parking garages just to see a view!
So what do you think? Am I nuts? How do you exercise? I wish I liked to run, really I do. It’s just so hard and boring for me. I like to walk with friends. Do you have any other tips for adding exercise to your daily with kids? I’d love to hear…