How to spring clean your health, Body Beyond Birth style
Have you ever been bored with your usual cardio work out exercises and stumped to figure out how to get out of your rut? I know I have. Going for my usual run or walk just doesn’t cut it sometimes.
We know Body Beyond Birth is a lot of fun, but sometimes it is nice to shake it up a little when it comes to incidental and extra work out routines.
Sure I can do some interval training where I change up my speed or the intensity which is great, but sometimes I need more than that. I need something to really make me smile!
So, what do I do? I look at my kids and take inspiration from them. The way they move and have fun is inspiring.
Now, hear me out before you think I’m completely crazy.
Kids are naturally adept at picking fun work out exercises for cardio and more.
Sit back and watch your kids – I mean really watch them.
They’re always on the move, they’re doing a variety of different activities and movements. At the end of the day they sleep well because they’re totally exhausted.
And they have fun doing it!
Let’s face it, with the amount of food they eat, they must be burning a lot of calories. To a kid, work out exercises aren’t something to struggle against. They are play time fun.
I can see you sitting there with a completely puzzled look on your face. So let me take this opportunity to talk you through some of my observations. And how your kids could very well inspire your next routine of work out exercises.
Crawling for health
Maybe the idea of crawling on your hands and knees in itself isn’t that challenging or appealing, but it can be with a few tweaks. I modify this to be more like a SpiderMan crawl.
I start off in a plank position and move my arms and legs forward so that I’m crawling on my hands and feet (rather than knees).
It’s really important to keep your tummy tucked in and your core on throughout this move. Keep your shoulders down and squeeze in between your shoulder blades.
This works nearly everything on your body; your abs, shoulders, arms, chest, mid back and butt.
Once you’ve got the hang of things, follow your kids around the room and make a game of it. They will totally love it and you’ll know you’ve been working out.
Bend, stretch and reach for the stars
Most of us have seen toddlers bend down to pick something up. It looks like they’re doing a full squat. Then they might reach straight up and stand tall to put something on the bench. They often do this a few times in a row.
Yes folks, this simple toddler action is another one of those work out exercises in disguise. This is your squat set. Bend down as low as you can (whatever is comfortable for you) and then reach up with your arms as if you’re shooting a basketball (or in most of our cases, hanging the washing out!).
Again, remember to keep your core on and keep the move dynamic just like a toddler does. This is also another technique you can use when hanging your washing out to squeeze those squats in!
Catch me if you can
How much fun is a good game of chaseys? Join in with the kids and runaround the backyard. Keep it fast and keep moving. You might be the big bad wolf and chase the kids. In between you might just do a few extra sprints. Then use the chasing time as your more moderate pace to recover.
Once you’ve caught one of the kids, do a few more sprints. Then move at a more moderate pace again when you’re chasing them.
You want the game to be fun for the kids and I’m sure they’d be happy for you to draw it out as long as possible. This is a great way to distract yourself from the idea of it being part of your work out exercises by immersing yourself in the play.
Play at this pace for 20-30 minutes and you’ll know you’ve worked out!
Roll up roll up, the work out exercises circus is in town
Another favourite pastime of my kids is to goof around pretending they are various different animals.
Why not take this to the next level and bring it all together by creating your own circus?
You can pretend to be lions by crouching down before you perform a dynamic leap through the air. Keep doing this for 2-5 minutes.
Follow this up with pretending to be a horse. Lift your knees high and trot around the ring. Repeat this for 2-5 minutes.
Pretend to walk on the high wire. Walk across the room doing lunges as if you’re balancing on the high wire.
Think about all the sorts of entertainment and animals you might find at a circus and match it with incidental and Pilates based work out exercises. Switch it up and do something different every 2-5 minutes.
That’s a great circuit workout…or should I say circus workout!
By now, you’re getting the idea that play time for the kids can be play and exercise time for you, too. The main point is that working out doesn’t have to be boring or a chore. It doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Have fun with it.
Look around you and get inspiration from your kids and the environment around you. Even if it’s 5 minutes of work out exercises here or there, it all adds up.
Try some new moves when you’re doing your housework – you’ll be totally amazed how quickly all those 5 minutes add up.
Remember that “fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life”. Think of new ways to make it part of your life.