A couple of days ago I had a chat with Janet of Kitchen Table Sewing about exercise. I’ve not done much exercise since my children were born (well, apart from lifting and chasing toddlers), but Janet is into running, both on her own and with a toddler in a buggy.
I used to do a little running in my LBK (life before kids) and this chat reminded me how it cleared my mind and put my worries back into perspective as well as making me feel better physically.
(Note the word ‘little’ – at my absolute peak of fitness I managed to do the Flora Light 5km run. A big achievement for someone as unathletic as me and a brilliant experience but definitely a long way short of a marathon :). Or even a half marathon!)
Janet mentioned that although running takes some time out of your day, it more than makes up for that time by making you feel more able to deal with the challenges that family life can throw at you.
So now I’m actually considering going for a little jog!
But if running isn’t your thing, how can you fit exercise into a day that’s already full with children and work? You could try the 10 minute workout method!
Ten minute workouts
Working out even just for ten minutes has enormous health benefits. (Let’s face it, 10 minutes is a big improvement on sitting at a computer and eating Hobnobs!) In fact, working out for ten minutes several times a day is about as beneficial as one long workout session.
What to do…
Ideally, you do these ten-minute workouts three to five times a day. So for example, one in the morning, one at lunchtime and one in the evening. If you can squeeze in a couple more to make a total of five sessions, that’s even better.
It’s a good idea to do at least one or two sessions of mainly cardiovascular workouts.
A ten-minute jogging session in the middle of the day can do wonders for your concentration. If you can’t get out of the house or office, a ten-minute round of skipping can do the same (the rope can be real or imaginary!)
If you want to tone those muscles, doing one or two sessions of strength training can also work. Spend your ten-minute session with either equipment-free muscle building exercises like squats or sit-ups, or use an exercise band or keep a small set of hand weights close to where you’re working.
How will you know if it’s working?
If you’re sceptical that ten minutes of working out a few times a day could really make a difference, give it a trial for a month to see how it affects you.
Make sure you commit to doing at least three ten-minute workout sessions every day. After a couple of weeks, notice if you feel better mentally and emotionally as well as physically.
Also take note of how quickly you get out of breath. Do you find that you can push yourself further over time? Do you feel like you’re getting healthier?
And finally, check your weight at the end of the month to see what your new routine has done for you.
You might be surprised!
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