I have been exercising in my living room since I was 15 years old. It’s convenient, cost-effective and time-efficient. After the birth of my twins, I didn’t set foot in a gym until they were 5, but I managed to lose weight and get back in shape.
Finding the time or money to get to the gym isn’t always easy for mothers of small children. I was recently asked a good question by one of my Twitter followers: “My husband is gone a lot, and I have a toddler and an infant at home and can’t get to the gym very often. Any tips for getting an effective workout from home?”
Here’s what I did to create my own inexpensive home-gym, drop pounds, and get fit after the birth of twins:
Walk, jog, or run outdoors. I began incorporating my kids into my workouts when they were just infants. Even if you don’t have the luxury of owning a jog stroller, you can walk with your baby in a baby carrier or regular stroller. Ideally, I suggest finding time to jog or fast walk (3.5-4.3 mph) when the baby is sleeping. Even if you can only find a 15 or 20 minute window of time, this is enough to get you back in shape. I worked out in increments of 20 minutes for years. See how many mini sessions you can squeeze into a day, and before you know it, you’ll be exercising for several hours a week.
Here are three tips to help new moms get an effective workout from home:
– DVDs: Build a library of fitness DVDs, and experience the luxury of having a personal trainer in your own home. I also suggest getting an inexpensive full-length mirror and using it during the workout to look at your form in comparison to the video instructor’s. Making self-corrections in posture and technique will ensure that you’re maximizing the exercises, while minimizing the likelihood of injury. You won’t have to worry about whether or not you are getting a full body workout. The experts ensure that you are working the most optimal muscle groups at the right pace. Home workout videos have come a long way since the ’80s. You can have 24-hour access to an incredible, challenging and effective workout at a reasonable cost. Tip: Visit your local library and sample a workout DVD prior to building your own collection. Some of my favorites include: Tae Bo, Karen Voight, and The Firm.
– Equipment: You can create your mini home-gym with just a few simple items. Here’s what I recommend you start with: An aerobic step, hand weights (two pair: one heavy, one light), yoga mat, flexaball, and a jump rope. This will serve as the foundation for most of your workout needs. Each time you purchase or rent a DVD, check the back of the case for required equipment and build up gradually.
– Calisthenics: Put yourself in boot camp! Calisthenics are exercises that use only your body weight as resistance. These are the traditional, old-school workouts that are done in the military and in school gymnasiums. These exercises will never become obsolete, because they really work. Get back to the basics by performing: sit-ups, jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, toe-touches and mountain-climbers. These exercises will get your heart rate up and increase your strength. For a fat-blasting, total body workout, alternate sets of calisthenics with jumping rope and/or weight-training, for one or two minutes per set.
By incorporating each of these suggestions into a regular exercise routine (4-6 total hours per week), and you will see and feel the benefits in just a few weeks. Good luck!
Wishing you health and happiness,
Holly Lowe Jones is a media professional, fitness expert, and ISSA-certified personal trainer. A member of the National Association for Health and Fitness, Jones is also a seasoned triathlete who competes in her spare time.
For more information, please visit her website www.hollylowejones.com.
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