There is one thing I know for a fact about being a mom. If I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t take care of the rest of my family. If I’m sick or if I’m laid up due to injury everything goes haywire in our home. And here is the second part of what I know – if I’m sick or I’m laid up with an injury it’s because I wasn’t taking care of myself properly.
It’s not because of bad germs, bad genetics, or bad luck. It’s because of bad choices. Let me make that really clear – people get sick because people make poor lifestyle choices. They don’t take care of themselves properly. They eat crappy foods. They don’t get enough sleep. They don’t exercise enough or properly. They don’t stretch or work on their mobility. They don’t take time for ourselves to support their mental emotional health. They don’t make sure that their brain-body connection is clear with the help of chiropractic adjustments.
Speaking as a mom and a chiropractor, I have the unique and humbling opportunity to work with a lot of families. I feel that I resonate well with families. I can relate to the stress and frustrations (and on the flip side, the wins!) of wanting the absolute best health for your family. Ensuring that kids get exceptional health care, healthy foods, enough exercise, good sleep, support at school and home, good relationships, and all else that as parents, we want for our children.
But here’s the thing – sometimes we put all of our energy into our children and we forget to put any energy into ourselves.
One of the many concerns I hear is “I don’t have time to exercise.” I’m fortunate in the fact that I have created a lifestyle that allows me to get into the gym three mornings a week as well as set aside time to walk and/or run two days a week. I realize and appreciate that not all moms or dads have the ability to get to a gym due to special circumstances with family, work, and more. But for the large majority of people it doesn’t mean that time can’t be carved out each day to get a workout in.
Last week was a little crazy. On Friday we left at noon for a long weekend away. I knew I couldn’t get to the gym that morning because I wanted to get the kids down to the park to let out some energy. So, while the kids got their shoes on, I threw on my workout clothes. Off to the park/gym we go.
This is what I love about kids. They can workout and have fun at the same time.
While my kids swung, climbed, dug, slid, and hung around I got a twenty minute workout in. Admittedly Caleigh was my photographer and I think that if I asked for “one more photo”, she might have lost it. She kept going back and forth between taking pictures and making sand pies. They were really good – both the pictures and the sand pies (chocolate flavoured, yum!).
Here’s how to fit in a quick workout at the park. Warm up with a 2 minute jog/run around the park. Then get down to business.
1. LUNGES. Do a specific number on each leg. Start off small and add more each time you work out.
2. SQUATS. Keep your back up (my form is horrible in this picture). I put my hands behind my head to help keep my form clean. Try to get your bum as close to the ground as possible. Start with a minimum of 10 and work up to 100 over a few weeks.
3. PUSH UPS/PLANKS. Women can do “mens” push ups as well as men can. Focus on keeping your core strong and it will prevent arching of your upper back (see top photo). A plank is holding the up position for as long as you can. Work up to 2 minutes over time.
4. SIT UPS. Fun to do with a baby! Put your little on in between your legs and play peek a boo each time you come up for a sit up. Plant a kiss on the top of their head so that you make sure you’re breaking 45 degrees at your waist.
5. STEP UPS. Pretty simple. Step up onto a park bench. Make sure you completely open your hips. If this hard to remember, clap your hands above your head, which will automatically open up your hips in full extension.
6. JUMP UPS. The next level up. Jump up onto the park bench. Start on two feet and end on two feet. Remember to fully stand up so that hips are open at the end of the jump.
7. TRICEP DIPS. Keeping your legs slightly bent, bend at your elbows. The deeper, the better. Repeat.
8. INCLINE PULL UPS. Grab a bar at the park and pull yourself up over and over.
There you have it. If it takes you 20 minutes, I’d be surprised. Kids can help by counting off the number of repetitions you do. Or they can join in on the same moves. They’ll have fun and the more they laugh, you’ll have fun too. Promise.