I often share how important physical activity is for me. I am a completely different person and I feel my best mentally, physically, and spiritually, when I exercise on a daily basis. My view on exercise has also shifted over the years. Before Grace was born, I enjoyed going on long runs. My routine consisted of getting out for an hour at a time and running until I felt like my legs were going to fall off. I loved it. I felt like I gave everything I had. When Haddon was born, we lived in a beautiful apartment complex with a gym that was down stairs, it had playroom and it was absolutely beautiful. Those days, I found myself at the gym almost every day because it was so convenient. With our recent move to Nebraska, and the addition of our third child, leaving the house to work-out it’s not feasible.
These days, my routine varies on a daily basis depending on multiple factors. The kids being able to nap, the degree of sleep deprivation, and unexpected events that come about when you have three kids with no babysitters.
What doesn’t vary, is my desired to be active and my belief that working out is much more important than looking a certain way. It’s about being able to pick-up two kids at the same time and pushing all three of them up a hill. Being able to play with my kids and engaging them in play makes all of the sweat and pain worth it.
So, if you find yourself with a lot of help and are able to make it to the gym that’s wonderful! However if you’re like me, and you’re on your own most of the time with three kids, I’m here to help. I want to share with you a few simple moves that I do everyday (take or leave a day or two). These are simple moves, but consistency is the name of the game! I’ve realized that it’s more important for me to do four workout moves every day than kill it at the gym two days a week.
First off, make sure you stretch. I make sure to stretch my major muscle groups and get started
You can’t go wrong with pushups! There are a few ways you can do them and you can even modify them to make them easier or more difficult depending on your physical ability. It may not seem much, but I do 25 real/non-modified pushups every day. When I started, I was not able to do five and I have slowly worked my way up.
As time progressed, I was able to feel myself getting stronger and little by little I have been able to increase the level of difficulty.
I love squat jumps! I feel like they’re a crazy mix of cardio and strength training. I stand with my legs a little bit wider than shoulder width apart and go all the way down and squat (make sure your knees are behind your ankles when you squat). Then I spring up as high and as hard as I can, paying attention to my core and I make sure that I land softly to protect my knees. Then I do it again 24 more times. You’ll be winded at the end and if you feel like you can do more, then go into a burpee (go down to a plank or a pushup when you land from your “leap”) These get me in SHAPE! Make sure that you’re focusing on proper form rather than trying to reach a number. It’s not worth getting injured!
I love these for my abs. I start with knees pulled in and my abs super tight! Think of bringing your bellybutton all the way towards your spine. Stretch your legs out in front of you in a wide V motion and bring it all right back. Don’t let your shoulders touch the floor and move slowly and controlled. I keep my arms by my side, with my palms facing up but you can bring your arms behind your head if you want to make it more challenging. I also do 25 of these. Also, keep your head aligned with your spine so you’re not tucking your chin in and hurt your neck.
I’m not sure if you’re catching my rhythm here, but I start by doing 25 of each of these moves. That’s it! Then I can get on with running after children, making lunches and folding all the laundry. I don’t have the privilege to go to a gym or to dedicate any more time to working out. This is it. This is all the time I have these days and for now, this is my best!
Doing these moves every day has allowed me to get my arms and legs stronger and my mid-section is starting to feel like it used to before three babies had their way with it.
Squats are soooo good for me. They workout my quads, my hamstring and my glutes! You can do air squats (no weights) to start off and them build your way up. I like to add weight when I can because I feel like I get better results. For a long time I thought that weights were going to bulk me up and make me look more masculine than I would l
ike to, but I was so wrong. These days, if I can add weight to my workouts, I go for it!
There is a lot that goes into a healthy lifestyle, like eating a whole foods diet that’s low in sugar, and being aware of your overall dietary intake. However, I’ve found that it’s more important to be consistent than to spend hours at the gym and then quitting after I’ve realized that I’ve taken on too much.
Happy exercising friends and remember that it’s all about being healthy and about doing your best to take care of the body that God gave you!