Are you a busy mom trying to find ways to sneak exercise in? Here are five ways to add exercise to your housekeeping routine. Note: This post contains affiliate links. Read more about that on my legal page.
I distinctly remember how it felt to be a new mom who wanted to lose weight. I also remember not being cleared to drive yet. Not that I had a lot of places to go with a needy newborn. But it was tough to wait until I was cleared by my doctor to exercise again. But you know what was even tougher? Finding the time and energy to work out with a baby at home.
But new moms have the misconception that you have to “bounce back” to your pre-baby body within a few months.
And they also have the misconception that it takes 30+ consecutive minutes of working out to see results.
The truth is that you can sneak exercise in at any interval you want. You don’t have to go hard for an hour or even thirty minutes to strengthen your body and see results. You just have to move more – even if it’s 5 minutes here and there.
When you’re a new mom, that’s extremely important to remember.
So, you’re probably wondering: how does she sneak exercise in?
Maybe you’re thinking, “She’s a personal trainer, so it’s easier for her.” Wrong. I am a personal trainer. But I am NOT one of those hardcore moms who lifted until the day I gave birth. I am not a graceful pregnant person, and if we’re being honest, it’s harder for me than I’d like to admit.
In fact, if you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I became a personal trainer because of my struggle with health.
Related Reading: 5 Side Hustles I Use to Pay for My Gym Membership
That’s right, I’ve struggled to be healthy physically and mentally, just like many of you.
I had severe postpartum depression and I have been overweight ever since my daughter was born close to four years ago. I tried antidepressants and learned that the only natural and healthy thing that made me feel better was exercise! So I decided to commit to health in a big way.
I decided to become a personal trainer a few months before I got pregnant with this baby. So I feel like I am in some limbo here, pregnant and unable to eat what I want and be physically active like I was before. (I can’t wait to share my own weight loss journey with you starting in February 2018.)
But knowing what I do after having my daughter four years ago, I’m happy to share my tricks, which includes these sneaky ways to fit exercise in while you’re at home. I consider them fun little “workout games” that help keep me moving and even make cleaning house fun!
It is so important for moms to get exercise, even if they can’t get out of the house. Cleaning house is a good way to get moving, but these ideas will help you make the best of your time and increase your strength a little at a time. Why not sneak exercise in when you can? Enjoy!
5 Ways To Sneak Exercise In While Cleaning Your House
1. Play the laundry game.
You’re probably thinking, “What laundry game?” and I totally get it. This is a fun thing I do when I have at least one full load of laundry to fold. I seriously do this often. The more laundry you have, the better the workout! Here’s how it works:
- Pick a simple exercise you can do wherever you fold laundry. (I fold mine on my bed so I have a carpeted area.) I usually choose push-ups or squats.
- Pick a number between 5 and 10. This will be your number of reps. I normally do 10.
- Pick a number between 3 and 5. This will be your interval. Depending on how much laundry you have, you may want to pick less. For example, if I only have one load of laundry to fold, my number is smaller. If I have three loads to fold, I normally pick 5.
- The game: Do X amount of reps for every X items you fold. So let’s say that my interval was 5 and my rep number was 10. I fold 5 shirts, then do 10 push-ups. I repeat this until the laundry is gone and put away!
- Modify the game by changing your numbers or switching between more than one exercise.
- Put some fun music on to make it more fun!
2. Set the timer.
This is something that’s fun when you’ve got music on and you’re ready to work. It actually helps me get stuff done faster. It’s super simple:
- Set a timer for a short interval, say, 15-20 minutes.
- Spend that time focusing on cleaning whatever you want.
- When the timer beeps, spend a few minutes doing squats, sit-ups, push-ups, etc. (Your choice!) You can have a set number of reps if you’d like…or not! I usually just do ten squats and ten push-ups, but I’ll do more depending on time.
- Set the timer again and repeat until you’ve finished your chores.
3. Do the Wildcard Workout Game.
I designed a printable workout card game for my readers, which you can grab here or click the banner below. It’s a card game that has you choose a card to determine the exercise you will do and how many reps to perform.
I have it printed, cut, and laminated, because it’s something I use, too! You can play it as per the instructions provided on the download when you’re prepared for a full workout, but to sneak exercise in during housework, here’s what to do:
- Do a chore, then do the exercise listed on the card for the number of reps listed.
- Set a timer for a short interval (like in #2), then do a card.
- Use the instructions from idea #1, but let use the Wildcards to determine your exercise. This might require having dumbbells on hand.
4. Pick a landmark.
This one is a concept I use to increase my water, intake, too. Pick a spot in your house that you’ll walk by often while doing housework. I often use what I call my kitchen peninsula (countertop that sticks out). I walk by it every time I have to go to the laundry room, put a dirty dish in the sink, etc. Here’s how I do it:
Every time I pass the landmark, I stop, take a drink of my water bottle, and do 10 squats or modified push-ups. Pick a spot (and exercise) that will work for you. If you find yourself in the same hallway a lot, stop and do X amount of reps each time. You get the idea!
5. Switch up your methods.
Most of the time, you probably use a mop to clean your kitchen floor. But have you ever tried cleaning the whole thing with a rag and your feet? It’s hard work! You can really get a leg workout! I know it sounds crazy and like it might take extra time (it could), but these are things I actually do sometimes to sneak in extra exercise:
- Clean the kitchen floor using rags and sliding lunges. The rags act like sliders and I can do side lunges, regular lunges, etc. with them while getting my floor clean.
- Clean the kitchen floor on my hands and knees, focusing on upper body. This can be such a good tricep workout, seriously! Same concept as using your legs, but you are using your upper body.
- Do housework with weights on. I put on some wrist or ankle weights, or a weighted vest for a 15-30 minutes of housework. Depending on what you’re cleaning, you can make this a total body thing, or just upper or lower. For example, let’s say you need to dust the fans and the ceilings. If you put your weights on your wrists, you’re going to get a good upper body workout since these chores require a lot of overhead arm lifting.
Do you have any unique ways to sneak exercise in while cleaning? Tell me about them below!
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