I’m pleased to present this guest post from our good friend and rookie mom, Karen, who invented her own way to get fit with a baby in the house:
After I gave birth last year, I lost a lot of my baby weight pretty quickly without a huge amount of effort. I did a lot of walking and hiking with baby and continued taking Pilates a couple times a week, plus I nursed around the clock- all of which helped a lot. But I’m still not quite as trim and toned as I want to be. My son reached a big milestone this past weekend: he turned one. I decided that a year was long enough to wait without getting a little more serious about attacking my baby flab. But like pretty much everyone in the world, I’m really busy, don’t have a lot of time to exercise, and find it hard to get motivated.
My solution? The surprise-laden exercise bingo jar! First, I spent a little time googling good exercises to target both post-pregnancy belly and my other bete noire, that flappy underarm flab (or “chicken nuggets” as my Pilates teacher colorfully calls them.) I picked 12 exercises and wrote them down on little slips of paper. I put the target number of sets and reps on each slip as well. Then I put the little papers in a jar in my kitchen. Every day I have to pull out five slips and do whatever they say. This makes it fun because I never know what I’m going to get, and it only takes about 15 minutes to get through all five exercises. Plus, I don’t have to do the most hated exercises every day –side plank, I’m looking at you– or get bored by doing the same routine over and over.
I only picked exercises that required no equipment or equipment I already own (which is one set of weights and one magic circle) Also I only picked exercises you can do in your PJs, since I’m planning to do them on the living room rug right after I wake up each morning. I’m not expecting Jessica Alba results, but I feel great that I’ve come up with a solution that sounds doable and targeted… and maybe even a little bit fun. And I’d REALLY love to kiss those chicken nuggets goodbye before the weather warms up enough for tank tops.
Sample exercises for your jar of surprises (copy/paste/print or hand write like Karen did):
- Alternating arm and leg lifts: 8 count / 2 sets
- Bicycle crunches: 30 count / 2 sets
- Mountain climber: 10 reps / 3 sets
- Scissor kicks: 10 each leg / 3 sets
- Single leg circles: 10 reps / 3 sets
- Magic circle (ooh, where do you put that and for how long?)
- Plank: hold for 15 seconds / 3 sets
- Side plank 10 seconds / 3 sets on each side
- Deep plies 16 reps
- Standing kicks (front then side then back) 10 count each leg / 2 sets
- Cherry pickers (reach high, then put ‘em in the basket): 20 count / 3 sets
- Floor effers: 20 count / 2 sets
- Boxing for 2 minutes with jabs and uppercuts
Suggest more in the comments, ladies, this is a team effort!
Related: Naptime workout ideas, just add technology
[Photos by Karen Merzenich]