How to workout at home
By Claire Cole, founder of Movement for Mums
I’ve asked Claire to share her top tips to help us feel motivated at home to find time to squeeze some fitness into our busy lives. Claire is a Level 3 PT and pre and postnatal qualified.
My best advice would be to not worry about the amount of exercise you do. Try walking up and down the stairs 5 times every hour, change a nappy upstairs rather than down, get up 15 minutes early and stretch. Let’s label exercise as movement and think about moving our bodies more during the day, set your phone alarm every hour and jump up and do 10 body weight squats, have a stretch and wake up your body and your mind. One of my favourite motivating tricks is to write down one word in my phone once I have exercised to capture how I’m feeling and then next time when I don’t feel very motivated I look at that word and remember how great I felt after exercise and it gives me a boost of motivation, try it and see if it works for you.
I’m a big believer of little and often, there’s no way I could carve out a whole hour for me or a fitness class at home but I can find 15-20 mins first thing in the morning or when the kids are occupied, I set my alarm 30 mins early and get up before everyone else to have a bit of me time. Get your leggings and trainers out the night before and leave them next to the bed. Try at the beginning of the week to schedule your workouts into the calendar for the week, that way everyone in my household knows what you’re doing and when and it makes it more accountable. Finally one of my top tips would be to listen to your body, you might wake up with a ton of energy so go smash that HITT class but if you wake up feeling lethargic why not try 20 minutes of stretching instead, if all movement is equal and we simply think about moving our bodies to feel good in our mind we won’t get stressed by that planned workout that we didn’t do. Get the kids involved, partner and friends, we can still make exercise social by doing it with friends online and by being part of a community, we’re just doing it a bit differently.
Don’t feel the pressure to do it, if you enjoy it, you will do it so do what you love. There are so many free online classes available now that you can try lots of different workouts and find what you like doing. Experiment but also any movement is good for us, we won’t feel guilty if we can stop worrying about doing a specific amount of exercise. I encourage everyone to start little and often, 15-20 mins several times a week is great if you can fit it in, it has to fit with your lifestyle and your family life and be achievable so start small and build up.
I like to think about all exercise as equal and all exercise as movement therefore if I move my body that‘s great and I try not to focus on what movement I do as I move to feel good. That takes away the guilt and stress of feeling like every workout has to be a punishing workout for it to be effective and I get to enjoy exercise even if sometimes I don’t have time to do very much. I’m all for lessening the guilt as a mum and focusing the time I do have to feel good.
There is a huge saturation of live home workouts at every social media corner you turn, I find that mum’s struggle to know what is effective and what works. I help unpick this by running daily live workouts focused on different areas of the body, so for example I run Total Body which covers all the main muscle groups and then I run laser focused workouts that centre on the glutes and thighs and the abs/core. I don’t use any equipment and you need very little space with my workouts because they are designed for us to do at home with no time!
I think exercise is just as important for our minds as it is for our bodies. When I wake up under a cloud I see a big difference in my mood when I do some form of exercise. The fitness industry is very focused on fear and failure, think about it, diet and exercise plans are often marketed as “you’ve tried this diet, it didn’t work so now try this new fad” so I like to think that if we move our bodies more to feel good in our mind, a by product of moving more will naturally be weight loss if that is what you want to achieve.
Movement for Mums offers daily live streamed home workouts to help boost our mental health. They are 20 minutes or less and they don’t require any equipment or space, Claire believes in little and often to help us prioritise ourselves and help us feel good.
You can find out more and join the Movement for Mums membership trial offer 30 Days of Fitness for £1 in partnership with Pandas Foundation to support pre and postnatal depression at movementformums.com