By Amelia Phillips
What’s the best exercise for busy mums? Anything you can fit in! There’s so much confusion and conflicting information out there that sometimes we can get paralysis by analysis. So let’s keep things simple and focus on the fundamentals, nail these and our bodies will be ready for almost any activity we throw at it!
// Pelvic floor and Core
No matter which way our babies came out, our pelvic floor and core have been through a lot. Stretched and loaded for nine months, supporting a back that was hyper extending and a body that gained a lot of weight. We are only as strong as our core and pelvic floor so every workout should start with a minimum of five minutes of pelvic floor work (no matter what age our kids are).
For core work a plank on our elbows is a great place to start. A well functioning core should be able to hold a plank on elbows and toes for two minutes. Start with 20 sec hold, 10 sec rest, repeating for two minutes and build up to a two minute hold. If we do this three times per week expect to get to two minutes in around 4-6 weeks. Anyone can fit in two minutes three times per week, right!?
// Joint mobility
Another not negotiable for mums is nurturing our joints. The older we get, the stiffer our joints become which can at worse lead to injury and at best make us feel old! The good news is simple stretches can increase our joint mobility, which help lubricate, strengthen and protect our joints. Yoga is one of the best ways to increase joint mobility.
// Body weight
When time is of the essence, one of the best pieces of equipment is our body. By doing body weight moves we are recruiting more muscles than if we were on a weights machine, including the tiny stabilisers that protect our joints. Body weight work often triggers both a cardiovascular and a strength response so a double whammy. Let’s say we have 30mins to exercise. Instead of going for a 30min walk or jog, reduce that to 20min, then set up a 10min circuit of bodyweight moves and cycle through as many times as possible. Remember how many rounds and try to beat it each time.
Try this park bench workout:
12 step ups onto bench (12 on left, 12 on right leg)
12 pushups on back of bench
12 squat presses
12 tricep dips
Amelia Phillips is a registered exercise scientist, nutritionist, podcaster and mama to four under 5.5yo.For more tips on creating a healthy body, mind and life, listen to Healthy Her Podcast by Amelia Phillips.