We all find it hard to get things done in the Winter, it seems like more effort but you must keep moving. It’s a fitness trap to think that you can deal with it when January comes. 2 months of inactivity with the inevitable festive excess thrown on top could give you way more work to do in the new year.
o how to keep yourself going? Don’t leave it to chance, get yourself booked in to a regular class of exercise. Preferably something dedicated to mums that is pitched right for your needs. Having to keep an appointment will give you a reason to overcome the weather, snotty noses and dark mornings, to arrive at your class resolute that you will make it happen!
Make some buggy buddies if you don’t have some already and arrange to go to classes together and for walks on the other days. You can keep up that gentle pram pushing cardio without taking yourself to the edge of passing out and it will help your basic fitness, burn some fat and give you a chance for some fresh air and a daytime conversation with someone older than 2! You could arrange a play date where you can try and do a home workout together while the kids play.
Also try to fit in to your daily routine to 2 mins of stretching. Doing the right stretches regularly will help to iron out any muscle problems you have post-pregnancy, reduce aches and make exercise easier.
NB- Remember not to stretch at more than 70% capacity until 6 months as your Relaxin hormone may still be making your ligaments weak.
Routines help a lot, especially in Winter… A few examples of simple routines to get in to
- Doing one leg squats or pelvic floor exercises while cooking
- Planking before your shower
- Doing a half hour home workout while your kids nap or have some quiet time
These are all small things but they are do-able and they will all add up to help your fitness.
Here is a simple set of exercises you can fit in to your day:
One Leg Squats
Keeping your knee in line with your toes gently squat down as low as is comfortable and stand up while tensing your bum. Work up to 3 x 12 on each leg a day.
Plank ( or Knees Down Plank)
Either with knees or feet on the floor, support your body weight on your elbows. Keep your back flat by sucking in your tummy and tensing your bum. Up to 3 x 60 secs. But only go as long as you can keep your back flat. No Saggy backs!
You can use this to get around the house or high street (depending on who you’re likely to see!). Take long steps, dropping the back knee til it nearly touches the floor. Step through with control keeping the feet straight. As much as you can, but build up gradually or you will be stiff.
Squat and Press
When lifting an object above your head turn it into an exercise by standing with feet as wide as your hips, squatting down as low as comfortable and pushing the object up above your head by standing up and extending your arms at the same time. Repeat as much as possible up to 3 x 15.
Put the ball of one foot up against the sideboard/cupboard with the heel on the floor and lean toward the foot. Up to 3 x 30 secs each side.
With one knee on the floor and one foot out in front lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the hip of the leg on the floor. Up to 3 x 30 secs each side.
Feet together, knees slightly bent, link your hands behind your knees. Then round your back toward the ceiling making a bridge shape from your back. Up to 3 x 30 secs
Link your hands behind your back and while standing up straight try to lift your arms as high as you can. Up to 3 x 30 secs.
Try to steer away from crab laden Winter foods, keep your protein, good fats and green veg high and the rest will look after itself. When it comes to celebrations you’ll know you have brownie points in the bag already. Here are a couple of ideas to get your imagination going…
Avocado & Sticky Egg Breakfast Salad:
Boil eggs for 6.5-7mins so they are medium (not runny but not hard either), cool, peel and cut into 1/4s. Mix egg pieces with chunks of ripe avocado and pine nuts. Mix through some baby spinach leaves and dress with lemon juice.
Chicken and Avocado Cabbage Leave Wraps
Using a Gem lettuce or baby cabbage leaf, fill with pre-cooked chicken pieces (small chunks), avocado or homemade guacamole or bean sprouts. Squeeze fresh lemon or limejuice and a touch of Tabasco sauce for a kick before devouring.
Steamed Pesto Salmon
Smear red or green pesto over the top of a salmon fillet. Steam in a steamer basket for 5-7mins and serve with salad or steamed greens.
Happy healthy hibernating!
James Hardy is founder of LiveFit, a multi faceted fitness company that covers London and the home counties, specialising in fitness for mums Post Natal and Ante Natal. If you would like some more ideas on food or training check out their site www.LiveFit.co.uk or contact them direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 385 0688.