Don't have much time or money to spend on exercise? Consider one of these cheap or free workout ideas.
When you have children, finding the time to exercise can prove challenging. Not everyone has access to one of those fantastic gyms that offer childcare while you workout, and personal training can be expensive - plus, what do you do with the kids?
There are ways for mums to work out that are not only easy but cheap too! Some of them are even FREE! If youíre looking to find some me-time with regular exercise, try one of these cheap or easy ways for mums to workout.
Note: New mums! Be sure to discuss a return to exercise with your health practitioner. You can read some fantastics tips for returning to exercise as a new mum here.
It may seem pretty obvious, but walking is one of the best exercise a new mum can do. You can push your baby around in the pram, or strap them into a baby carrier, and they may even fall asleep, which is a bonus. Plus, you donít need a lot of equipment, can walk just about anywhere and at just about anytime.
If youíre a mum with a toddler, you can still push them around in a pram, while older children can ride a bike or a scooter alongside you. You can also do little things to up your daily step count, such as parking the car a short walk away, instead of parking right outside the door, taking a lap around the shops before starting your shopping, or taking a walk before picking up the kids.
You could also set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than usual and use the time to walk around the block (if there is someone at home watching the kids, of course.) You donít need a lot of time to find a walk, and can break up your walking time into 10 minute chunks during the day, such as one before work, one during your lunch break and one after work. Here are some more ways to increase your step count for the day.
Find some free outdoor exercise equipment
In some parks and playgrounds, you may notice public outdoor exercise equipment popping up. Itís just like gym equipment, but itís FREE to use! They generally come with instructions on how to use the equipment and the kids can have a run around while you sneak in a workout!
Another option is to find a good set of steps close to home (if you don't have them at your house.) Stair climbing is a fantastic workout and it's free! If you work in a high-rise building, consider taking the stairs up to the office, or taking them some of the way.
Make a circuit at home
If you have a look around the house, you can find all sorts of items that you can use to make a little workout circuit. What about walking up and down the stairs? A stair, step or kitchen stool to jump, or step up and down from? Cans of food as weights? The humble wall for wall sits? You can use them all for exercise without even leaving the house! Add some squats, lunges, jumping jacks and push ups to your workout and youíve got yourself a circuit. You can read more about this here.
Invest in some second-hand exercise equipment
If you decide to move on from the soup cans and kitchen stools, you can invest in some key bits of home fitness equipment that will give you a fantastic workout. Think a skipping rope, ab-roller (itís a killer) balance ball, kettlebell and hand weights. They donít even have to be brand new, and there are plenty of local second hand sites you could look on for them.
Download a free fitness app
There are some fantastic apps out there that will help you get a workout in before the kids get up or when they are in bed. Nike Training Club is one of the best, with over 180 free workouts ranging from yoga to strength and endurance training, and the app also offers short, bodyweight-only workouts which are perfect for busy mums. You can find the app here.
Turn the TV on
Ok, so this one does require a little more effort than that! With a little searching, you can find DVDs dedicated to pilates, yoga, Zumba and aerobic workouts. You may be able to find them at second hand shops, plus your local library may even have DVDs for hire for free! Simply pop one on and enjoy a workout while the kids are at school, having a nap or are in bed for the evening.
You can read more fantastic articles about health here.