In my post last Wednesday, I talked about a series I am starting called Mama Care Monday’s in March. I briefly outlined ways I am going to take time for myself each week during the month of March. This past week, I exercised for 10 minutes a day. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s 70 minutes per week that I wasn’t getting before! I feel like it’s better to form a habit than set a goal too high and crash and burn. I can always increase my time once working out is part of my routine.
On top of exercising for 10 minutes a day, I also tried to drink more water and take my vitamins and calcium supplements daily. Weee, I’m such a beacon of health! If you know me, you know that my eating habits are actually pretty healthy, which is probably the only reason I have stayed in moderately good shape without exercising. Many experts say the key to becoming and staying fit is found in the 80/20 rule, meaning 80% of what you eat and only 20% of the exercise you do. I definitely splurge and have treats every now and then, but the majority of the foods I eat are whole foods.
Day 1: Lower body
Monday was my first day and I started with a lower body workout.
I set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes and had enough time to complete everything twice. I felt a little weird doing everything with no weights, but I wanted to take it really easy since it’s been so long. The next time I do this workout, I plan on adding weights and increasing my time to 12 minutes. I was excited about my first day of exercise, and it was fun!
Day 2: Upper body
Although I didn’t use any weights during my lower body workout, it’s really hard to do a bicep curl using no weights! I used a 7.5-pound weight for these exercises. I probably would have used a 5 pound one, but I don’t have one.
- Tricep extension: x 10
- Shoulder fly: x 10
- Bicep curls: 10 per arm
- Pushups: 10 (I had my knees down.)
- Shoulder press: 10 x
Day 3: Cardio
Last Wednesday was the worst. Theo has been boycotting sleep ever since we transitioned him out of his crib. He had 8 broken hours of sleep Tuesday night and then refused to take a nap on Wednesday. I tried to ignore him and leave him to play in his room so I could at least get some work done, and he WENT INTO HIS SISTERS ROOM- AND WOKE THEM UP. Now I had 3 grumpy, overtired children. At one point they were all crying and crawling into my lap and I lay on the ground and cried with them [I am not a crier]. I felt so defeated; here I was trying to implement some time for myself and improve my quality of life, and my kids were totally sabotaging me.
By the time my husband got home I was ready for some wine, ice cream, and vegging in front of the t.v. If it wasn’t for this challenge that I had for myself – with specific goals that were manageable for even the worst day, I wouldn’t have exercised. I did my 10 minutes of cardio after the kids were in bed and I was in a much better mood afterward.
- Jumping jacks: 30 seconds
- Run in place: 30 seconds
- Jump rope (imaginary rope): 30 seconds
- Air punches: 30 seconds
- High kicks: 30 seconds
- Rest: 30 seconds
I didn’t include any links because hopefully you know how to do a jumping jack… and if you don’t, use Google! I repeated this for 10 minutes. When I became bored, I alternated directions. Example: 10 jumping jacks to the front, right, back, left. Then down to 5 of each.
Day 4: Abs
I did not plan well on Thursday, and I’m sad to say that I didn’t get my workout in. Typically, I try to save exercising for the evening so that I can encourage my husband to exercise with me. On Thursday, I forgot that I had an appointment in the evening. By the time I got home I did not feel like working out at all. The good thing is that since my workouts are only 10 minutes, I was able to complete it Friday morning, and still get my Friday workout in that evening.
- Crunches: 20
- Leg raises: 20
- Plank: 30 seconds
- Side plank: 30 seconds per side
- Sit ups: 10
- Russian twists: 10 per side
I rested briefly and was able to complete this workout twice in ten-minutes.
Day 5: Lower body
I did the same lower body exercise from day 1, but this time I used 7.5-pound weights.
Day 6: Upper body
I completed the same upper body exercise from day 2. I attempted to do my pushups without putting my knees down and managed to do about half of them.
Day 7: Yoga
I followed this 10-minute yoga sequence. I did it right before bed (last night, actually!) and got the most restful night of sleep I’ve had in awhile. There is a lot of tension in my shoulders and I frequently end up with cricks in my neck, resulting in pretty bad headaches. I feel so energized this morning, that I am including this yoga sequence into my daily routine a few days a week.
We have 4 weeks until we go on vacation. I’m using that as motivation to up the intensity of my workouts! However, I know that if I set my goals too high, I will end up making excuses and not doing it. I just don’t have the capacity to exercise for 30 minutes a day or something crazy like that!
- Day 1: Lower body/ab/cardio circuit
- Day 2: 10-minute yoga
- Day 3: Upper body/ab/cardio circuit
- Day 4: 10-minute yoga
- Day 5: Lower body/ab/cardio circuit
- Day 6: 10-minute yoga
- Day 7: Upper body/ab/cardio circuit
Basically, I am rotating upper and lower body circuits with yoga on off days. I am doing the same exercises that I did this past week but adding 30 seconds each of cardio and abs between each set.
This week’s challenge:
ME TIME, every single day! I don’t have everything totally planned out yet. So far my activities include everything from a girls night to locking myself in our bedroom after dinner to read (and not a parenting book!) for 30 minutes, to going to the mall to get samples of skin products for my next challenge. Not gonna lie, I’m preeeeeetty excited about this week!
Have you been taking time for yourself? If not, what is holding you back?
*Disclosure: I am not a professional and am only sharing what I have done. Please consult with a professional if you have any concerns.