5 Tricks That Have Helped Me Stay In Shape
If I there was a magic pill that offered me more hours in the day to get everything done, get more sleep, spend more time with my family, cook elaborate and healthy meals, and oh, catch up on the 86 hours of television currently making my DVR list explode, I'd take it. Call me crazy though, if said pill took off weight and kept me in shape, I wouldn't take it. Nope. I'm a hypochondriac that worries about mixing Advil and Diet Coke at the same time. If there was a pill that could do all that AND make me skinny, there's probably something wrong with it and I'm not willing to die in the name of a tight ass. Well... that's not true. A tight ass is important; I just rather go the old fashioned route (other areas like time management, etc need a little extra help). But I digress...
The point is, that when it comes to fitness, I actually do carve out time to work out and in turn, sacrifice other things to get in a good sweat. Yes... other things, like showering after a crazy workout, or cleaning up my house while my son is at school are things that I SHOULD be doing, but as long as I'm getting IN the workout, I'm happy.
I realize that not all moms or women, for that matter, have the luxury of a flexible working schedule, so for this, I am very grateful. But as I showed with fitness expert and friend Jennifer Cohen, there are things everyone can do from HOME to stay in shape. In addition to Jennifer's awesome tips, I've come up with a few non-traditional ways to stay in shape, eat better, and feel good. None of these will necessarily land you on the front cover of Maxim's MILF edition (they really ought to actually have that edition), but they'll at least help make you feel like you are TRYING....
1) Have a plan... I start every day, and every week really, declaring that THIS will be the week/day that I kick it into gear and stick to a good eating plan. I generally eat pretty healthy... I make smart choices and seldom overdo it. So for me to "kick" anything, it would have to be a huge radical change, like entirely cutting out all carbs or abstaining from alcohol-- both, which are impossible and crappy options for life. However, I like to TELL myself I'm going to do this and for at least 6 hours (at some point during the day) actually DO this. (Yes, 6am to 12pm counts as doing it). My point: Start out the week or day with a plan. Go as far/long as you can on a certain regimen (I'm not endorsing starvation by the way!) and then when you're feeling like you met a goal, be/eat "normal."
2) Stir the pot.... In the kitchen doing dishes, cooking at the stove, or cleaning up? Stir the pot and lift your legs! I'm not joking! While you're standing at the stove and stirring, do leg lifts-- slightly bend your left leg and simply straighten and flex your right leg as you lift it, focusing on tightening your thigh and tush. If there is room and you won't burn your body, bring your knee to chest (or as high as you can get it) and pulse up and down, focusing on your core and abdomen. Truly, you can turn any household activity into a mini exercise, especially if you're doing all this stuff more than once a day (which most of us are), it'll start to add up. Every bit will counts!
3) Turn sideline chatter into a sideline workout. The other day as I sat on a blanket in the park during my son's weekly (one hour) sports class, I realized the other moms and I were missing out on a great opportunity. Here we were, sitting and relaxing (imagine that!) while our sons played sports, and we could have been doing something equally athletic or active. Most of us had shlepped in the mornings to a workout class or gym and hustled back to school to pick up the kids and shuffle them off to sports class... but as we sat there for an hour (and sit there for an hour each week) it seems crazy that we wouldn't use that 1.5 hour in the morning for something else and the hour we're just sitting on the sidelines to workout. We started brainstorming about all the sideline workouts we could do-- including sharing a trainer or someone (amongst 6 of us-- it would be pretty inexpensive) to come and give us a full cardio workout in the park! So gather your gals and your resources and get fit as a group!
4) Flat Belly Water. Okay, so I won't take a pill, but I will drink water. It's natural. And it's good for you. A friend of mine found this on Pinterest and it's pretty awesome. It's so delicious and hydrating that it's something you could do everyday, not just for 5 days (although I did see and feel quite a difference in 5 days). My son loved drinking and helping me with the "concoction" too. Note: You don't need to put it into a gorgeous jar like this-- a good ol' pitcher will do just fine.
5) Find a Hill. The other day, I took my son and met another friend and her son at the Paige Museum (home to the famous LA Tar Pits). The museum is great and perfect for a 4.5year old that loves all things science and history... But the best part about it is it sits on top of this hill, which allows for some serious running up and rolling down. Usually, I'm lazy and sit back while my son tries to make his way to what for him is the top of Mt. Olympus. But that day, I thought, why not trek up and down (on foot) too. We must have gone up and down at least a half a dozen times.... Certainly the 6 sprints up the hill will not land me on the MILF magazine overnight (l) but at the very least will get me a "good mom" pat on the back for doing this with my child AND afford me an extra cookie, slice of pizza, glass of wine at dinner (after all, by then we're waaaaaaaaaay past the first 6 hours of the day)....