We all know how important an exercise plan or program is for weight loss, and including regular activity in your day is essential for a healthy lifestyle.
While we usually designate a specific block of time to work up a sweat, we often neglect the other hours in the day, losing valuable opportunities to keep active.
Then there are those days when an exercise session is one thing too many on the daily schedule (we are busy mum’s after all!) Exercise need not take a back seat in these instances though.
It’s time to revisit and embrace exercising incidentally. We’re talking about the little things you can do as part of everyday life. The key to losing weight, and keeping it off, is regular activity that keeps your body moving. No matter how time poor you might be, these kinds of activities slot into your day and don’t require workout gear or a water bottle.
The National Physical Activity Guidelines even advocate the idea of breaking your workout up into small blocks of ten minutes. Studies have found that accumulated blocks (think three ten minute blocks during the day) can be as beneficial as a continuous stint of exercise.
Your best bet for weight loss and weight maintenance is to combine your daily incidental exercise with a couple of structured activities that work up a sweat like a walk with the pram, or a session at the gym while the kids are in the creche.
The greatest thing about incidental exercise? It’s everywhere! Things like taking the stairs instead of the lift and parking your car as far away from the entrance to the shopping centre as possible all elevate your heart rate slightly, which helps fire up your metabolism and burn calories.
Incidental exercise is especially good for mum’s on the run looking to lose baby weight as it fits in so well to a typical day. Pregnant women looking for a safe exercise option can also embrace the incidental as a great way to keep fit.
Below are our top incidental exercise activities. While we’ve chosen our favourites, the sky really is the limit. Get creative and you’re sure to notice a difference on the scales.
The top exercises to do incidentally
- Chronic user of the clothes dryer? Try and hang washing out on the line a couple of times a week. Carrying a basket of wet clothes and all the reaching and stretching that comes with pegging everything out is a fantastic way to raise your heart rate.
- Planning a short trip down the road for a coffee or to post a letter? Strap your little one into the stroller or baby carrier. The extra weight you’ll push (or have strapped to your front), makes the walk more challenging.
- Vacuum the house… in heels. No, we haven’t lost our marbles. Digging out your stacked heel pumps from the back of the wardrobe and popping them on while hoovering activates the muscles in your legs, especially those in your thighs, and makes them work that bit harder. Your core will engage as well to keep you steady and upright. You’ll also give any neighbours a great laugh.
- Make the shopping trolley work for you. Locking your elbows into your sides and pushing a grocery laden trolley forward and backwards is a great way to target your triceps (the muscles that run along the bottom of your arms). This can be a tricky area to tone, due to its location, but 10 reps with the trolley is a step in the right direction.
- Finished your grocery shopping (and trolley reps)? Place half your bags on the floor and practice squatting to pick up the items, keeping your back straight and core muscles switched on. You’ll soon feel the burn in your bottom and thighs.
- Mixing up your daily Healthy Mummy smoothie? Use the time to jog on the spot, perform some lunges or bust out some star jumps till you’ve finished blending.
If you are ready to lose weight then the Lose Baby Weight plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine that are safe in breastfeeding and can help support your milk supply
And don’t forget to check out our current promotions and discounts page to see what specials we have on this week on our Healthy Mummy product range