Happy Monday to each of you! Today I have a delightful guest post from a friend of mine. Heather and I became acquainted through our church several years ago, and we eventually co-led a Bible study together. This girl is the real deal. Several years ago, she worked with Athletes in Action in Prague, and shortly after returning to the US, she met her husband. Heather’s an athlete, a personal trainer (with specialization in pre-/post-natal fitness), and a mom to a beautiful baby girl, so she understands the challenges of trying to sneak in a workout amidst the busyness of little ones. Since we’ve been talking about health with our whole food series, I also wanted to address fitness. So I asked Heather if she could craft a workout just for F&C readers, and she agreed! So today, she’s going to show you how you can tone up even with tiny tots underfoot. With three little ones, trying to figure out a consistent workout routine is a real challenge for me, so I’m especially excited for today’s post. Ready to join me? Welcome Heather!
Like most of you reading this blog, you almost instantly fall in love with the completely relevant, insightful content as well, as the whimsical and cozy pictures that fill each entry. As I scroll down, picture after picture, I always think to myself, ”I want to be where she is!” So when she asked me to guest blog, I was honored!
Let me take a second to introduce myself. My name is Heather Jones. I’m momma to a sweet 11-month-old and wife to an amazing man. I have an overwhelming love for my faith, family and fitness. I’ve been a trainer for five years, but a competitive athlete for 12 years leading up to that. I have several certifications, most recently specializing in pre/post-natal fitness.
I want to give encouragement and help to all you moms out there. I gained almost 50 pounds with my pregnancy, and let me tell you, I’m no spring chicken! Having my first at 32 years old, I was definitely nervous to see how my body would bounce back, as they say. So as you’re reading these words and saying to yourself: “Well, of course it was easy for her …she’s a trainer!” I want you to know 50 pounds is 50 pounds, and somehow it has to come off. So, just remember I’ve been there too!
I want to help give you a quick and easy workout for moms who are ready to exercise and get healthy. But before I do, let me give you some very important rules to follow:
1) Listen to your doctor
Seems simple, I know, but please talk to your doctor about any and everything you’re feeling. Ask your doctor if she/he thinks you’re ready to start exercising.
2) Listen to your body!
I cannot stress this one enough. Your body is your best friend. Listen to it. Let it guide you, especially at the beginning.
3) Fuel your body.
I know it’s tempting to try and diet or restrict calories in order to speed this process along, but we’re focusing on lifestyle choices, not quick fixes.
Drink lots and lots of water. Tons of water. If you have issues with water, try it at room temperature. Just get it down!
5) Find accountability.
The BEST thing that happened to me was being apart of a group of fellow moms a friend of mine put together. There were about ten of us on Facebook who created a private group, and we held each other accountable to do our workout of the day and our eating challenge.
I am going to give you a quick, 15-minute workout you can do with ZERO equipment. And zero equipment means ZERO excuses! Remember, this is not just for mommas out there, ANYONE can do this. If you are further along with your fitness level, just double it up and do this workout twice. Here we go.
Click here to print this workout.
Glossary and Notes:
Static Lunge: Make sure your weight is in your front heel. Do not let your front knee cross over your toes. Keep your shoulders over your hips.
Lower body jacks: Start in a squat position, feet wider than hip-width apart. Lower into a squat position, then jump up and bring feet together. Jump back into squat position. Lower into a squat and repeat.
Floor Bridge: Lie flat on the floor, on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Slowly go back to the starting position, and repeat.
Hamstring curl: Find a slick surface (i.e. tile, wood floor, etc) for this exercise. You’ll also need a towel (hand size). Lie flat on your back with knees bent, and place the towel (folded in half) under your feet. With knees still bent, lift your hips off the floor. Slow and controlled, slide feet back toward your glutes and back to starting position. Try to keep glutes squeezed and activated. If you feel it in your lower back, stop and lower your hips.
Burpees: Begin in a standing position. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended. Immediately return your feet to the squat position, and return to standing position.
*If you don’t feel comfortable at first with jumping your feet back at the same time in the burpee, you can walk each back and then walk them forward.
All push-ups can be done on your knees or on the wall. Keep your hands in line with your chest. Keep ears and shoulders in alignment at all times. Try not to let your head dip down.
Cobra: Lie face-down on the floor with your legs straight and your arms next to your sides, palms down. Contract your glutes, and raise your head, chest, arms and legs off the floor. Simultaneously rotate your arms so that your thumbs point toward the ceiling.
Whatever you do, just do something. Make goals, find a support system and take it one day at a time. If you miss a day, just remember, tomorrow is a new day. Don’t let excuses get in your way. You can find 15 minutes a day. Make yourself find 15 minutes a day! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns (e mail: email@example.com or leave a comment here). Love those babies, take time for yourself, and give them a positive example to follow!
Thank you, Heather! To pair this workout with healthy eating habits, check out my Whole foods for the Family Table series, if you haven’t already. And be sure to visit later this week, when I’ll be sharing a sample 5-day whole foods menu plan.