Exercise at Christmas

Exercise at Christmas

Christmas can be a fantastic and exciting time but also full of stresses. Many mums that do regular exercise find it hard as the classes and bootcamps tend to stop the same week as the kids break up from school. There are things you can do at home but it is hard to keep motivated with all the temptations around at this time of year. Also I find it hard as it gets colder to resist the warm, unhealthy drinks and biscuits!

Its also hard for mums to stick to a routine and getting a workout in when there are so many demands on our time leading up to Christmas. Decide what you’d like to fit in and try and follow these 10 simple steps –

1. Move more – don’t stay in one position for too long a time when you are cooking, cleaning or relaxing on the sofa – get everyone one up and moving or out, for example on a walk, treasure hunt, races or competitions.

2. Workout first thing – before anything else happens. “There are just too many activities and commitments that come up,” says Angela Bekkala, clinical exercise specialist, mum of twins and creator of Happy Fit Mama. I run early so “You’re finished before the kids wake up!”

3. Put it as an appointment in your calendar – Hopefully your partner is supportive. If you worry about spending time with them as they are not working, it’s a great way to spend quality time together. Or if they can help with childcare you do the same for them. I have had comments of people saying it’s selfish, but its not – its about your health and sanity. Get grandparents to help, you only need 30 mins to fast walk or run!

4. Plan in what you enjoy and want to do – aim for 3-4 activities a week – DVD, online workouts etc. On Periscope Rachel Homes does a 7am workout, or maybe run, walk to get fresh air, or arrange to meet or pick up a friend then you cant cancel.

Classes available locally to Farnham with children

Bootcamp Tilford with Belinda Andrews 14th and 16th December – 9.30 Tilford Green – back on wed 6th January.

Farnham Pilates – last classes 17th-18th Dec – 8.45 and 9.45am – wear Christmas hats bring a friend or children.

Sweaty Betty does classes inhouse too.

5) Don’t worry about what you wear –  I put the clothes out the night before and dress in the dark and don’t look in the mirror. Then I enjoy the shower or bath later and then do hair and make up and feel much better in myself.

6. Its not always possible to exercise without the kids – so include them or watch online and do it in front of them. I think its just as important for them to see me working out and that I find it important to look after myself.

Ditch the ‘either-or’ attitude. Children instinctively love to move. Resistance bands are great for playing with and balls make fun mini trampolines. Also as your children grow older, workouts can be bonding time. I’d like my oldest daughter to run or cycle with me, if its a one off they wont do it, but if its regular they will understand it’s important and will want to come with you, or simply bribe them for that Saturday night movie and popcorn. I ran a dash for colour for Phillis Tuckwell this September and my daughter and I had great fun throwing powder at each other! Other ideas could include taking the kids to the park and do step ups, tricep dips, running races and they love a circuit or obstacle course. It doesn’t need to be long, just a quick workout – 10-15mins raising your heart rate is better than nothing.

7. Do you get Back pain? – stop what you are doing, think about your posture. Have a look at our 5 days of short stretches and the relevant blogs. I am also running a 6 week programme for you to follow – details here.

8.Walk or cycle to friends for Christmas drinks or the family drive and you walk or run and meet them there. Make the most of any time you have and make time.

9. Analysis your time – Can you not go on Facebook/cooking/ cleaning for 10 mins. Swap activities or plan ahead and do bulk cooking. Get the kids to help and delegate. I find December is the best month as they have to be good and help otherwise Santa may not come! We do a points system for pocket money and points are taken off for not helping. They don’t get tea if they don’t help. I know older ones have homework but when they are hungry they will do anything to get the food quicker!

10. Don’t beat yourself up – if you don’t get time. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Even 10 mins a day is great but even every other day is a good start!

 

National Work Life week – how’s your balance?

National Work Life weekIt is National Work-Life Week starting on Monday 21st September with the aim of highlighting the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Having a lifestyle mix of work, family and health is an important challenge many of us face today with studies showing that those working 55 hours a week or more have a 35% increased risk of suffering a stroke than those who work 40 hours or less.

Maintaining work and a healthy lifestyle is one of the most challenging aspects my clients face and I even struggle at times especially on children’s holidays. Finding the right balance between family, work and looking after yourself can be very stressful and it’s often difficult to get the mix right. We can end up sacrificing our own wellbeing to work or spending time with the family but in the end if we aren’t looking after our health then everything suffers.

Regular exercise boosts energy levels make you feel more alert and happier. It can really make a huge amount of difference in how you perform at work and helps clear your mind and put everything else in perspective.

Here are five easy tips on how you can make improvements in your work-life balance.

• Work out or walk with your partner and friends.
• If you have young children taking it in turns in the evenings to run or go to classes helps encourage each other.
• Do try and get 10 minutes of exercise done first thing even before children are up, then it’s out the way and you will feel so proud of yourself!
• Exercise with the children encourage them to go exercise i.e a bike ride or log onto you-tube, or buy an online programme like the Yummy Tummy 6 week programme for mums.
• Take up Pilates classes. New classes started in September all around Farnham but the Farnham Pilates new studio has small group reformer classes and an open trial day 24th and 25th September.  For details of our classes click here

This weekend I am speaking at the WIFE conference in Guildford (Wome in Fitness Empowerment) all about youtime and how you can obtain a  better balance. If you would like to join us and see other inspirational speakers such as Anna Kennedy OBE who took part in The People’s Strictly the you can find out more here.

And for more info on National Work Life Week have a look at their website here

 

Schools Out! Keep exercising while the kids are on holiday

Exercise with kids in the summer holidays
Schools Out for Summer! Whilst that may mean lots of fun with your kids it can also mean that your normal workout routine can take a hammering.  So can you keep up your exercise regime over the summer? Here are my thoughts in a short video on the importance of making some time for yourself, followed by some great tips to help you keep exercising over the holidays.

Short workouts first thing can be great to keep exercising, but always –
Stay cool
Stay moving
Stay motivated
Stay healthy
Do 10 mins every morning
Swim, run, cycle, enjoy the sun for 10 mins get vit d.

 

Here at Farnham Pilates we also have a 15 min exercise video that you can download and do anywhere which can also help give you a focus to the exercise time you have.

 

Keep Calm and Carry on Exercising!
It’s important to stay calm with the kids and regular exercise for you can help with this. Physical activity influences changes in the brain otherwise activated by anti depressants and sport enhances the brains ability to absorb serotonin, which helps keeps moods balanced!

 

Stay motivated
Exercising as a group can be a real motivating factor to keep going. Run as a group, check local running groups or get other mums to meet you when partner home or cycle – wear a technical top to keep sweat away from skin to stop you feeling clammy. Or agree to do a class with a bunch of other mums and stick to it.

 

Get up early before the kids and do – Try this 4 min workout which you could do with your kids and encourage them to be fit and healthy too!
2 mins jog on spot then burpee
2 mins Squat then jump lift left leg then squat and change legs
2 Jumps
2 Air squats
Rocket jump bend knees
Butterfly sit up knees out – use core
Lunge
Crunch side reach for obliques
This will use oxygen so after the 8 mins the body carry on blitzing fat long after the session

 

We also asked Joanne McGowan of Act One Adventures for her top tips to involve kids in exercise and here is what she said.

 

“Try setting up a mini olympics at home, in the garden or park.  You don’t need fancy equipment – Pool noodles make great javelins, tins of beans for weight lifting, running races etc.  If you’re feeling really silly have a closing or opening ceremony too.
We also embrace technology that our son loves and have regular Just Dance evenings on the X Box.  It is a great giggle, good exercise and great family time too.”

 

To get the most out of your workouts in the summer…
Drink drink drink (water) –  it’s easy to be dehydrated do keep topping up.  I know in the summer it’s easy to start early with a glass of Rose but commit to 2-3 nights off a week and on those nights eat or choose healthily  – salads/ all veg meals, no bread.
Post workout Epsom salt baths cleanse your muscles of toxins restore mineral levels and encourage relaxation – soak away aches and pains
Diet – Keep blood sugar levels balanced take magnesium add more spinach, avocados, nuts seeds and dark chocolate. If you are going to drink a good detoxifier is hot water and lemon in morning and parsley tea- helps flush out toxins.

 

So with a bit of planning and a fun outlook you can keep up your exercise over the summer and have fun with the family too.