5 ways to get in a workout at home
By Peri Hughes, Pre & Postnatal Exercise Expert, Founder of PH Method
Let’s face it: mom life is hectic. Throw in working from home, and it can feel like an uphill struggle to find time to work out. We all know the physical benefits of maintaining a consistent exercise routine, but doing it regularly is also a huge mood booster with more and more studies highlighting the immense mental health benefits. If you’re a new mom, you know how important it is to do something just for you, and moving your body also helps maintain a healthy pregnancy before your baby is born.
Just because movement is super beneficial for you and your life right now doesn’t mean it’s easy or convenient—but the good thing is every bit counts! Since I know you’ve already got your hands full, here are some tips I give my pre/postnatal clients to help them squeeze it in…ones I picked up from my own journey as a mama of two.
1. try exercise snacking
Sprinkle in bite-sized movement breaks throughout your day.
When it comes to working out, it doesn’t need to be all or nothing. In fact, doing something—even if it’s for less than 5 minutes—is far more beneficial to your overall health than doing nothing at all.
Here are a few of my favorite “Exercise Snacks.” Try incorporating them throughout your daily activities to give your body and mind a refresh.
Counter Top Pushups
Every time you head to the kitchen to refill your water bottle, perform a set ~ Repeat 8-10x.
Watch the video here
Plank To Downward Dog
WFH? Break up your Zoom meetings and give your spine some TLC with this energizing flow ~ Repeat 6-8x.
Watch the video here
Lunge To Chair
Cooking dinner? Try this flow while you’re waiting on the water to boil for the ultimate thigh burn ~ Repeat 8-10x on each side.
Watch the video here
2. SCHEDULE IT IN AND MAKE IT A PRIORITY
Set some boundaries around your precious “me time."
Time management is key when you’re a busy mama. You’ll want to schedule in your workouts like you plan your kids’ playdates or doctor's appointments. Put them in your calendar as a weekly reminder to make working out a priority.
We often underestimate the time it takes us to do things—and that's when tasks like working out fall further and further down the list. Be realistic and hold yourself accountable when blocking off time to move (e.g., how long do you *really* need to get ready? how much recovery time should you have before jumping into your next activity?). Remind your family that you’re off limits during this time—aka no distractions. These are small steps that can go a long way in keeping you on track and consistent with your weekly commitments to yourself.
3. Explore on demand workouts
There’s so much to choose from—from Peloton to at-home Barre classes.
One silver lining from the pandemic and the transition to WFH life has been the incredible rise of digital workout content. You can enjoy a whole host of fantastic classes from experienced instructors while your baby’s sleeping or your kids are playing in the next room.
On demand workouts were practically made for busy moms…from quick 10 to 30-minute burns to the ability to hit pause when your little one calls out for a snack. Here are some of my favorites for pregnant/postpartum moms:
I love to unwind with their on demand yoga classes and guided meditations, but they also offer a whole host of workshops, parenting resources and workouts catered to the new and expectant mother.
Their mission is that you should never have to modify a workout because you’re expecting, and I loved taking their strength-building classes from the comfort of my home when I was pregnant with my son, Sebby.
4. Involve the kiddos
It’s important as parents to model the behavior we want to see in our kids.
Taking care of our bodies and dedicating time to move regularly is showing our children that we value working out for both our physical and mental health. We’re modeling exercise as a celebration of what our bodies can do, rather than punishment.
Invite your kids to join in when you are working out. Get creative and tell a story around the moves you’re doing or turn it into a game. Yoga is a great form of exercise you can easily translate and make appropriate for kids. Calling out positions like ‘Tree Pose’ and ‘Aeroplane’ and having your kids follow along makes exercise fun for the whole family!
5. cREATE A PRE OR POST-WORKOUT RITUAL
To elevate your experience and make you *want* to show up and work out.
It can be as simple as lighting a candle to fill your workout space with a scent you love or changing into some workout clothes that make you feel amazing. When you’re pregnant or newly postpartum, it becomes even more important to choose activewear that’s comfortable, breathable, and easy to move in. Look for fabrics that feel soft against your newly sensitive skin and styles that support your growing bump like Ingrid+Isabel’s Performance Leggings.
The same goes for post-workout…perhaps you give yourself some extra time to stretch or foam roll your tired body, or refuel and treat yourself to a delicious snack or post-class coffee. It’s all about creating that environment that gets you excited about working out, one that you’ll choose to replicate over and over again.
Whether you’re preparing for baby’s arrival, still planning your life around 3-hour increments, or juggling an infant and a toddler, you’re probably busier than you’ve ever been. But the truth is, movement is medicine and as a sleep-deprived mom, it’s something you can totally benefit from. It’s all about figuring out a system that works for you and making it a priority. Remember it’s not all or nothing, mama…you got this.
Peri Hughes is a former dancer, master barre instructor, and certified pre/postnatal exercise specialist. Her experience with her first pregnancy moved her to launch PH Method, an evidence-based workout designed to support women on their journey from fertility to pregnancy and motherhood. Her efficient and pregnancy-safe classes help women prepare mentally and physically for the changes these big life transitions can bring. You can work out with Peri live in San Francisco or online anytime via her on demand workouts. For more information, visit phmethod.com