One of the most difficult things about working at home is scheduling a proper fitness routine. If you are a Work At Home Mother and are having to contend with kids, housework and running a business too, you will have to make a special effort to schedule some exercise into your day. I find the best way of doing so is to squeeze in as many five-minute bursts of activity as I can, either with the kids or without, and to try to make them fun too.
If the kids are at home:
Counting your calories is always a solid approach to getting fit. Knowing how many calories you consume a day is essential to finding out if you'll lose or gain weight. When you only use calories at your level of maintenance or lower, and you lose some while you exercise, the weight will fly off.
Put the baby in the pushchair and the kids on bikes or scooters and take a brisk walk around the block. Getting outside into the open air will improve everybody's state of mind and mood. Walk fast to exercise your cardiovascular system (and keep up with the kids!) and you will return home feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Have a five-minute tidy up! Set the kitchen timer, put some music on, and get everybody running around the house to pick up toys, books, clothes and shoes and return them to their proper places. Make it fun and the kids will enjoy it and willingly join in. Make it fast and you might even improve your fitness too!
When working out, be sure to exhale following each repetition of your given weight.
What is the weather like? Can you take the kids out into the yard (garden) for a five-minute run-around? Run races, do some star jumps, and just mess around. If you can't get outside, clear a space and do a five-minute exercise routine with the kids indoors. Make it a daily event and vary the routine to include walking and running on the spot, skipping, star jumps, stretches and bends, making faces, shaking out your fingers and toes - whatever you and the kids will enjoy!
During school term time:
The easiest thing to learn is that you should life heavy weights for fewer repetitions. Start off by choosing a muscle group. Start with weights that are lighter weight to warm up your muscles. Your warm-up weight should included 15 to 20 times. The second set should consist of heavier weights that are heavy enough that you can only complete 6 to 8 reps. Add about five pounds and repeat.
Walk the kids to and from school. This is a great way to spend some quality time with your kids, is much less stressful than driving, and helps them arrive at school in the best mood for their day too. Can you jog or run home afterwards? If you live too far away from school to walk, perhaps you could park a little way away and walk the last bit (which will help you avoid school congestion too).
If the kids are at school and you are rushing to get something done before the school day ends, you can spend far too much time in your office and quickly get stale! Sometimes you just have to force yourself to take that break. even if end-of-school is looming. Try walking out of the front door with watch in hand and time yourself for 2.5 minutes. Stop, turn around, and go back home again. You will feel much better for it and be refreshed when you sit back down at your desk.
Do the exercises you don't like. The thought is that people are more inclined to avoid doing their weakest exercises. Add this exercise to your routine and work hard to overcome them.
If you have time on your own:
Break your day up - and make sure that you plan your breaks in advance. I keep it simple by scheduling a five-minute break every hour. If I am very engrossed in a project I sometimes set a beeper to remind me! I have a list of five-minute activities to do and during a full work at home day I will probably achieve 6 or 7 of them.
When doing repetitions that require counting, count backwards from your goal. This helps you get a better idea of how many you have left while keeping you motivated to finish.
Do you have stairs? Climb them! Time yourself and keep going for five minutes, no less. If you don't have stairs, buy a mini-step machine. They don't cost much, are easy to store in a corner, and they work!
No time to get out and about? Stretch! I have a card on the wall behind my monitor with the word "STRETCH!" printed on it in huge letters. When I get involved in a project I sometimes hardly look up from my keyboard and monitor for hours - but when I do, and notice the card, I remember to stand up, stretch everything out and take a 5-minute breather. Try standing about two feet away from your desk, bending at the waist and placing your hands on the edge of the desk to help support your body. Hold for thirty seconds and then stand up straight and take several deep breaths. Repeat twice more. Stretching out your back like this help release tension in the spine and shoulders. Shake out your arms and fingers, then your feet; stretch up tall and then touch your toes and do whatever else it takes to ease out those kinks!
Many people need to feel and see results before they pursue their weight loss efforts. Try wearing tight clothes instead of relying on the scale.Wear these every week to see how much change you are experiencing.
Keep some tennis balls in a desk drawer and squeeze one in each hand as hard as you can for 10 second bursts. This is a great exercise to do when you have been typing for too long. Take those same tennis balls and roll them around under your feet (taking your shoes off first!) This is almost ridiculously pleasurable! (Tip: keep the tennis balls hidden away and out of reach to prevent them mysteriously disappearing from your office and reappearing in the car, garden or toy cupboard).
Try a five-minute resistance band workout. Resistance bands are cheap, easy to store, and effective - and can be used to exercise many different areas of the body. Follow the instructions that come with the resistance band for a quick exercise routine - or try a search on Google for ideas. You can achieve quite a lot in five minutes with these.
Clean all the exercise machine at the fitness center before you start using it. Other users may have cleaned up after themselves and left all types of germs behind.
Dumbbells are another good investment for a quick exercise routine. Get a range of weights and a storage rack, but make sure that they are stored safely away from children, who should NEVER play with them. Learn a quick dumbbell routine for the arms, back and shoulders. Personally, I love bicep curls - they make me feel powerful! Find your favourite exercise and schedule it into your day.
Finally - and I hesitate to mention this one - a five-minute stint of housework can break your work routine and, if you do it energetically enough - can be part of your fitness regime! I try to make these little spurts of housework into a time challenge and I schedule them into my day. For example, on Thursdays at 11.00am I might strip the beds. First, I open up ITunes and put one of my favourite tracks on. Then I run around like a mad thing trying to strip down 3 sets of beds, get the first lots of sheets into the washer and sit back down at the computer before the track ends. It may sound silly, but it makes housework a little more fun and less of a chore. A five-minute sweep, vacuum or mop, if done energetically, can count towards your daily exercise and make you feel virtuous and house-proud too!