Fitting in a work out as a mom – both working outside the home, working in the home and staying at home – is like fitting a round puzzle piece in a square hole (or like balancing two cows on your hooves per the Chick Fil A Calendar image for May). It often takes some planning and forethought. I feel so much better when I work out. There is a reason for that. We all learned in school physical education that physical activity releases endorphins that make you feel good, The Mayo Clinic adds that this in turn can relax you, improve sleep and increase self-confidence. All of that sounds good to me!
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise for active adults. With so many demands on our time and schedule, convenience plays a real part in making the work-out part of the self-care routine happen.
Here are my four favorite FREE work out apps:
YouTube: This app is useful for so many things. I utilize it for work outs at least three times a week. We recently purchased a used cycle bike from a neighbor and it is basic (read: no monitor or tv screens) so to keep me motivated I check out “20 minute cycle workouts”. My favorites are the ones where there is a British cycling team or coach – the accent is distracting and the music is fast paced making it easier to keep a stride. There are a variety of work-outs and lengths- chances are if there is a work-out type you like, you can find it on YouTube.
SworkIt Abs and Core: I love this app. I use it as much as possible during the week. If I know I only have 5 minutes before the baby wakes up – I use it. If I am pretty sure I can do a 30 minute work out, I use it. That is the beauty of this app! This free, no work-out equipment needed app is a great way to fit in some basic core exercises at home. You can select one of the three modes and then select how much time you have. It will then show you the exercise you are doing and announce it so you will be prepared and in position for the 30 second count down for each exercise. It also has occasional 30-second breaks for water and stretching if needed. This is seriously the best app for quick core strengthening and stretching when you know you will be piecing together 5 minute work-outs when it is going to be one of those days.
SworkIt Kids: When the kids are up and want to get involved in the work out – I use this app. It is essentially the Swork It app but for kids! You can adjust the time for 5-60 minute increments and it gives kid-friendly exercises in 30-second rounds just like the previous app. Some of these exercises are even challenging my flexibility limits, while they ace them. It burns off some of their energy and I get a work-out in – it’s a win-win to me!
Freeletics Bodyweight: Similar to SworkIt, this app does not require any equipment for working out making this another go-to app for when you are trying to fit in a work out. You can choose from full work-outs, running or single exercises to run through. I like this one for the addition of running. If the little is sleeping and the big is up and active, then we select running and do sprints outside with the monitor nearby. I’ve even done a work-out with this while the kiddos play on the playground (a standard morpheus took me about 15 minutes). This serves as another great cardiovascular tool.
Fit in that workout where you can mama! You are showing your kids that you want to stay healthy, and chances are they are watching and absorbing!
I think it goes without saying – if you have not worked out before or are trying a new work-out program, consult your primary care provider to make sure there are no barriers to what your workout goals are. Once you get the go ahead – go for it!
Do you have a favorite work out app? Tell us in the comments!