Health and happiness are pretty universal pursuits, and, as a mom of two littles, one of my nightly prayers for my family. Staying active is key to our overall health – heart, soul, strength and mind! So what does the pursuit of health and happiness look like in this current season at home?!
Go for Movement Over Method. Here’s the deal – the odds of your workout routine looking similar to a couple weeks ago is very slim. Focus on moving rather than following a routine or method. Basic movements like raising your knees and lifting your arms above your head will increase your heart rate and burn some calories. Keep moving throughout the day – stand and walk around rather than sitting. Lift your heels or bend your knees in slight pulses while fixing a meal or working on your laptop. Holding a basic barre pose can engage and strengthen your body. Your kiddos will likely interrupt your attempt to exercise and that’s okay! Keep going! That brings me to . . .
Let Them Join You. Many fitness routines can be attempted by children as well. Let them pick out a video on YouTube that you all can try together. Invite them to copy an exercise you’re doing. Planks, sit-ups, jumping jacks, lunges, etc. are actually fun when you’re young!
Make it Fun. Laughter is the best medicine, right? So let’s make it fun for you ALL! If you’re working out alone while the kids sleep or play, find exercises that you truly enjoy as that’s what best for your heart, soul, strength and mind. If you’re attempting a family exercise time, make it fun with goofy movements, facial expressions and silly sounds.
Turn Up the Music. Music moves us. And it’ll move your kids, too. There are lots of fun playlists on Spotify as well as other music libraries. Keep the music on, and the movement will follow. While dancing around (or doing any kind of movement), keep your core engaged. As I say in my barre classes, ‘Belly button pulled back to the spine. Shoulders down. Chest lifted and proud.’ This will strengthen your core, improve your posture and just make you feel better.
Press Play. Make it simple and just play these videos to get started!
- REFIT (Cardio Dance)
- The Body Barre (Barre, Yoga, HEAT)
- HEAT (High Energy Aerobic Toning)
- Travis Garza (Strength & Cardio)
For your kids:
Avoid the Sugar Spike. I’m not going to advise against sugar – let’s not get crazy! But when giving our kids sweet treats or savoring them ourselves, be strategic to prevent a spike in sugar. Pair the sweet treat with something more solid like cheese or yogurt. When my kids ask for chocolate, I’ll put Cheerios, raisins and chocolate baking chips in a snack cup. When my kids want a yummy drink, I’ll make smoothies with frozen fruit and Greek yogurt. (Don’t tell them, but I also sneak in frozen chopped spinach.) Make a sandwich more exciting by using a cookie cutter to make it a fun shape. Present apple slices and peanut butter as a ‘cool big kid’ snack. Rather than meals, you may find solid snacks every few hours keep everyone’s moods and energy levels more balanced.
Make Mommy Time. Take care of yourself! If mama ain’t happy and healthy, nobody is! Tell your family you need an uninterrupted half or full hour to yourself each day. It will be tough to do at first, but the kids will catch on. Go on a walk. Dance around with weights. Do a workout video on YouTube or Facebook (Check out The Body Barre on Facebook for home-friendly routines).
Breathe! Just breath. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Take deep breaths while you exercise. Take deep breaths while you do laundry, make meals, get ready for bed. Have your kids join you in deep breathing.
Finally, moms, give yourself grace, rest and the freedom to just do what works for you and your family. Most likely, you’re already going to be moving around nonstop caring for your family. Just make healthy choices one day at a time. Please don’t compare your daily routine to those you see on social media or Pinterest. True health and happiness come from love, joy and peace, not comparison and expectations.
Just get moving, Mama!
Follow Libby Myrin and Holy Barre, her faith-based barre ministry, on Instagram: @holybarre and find her classes at Mama Barre Studio.