The end of summer vacation is a rite of passage for mothers everywhere. A suddenly quiet house barren of the messes a child can make becomes a license for freedom.
When the kids return to school to reignite the fires of learning and potential it provides an opportunity for you to start a blaze of your own – your metabolic rate! The best use of your newly acquired time is to spend it on yourself in an effort to improve your own life. You spend all the other hours of the day improving the lives of the ones that you love, so be sure to give back to yourself whenever possible.
Don’t worry if you aren’t a member of a gym, or don’t have a ton of equipment at home. These next five tips are ways that you can boost your metabolism, burn calories, and reshape your body without having to leave the house.
1. Bodyweight Ten on the Ten –
Time will pass no matter what you find yourself doing, so be sure to capitalize on the hands of the clock making their trip around the hour. Every ten minutes do ten repetitions of a bodyweight movement before going back to whatever you were doing previously. Focus on that movement for that hour and rotate to another exercise during the following hour.
Here is a caveat though – When the clock strikes the hour you have to do ten repetitions of both exercises (the last set of your first exercise and the first set of your next exercise).
Some great exercises to use are: Squats, Lunges, Push Ups, Lateral Lunges, Jumping Jacks and all the variations on these you can think of! You’ll get sixty repetitions of everything.
2. Gallon Jug Curl to Press
A full gallon jug of water weighs 8.34 pounds, which is plenty of resistance to challenge your biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles.
How to do the exercise: Stand tall and do a bicep curl with the jugs until the reach shoulder level. At this point think of pressing them towards the ceiling. Keep your belly button drawn into your body as though you are trying to make it touch your back. Contract your glutes to keep your legs and core solid, and imagine taking your elbows from your hips to your ears.
Do 5 sets of 12 repetitions with about thirty seconds to one minute of rest between your sets. You should and will feel your muscles working hard to finish your sets. If the gallon jugs are a bit too heavy for you to complete the workout – just pour some water out until you find that sweet spot!
3. Gallon Jug Stair March
That same jug can be carried at your sides up and down the steps as a form of resistance for loaded carries. Strength and conditioning professionals have been using loaded carries for years to increase the work capacity of athletes and general population alike, so don’t miss out on this great exercise that will challenge your legs, shoulders, back, and core.
Be sure to march up the steps and not just walk up them. In other words, think of driving your knees high into the air with each step upwards. Descend the stairwell safely.
As you walk think of squeezing your shoulder blades together and continuing to pull your belly button into your spine as this will brace your core and keep your posture tight. Be sure to put your entire foot onto each step and not just the toes.
Do 5 sets of one minute in which you go up and down the steps as much as possible in that minute. Rest as needed, but push yourself to keep that heart rate up and metabolism burning!
4. Stair Runs (or Speed Walks)
The average staircase has twelve steps to it, which if done (at a normal pace) just three times throughout the day will burn fifteen calories. Imagine what will happen when you start running those stairs as fast as you can in a minute! That same set of stairs in your home might as well be the stairs at the Olympic Arena in Rio.
Focus on quality strides that are both safe and powerful. Never go faster than you can handle, and be mindful of any knee, ankle, or hip injuries that might be limiting to you.
Do 5 sets of sixty seconds just like the march. If you need more rest between sets, then take it. This workout is about you becoming a little bit better every day – not trying to win the gold medal on day one.
5. Move to the Music
This last tip is less of a specific exercise and more of a prescription to a healthier and happier life, as well as one that is full of fitness.
The secret to longevity and wellness isn’t found in a pill, a diet, or as a setting on a machine at the gym. It is in you and always has been. Movement is medicine, especially when it is done in a state of enjoyment and contentment.
So, when you are at home crank up the music while you do your daily routine. Add a hip shake or a couple jabs to whatever you are doing. Make the day your dance floor. Soon enough you’ll be squatting because you want to, jumping because you can, and enjoying the little moments.
Fitness is anything you make it, so make it yours. Now, you have the time and the tools. Go get it!

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