That blah time of year smack in-between ‘post-holiday cheer’ and ‘pre-spring joy.’
My husband is a pilot. And when the weather is bad, he doesn’t fly. And in the mid-winter, the weather is bad a lot. So, this time of year my husband is home a lot. And as much as I dearly love and adore my sweet husband, if he is home more than a few days in a row, I’m the first one trying to push him out the door and praying for sunny skies. It feels akin to the scenes in those Western movies with two people ready to draw pistols in the dusty main road of town: “This house ain’t big enough for the two of us, Buckko (and our kids).”
And for me, when the weather is blah, I feel like blah, and I eat. And eat. And when I’m pregnant (like I am now), I eat some more. I’d love to say that I eat carrots and kale in mass quantities, but who am I kidding. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate is my treat of choice.
So, in these mid-winter months, you’ll often find me hiding from my husband (and usually kids), eating junk, and dreaming of my flip-flops.
But then I remember that iconic line from the Academy Award winning movie (just kidding), Legally Blonde:
Exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t.
Elle Woods may have been the epitome of a ditzy college girl, but she has a point grounded in scientific research.
According to sport and exercise psychologist J. Kip Matthews PhD, “When you exercise, your brain increases production of these neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your nervous system. In the case of exercise, those messages might be something along the lines of: “You’re running! This is awesome! Cheer up!” Matthews goes on to say that, “Exercise may actually help ward off depression and anxiety by enhancing the body’s ability to respond to stressors.” (Want to know more? read this.)
So, when the domino effect of mid-winter weather has me feeling depressed, anxious, and wanting to wrangle my husband back to work, that’s my cue that I need to be active. But as a stay-at-home mom with no reliable childcare and crummy weather outside, how?
By NOT even leaving the house (or pajamas. You’re welcome). So, here’s my at-home, equipment-free workout that anyone can do. Be sure to read all the way to the end for tips and safety guidelines!
The Everyday Mama’s At-Home Workout
Do each exercise for 60 seconds, resting 10 seconds in-between. If you don’t have a timer handy, do 20 of each, or 10 on each side. Aim to do three sets, or whatever you have time for!
These exercises can be done anywhere, anytime, no special equipment needed. Cans of corn and jugs of juice make for great dumbbells to increase the resistance. Just search through your pantry, closet, or toy box, and I bet you’ll find the perfect weight for you.
For exercises like the plank push-up, you can adjust the intensity by changing your angle. The more parallel you are to the ground the harder it will be.
If you are pregnant or postpartum, be sure to engage your core muscles as if you’re “hugging your baby high and tight” during each exercise. To read more about how to do that and why, read this about Diastasis Recti.
Are you one of the fortunate few who live in a beautiful winter climate? Take your kids to the park and try this workout on the playground!
Looking for more help and guidance to be active? Check out this mama’s advice and what’s worked for her!
DISCLAIMER: Please do not participate in this workout if your doctor has advised you to abstain from exercise or avoid certain movements. Otherwise, this workout, when done with correct form, is safe for all types of moms and more!