This 3-part fitness series is written and sponsored by Samantha Costello, a Marine Corps spouse and owner of Core Fit. If you’re interested in joining a group to help you stay accountable with your at-home workouts, check out her Holiday Hustle Challenge starting December 1. This challenge includes 4 weeks of workouts you can do anywhere, anytime, along with nutrition guidance and an amazing group of like-minded women helping each other reach their goals. There’s also a chance to win a big challenge giveaway!
We hear a lot about “filling your own cup” or taking time for yourself, but when you’re a military spouse that’s a little easier said than done.
Life is hectic for most people these days, but a milspouse gets to add on deployments, trainings, solo parenting… the list goes on and on. How are we supposed to find time for bubble baths and binge-watching Netflix?
What if there was a better form of self-care that not only filled your cup but also improved your overall health and well-being?
Yes, we’re talking about exercise.
If you’re the type of person who thinks self-care should consist of vegging on the couch or taking a nap, I encourage you to open your mind to the multiple benefits of choosing exercise for your self-care routine.
The best part? Exercise doesn’t haven’t to be complicated or cost a lot of money. You don’t even need to leave the house!
Why Choose Exercise Over Netflix?
It can be tempting to choose TV or naps when you manage to squeeze in time for self-care … especially when it’s so hard to find that time in the first place.
For article #1 the list of benefits of exercise – American Council on Exercise
Take a look at the benefits of making exercise a priority:
- Help with weight loss
- Boost Self Confidence
- Build muscle strength and bone density
- Increase energy levels
- Reduce risk of chronic disease
- Improve brain function and memory
- Help with relaxation and sleep
- Help reduce chronic pain
- May lower high blood pressure
I’m not sure you’ll get all those benefits from your bubble bath or a This Is Us marathon. Although those are great too…
Some of the best exercises don’t even require weights, although you can add them in if you have them available (where applicable)!
5 Exercises You Can Do at Home
- Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (weight optional)
This move is so important because it allows us to work each leg by itself! When we work both legs together, the stronger leg will often “take over” for the other.
This exercise is one of my favorites for working the posterior chain, which goes down your entire back to your glutes, all the way down your leg. We categorize this exercise into the “functional exercise” category because it may help us perform daily activities more easily and without injury. It’s also a great balance challenge as you are balancing on one leg! Add weight for an added challenge!
- Plank Rocks – taking the traditional plank and adding in some rocking!
This exercise will fire up your core even more than the traditional plank because it requires more energy to complete the move. Aside from your core, it is an amazing shoulder workout as you use them to rock back and forth, and it targets some of the smaller accessory muscles you may miss with a standard overhead press.
Want even more of a challenge? Place a yoga block in between your legs and squeeze or place your hands on an unstable surface like a bosu ball!
- Glute Bridges
Glute Bridges really allow you to activate your glute muscles and target them in isolation. Working your glutes are important for many reasons. They are the largest group of muscles in the body and the strongest. If you sit for prolonged periods of time, (like at work all day) your glutes may become weakened and hip flexors overly tight. Glute bridges help to correct both of these problems.
Glute bridges may also help with:
- Posture as your back and glutes are strengthened
- Reducing lower back pain
- Effectively warming up on a lower body lift day
- Strengthening your core
- Reducing knee pain (One main cause of knee pain is lack of control of the femur. Strengthened glutes play a big role in controlling the femur at the hip joint, which affects how the other bones of the knee joint work together.)
- Toning your butt, so you feel confident in your bikini or favorite pair of jeans!
- Sprinting faster and jumping higher because speed and power are driven from the glutes.
- They also are low impact and pre and post-natal safe!
If you need a challenge, place a weight at your hips.
- Walkout pushups
Taking the basic pushup and adding in the walkout takes it to the next level! It requires core strength and even works the posterior chain (from the back of your legs all the way to your glutes).
Feel free to drop to your knees if you need a modification on the pushup piece. See the image here: Walkout Pushup
- Burpees – my absolute favorite!
You may groan when you hear the word “burpee,” but they’re such a good overall workout! They build muscular strength over your entire body and they’re also a cardiovascular killer! Burpees are great as a measuring tool for improvement, too! The more fit you get, the more you can pack into one minute! See the image here: Burpees
It’s so important to make time for self-care, especially as a busy military spouse. When we take care of ourselves, we are more fulfilled and have more to give.
I encourage you to choose exercise as your next form of self-care and enjoy the many benefits that come with it!
If you’d like regular tips on how to reach your health and fitness goals, you can join the Core Fit family and get regular emails from me on how to become the best version of yourself. If you want in, go to the link in my Instagram bio @corefitfix and click “Get Free Workouts and Recipes” and submit your email address to get added to the list.
Samantha Costello is a Marine Corps spouse and owner of Core Fit. She’s making waves for other military spouses by encouraging them to pay attention to what really gives them purpose while helping them create a path forward in that direction. While it may require her clients to step outside their comfort zone, Samantha encourages them to do something they are passionate about every day in order to not only live out a dream career, but to make a positive impact.