New Mum, Grandma or simply a busy life? It’s not always easy to fit formal exercise in. Here’s a list of 7 secret exercises for busy women. Anywhere, anytime gems that don’t look or feel like exercises – but will help maintain YOU!
Try these #7 secret exercises for busy women!
#1 Stand well: when talking
|Can we DO posture? Does that really count as exercise? Absolutely.|
In Kenya, the Maasai Warrior are taught from an early age to stand for hours at a time, still and upright. To find this amazing posture they are told to focus on their feet.
- feet a little apart, pointing straight forward
- press the inside edges of the heels towards each other (they don’t actually have to touch)
That’s it. But as you make that small adjustment at your feet, notice the cascade of muscle activity through the rest of your legs and bottom muscles? Feel the gluts and legs come ‘alive’, feel the stretch on the front of the thighs as your pelvis draws back into neutral, notice your lower abdominals activate and the spine straighten? By the time you even get to your head and shoulders you will feel that by getting the feet ‘right’ everything else has drawn into place?
Posture requires effort
You may find that today you can only ‘hold’ this posture 5-10 seconds before feeling tired and fatigued by the effort involved, both physical and mental. That’s ok. That feeling is your muscles working in an endurance hold that they are not used to. But if every time you stand to talk to someone, cuddle a baby, answer the phone, stand in a queue, you practice this posture….just 10 seconds at a time… within a week it will feel far more natural and you will be able to stand, still and grounded, for many minutes at a time.
#2. Sit well: watching TV
Notice your ” tail bone” and “sitting bones” underneath you.
Bring your weight forward to get off your tailbone and on to your sitting bones. Can you feel your weight evenly left and right? Stretch up through every bone of your spine, drop your shoulders back and down, let the top of your head lift towards the ceiling.
Let the seat support you – but if you have a large gap around your waist tuck a small rolled up towel or thin jumper into the gap to hold your spine in it’s natural curve if you are settling in for something epic (current fav in our house is Elementary….see you in 5 seasons….)
#3 Core: in the car
Notice the seat belt where it crosses your lap. It lies exactly over your lower abdominals (transversus abdominis). In a class we often facilitate our awareness of our abs by touching with our finger tips – in the car use the pressure of the seat belt as a natural guide.
Let your abdominals sag against the seat belt on purpose. Now, breathe in fully, let the abdomen swell a little, then as you breathe out, gently draw the lower abdominals towards you. Then hold them gently (just less than 50% of what you could do). And Breathe. Finally, release, letting them sag back onto the belt.
Do this cycle again – draw in as you exhale…but now keep breathing naturally and watch one lamp post go by…watch another go by…let a third go by…then let go. Start a “how-many-can-I-hold-for-lamp-post-challenge”?
#4 Walk: everywhere: fast
Walk fast and you burn a LOT of calories. It’s almost as good as jogging. Try to walk so that you could “speak” but not “chat”.
Head up, lower abs in 20%. Aim for you heel to strike the floor first (so that people can here you coming). This activates your gluts (bottom muscles) for a more intense leg work out. No casual strolling about – make even the shortest walk count.
#5 Pelvic Floor: in a queue
Here’s an exercise to ping your pelvic floor muscles awake in less than 35 seconds. Little and often improves muscle memory, reaction times, and encourages quick muscle growth.
- TURN YOUR TOES OUT, LIKE A BALLET DANCER, 5 squeezes of the back passage area
- THEN TURN YOUR TOES IN, LIKE A PIGEON, 5 ‘lift and squeeze’ of the bladder tube area
- TURN YOUR TOES NORMAL, both areas together
#6 Balance practice: cleaning your teeth
Balance is a skill you have to train seperately to being “fit”.
Stand on one leg, pull up out of your waist, feel the bottom muscles working to hold you. Notice the strength and stability in your ankle. Progess by closing your eyes!
#7 Be Mindful: with friends and family
Mindfulness is quite simply the practice of being in the now. You formally practice it in yoga and pilates classes. Did you know you can also be mindful in any situation, even complex ones, out on a walk, driving, even cooking. Or to mentally “step back” in the middle of a social event.
Let yourself be completely present so that your mind is in a physiological state of rest but not asleep. Allow your thoughts come and go but you are not remembering, not planning, not analysing or deciding. Rather, sensing, noticing, appreciating….
Yes, even with visiting family….
Author: Amanda Savage MCSP, MSt (Cantab), Specialist Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapist
© Amanda Savage, All Rights Reserved, 2021
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of my blogposts, articles and my videos are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of if you are not a face to face client of mine. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Amanda Savage disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, blog or video.