With the first week of the New Year nearly over, hopefully you’ll are still going strong with your fitness resolutions. As a busy, working mum, I have to wear many different hats and sometimes exercising is the last thing on my mind. But I know from experience that even twenty minutes of exercising can do wonders not only to your body but mind and soul. So, here are some of my fitness hacks that will not only sweat you out but all release those amazing endorphins  and keep you wonderfully fit.

High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT):

I honestly do not have the luxury of time to spend hours at gym. Hence HIIT is my favourite regime. This form of cardiovascular exercises were made popular on 2010s.

HIIT is a form of interval training, incorporating both cardio and weights, interchanging between short periods of intensive anaerobic exercise  with less-intense recovery period. A typical session lasts anywhere between 4 to 30 minutes.

Trawl on youtube and you will be get plenty of HIIT workouts. My favourite is the Jillian Michaels 30-day shred programme as well as Beachbody’s workouts like Piyo (which has 20-60 minute programmes).

Hula-hoop:

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Last January I brought a hula-hoop just on a whim. After learning how to do it and practising it relentlessly, I can vouch it is a great exercise which will strengthen your core and give you those enviable hour glass figure. And it is such a lot of fun.

It is my go-t0 regime when I do not have any time for myself. I take out my hula, switch on some music and along with my daughter go hula-hooping. Done for 20-30 minutes without a break it can rev up your hear rate and hence is a great at home cardio workout. You can check out my instagram video on how to do it properly here.

Yoga and Sun-salutations:

Sunsalutations for postpartum

Image Via: Google

If you have been following my blog for a while you know I am a self-confessed yoga lover. On days, when I do not have time to do anything else, I simply do some sun salutations. Considered as a complete body workout, yoga gurus say that 12 sets of sun-salutations is equivalent to 288 powerful yoga poses. Experts also say that one round burns around 13.90 calories. Star with 12 sets and slowly build up the number. My personal best is 108 in 30 minutes. So, go ahead and salute the sun for a leaner you.

Walk/Run:

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Walking/ Running is the oldest form of exercise known to human kind. It is also proven that taking at least 10,000 steps each day can wonders to your shape and life. If you want to count your steps then you can get a pedometer like the one shown above or a Fitbit which will help you count your steps to fitness.

Hopefully, my tips will help you get fitter no matter how tight your schedule is. Here’s to a fit year 🙂

This post was partly sponsored by Ozeri but all the opinions are mine. 

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

 

I have mentioned many times in this blog that I love exercising and staying active. My intention has never been to be a size 0 or 2 but whether I am a size 8 or 12; I should be fit. Needless to say, like my many women out there, I also want to get back to my pre-pregnancy size as soon as I can. However, as much as I want, I need to respect and accept the fact that my body took almost 10 months to expand to house a growing baby and it will not just snap back in a matter of weeks. That said, I still try my best to eat healthy and exercise for at least forty minutes 3- 4 times a week. So, here are few exercises and sequences that are helping to get back to shape and keep my sanity intact.

Core exercises: 

Most new mums would vouch that they want to get rid of their mummy tummy and have those pre-baby, flat abs as soon as possible. Whist I am not sure if it is even possible to get rid of all signs of having a baby (it depends on genes too), I know having a strong core is pivotal not just for vanity but to keep issues like stress incontinence at bay. The core is primarily your abs, obliques, back and pelvic region. Having a strong core will give you those wash board abs you lust for. I do the following exercises.  (Before starting your core workout post a baby, you need to make sure you do not have Diastasis Recti). I do three sets with 12-15 repetitions.

Image credit: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/standing-abs-workout

Image credit: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/standing-abs-workout

Yoga:

I have been lucky to learn different schools of yoga like Hatha, Sivananda and Ashtanga yoga. I am a self-confessed yoga lover and I feel answers to almost every problem can be found in yoga. Taking care of an infant means inevitable sleepless nights and other challenges which can sometimes leave you overwhelmed. I do these stretches early in the morning for 1-2 minutes and sometimes throughout the day to keep calm and carry on. And when all things fail, I do my favourite restorative pose–viparita karani (legs on the wall pose) which energizes me instantly.

Image credit: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3761/Good-Morning-Yoga-Sequence.html

Image credit: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3761/Good-Morning-Yoga-Sequence.html

yoga

Cardio:

I must confess whilst I have no problem lifting weights and doing yoga when it comes to do cardio I try and avoid it as much as I can. However, cardio and getting your heart rate up is important to lose weight. So I try to do one-day of cardio each week. It could running, cycling or cross training and if the weather is great outside, you can take the baby out in the pram and go running or climb a hill if possible.

Lower back and Glutes: 

Your lower back and glutes can weaken considerably after having a baby. It is important to strengthen these areas too if you wish to get back into your pre-pregnancy shape. However, many women can experience joint pain (I do!) it has nothing to do with the extra weight but the hormone relaxins, which helps you labor. When the body gets rid of this hormone many women can experience inexplicable joint pain. I do these knee-friendly exercises that are challenging and soothing at the same time.

Image credit: Pinterest

Image credit: Pinterest

So ladies do try these exercises and yes you can be fit as a fiddle no matter what. 🙂

PS: I really wanted to take images whilst exercising but I only get so much time to exercise and hence have used images from my Health & Fitness Pinterest board.  Also, please consult your GP or personal trainer before you start any exercise. I am neither just a woman who happens to love to stay fit 😉 

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great mid-week. Do show me your love with your likes and comments and don’t forget to follow me  🙂

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Before being a mum, I was a gym bunny clocking at least an hour even during pregnancy. However, as a mum I feel quite lucky if I get even ten minutes to myself. Exercise would be the last thing in your mind when you are going through a cycle of feeding, changing and cleaning but exercise is perhaps the thing you need the most. I have realised that even doing five to ten minute exercise throughout the day is helping me immensely to keep my sanity alive. Here are some of my top favourite yoga poses and exercises that I am doing. Before starting any regime, it is important you check with your GP/Midwife or Ob-Gyn. The general rule of thumb is to wait for six weeks if you have had a normal delivery or eight weeks if you have had a C-section.

Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutations):

Image Via: Google

Image Via: Google

When I first began doing Sun Salutations last week (5th week postpartum) it seemed like all my muscles were coming out after a long, deep hibernation. I started by doing two sets adding two more each day. Sun Salutations are a great cardiovascular exercise that revs up your metabolism whilst also strengthening the legs and arms and toning the abdominal wall.

Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall):

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A great restorative pose which relaxes and rejuvenates you instantly. Lay with your right hip against the wall and if you want place a pillow under both hips. Then slowly swing your legs up onto the wall, bring your arms out to the sides, and breathe deeply. Hold for two to five minutes.
Check this link for a better way to do this pose: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfzQ1UOPmto.

Kegels:

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Kegels are a great way to strengthen your pelvic muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are located between your legs, and run from your pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine at the back. They are shaped like a sling and hold your bladder and urethra (the tube urine comes out of) in place. These hammock of muscles, although small, do a great deal of job of controlling the flow of urine. In pregnancy and labour these muscles can get stretched beyond their capacity leading to stress incontinence. Doing Kegels as soon as you can are pivotal to strengthen these muscles. To do Kegels, quickly squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine. Make these contractions progressively longer: squeezing for five, holding and then releasing for five. Repeat 10 times and do three times a day. Doing this exercise on an exercise ball will also give you core strength.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior pose):

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I used to be proud of the fact that I could do 50-100 sun salutations, squats and power walk without any issue before pregnancy and labour. But these days I feel accomplished if I can manage to climb one flight of stairs. Experts say that it takes at least two years for your body to fully recover from the stress of pregnancy and labour. Bringing up a growing infant is a very demanding task too. Needless to say your endurance takes a hit. This pose could be the answer. Stand with legs four feet apart, turn the right foot in and the left foot out 90 degrees. Bring your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor, and bend your left knee over the left ankle. Reach out with your arms and hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side. Progressively increase the duration on each side.

Navasana (Boat Pose)

Almost all women dream of getting washboard abs as soon as they give birth. Doing yoga poses like navasana (boat pose) are a great way to get those abs. The body comes into a V-shape, balancing entirely on the buttocks. Start by lying flat on the ground, legs straight and arms on your side. Inhale bring your legs up parallel to the ground. Exhale and bring your torso up; slowly resembling a V.
Whilst I am no yoga teacher or expert, I’ve been practicing yoga for three years now and these poses/exercises are helping me immensely not just physically but mentally and emotionally too helping me in postpartum recovery.

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