How to (Accidentally) Exercise Everyday

I hate to exercise. I know some women love it. It's like an escape to them - from their kids, house, stress, life. I admire these women; they inspire... and baffle me.

Personally if I want to escape, it's in a good book or Netflix series curled under a squishy afghan with a glass of milk and a slice of chocolate cake.

That, my friends, is my definition of "escape."

But, back to my hatred of exercise.

The only thing stronger than my hatred of exercise is my guilt of NOT exercising. Because I know I'm supposed to. I want to be healthy. I want to be a good example for my kids. I want to be a "hot mom". (Wait...did I just say that?)

But I am also a really busy person. I have three kids. I have a house to take care of. I have meals to prepare. I have a mountain range of laundry to cross every week. Oh, and I also work 30+ hours a week from home as an online professor and freelance editor.

I have 6-8 exercise DVDs that I attempt to do every 9.5 months. Usually by the time I get half way through, one of my children is crying or pooping somewhere inappropriate.

So, what's a busy mom to do? I decided that instead of trying to squeeze exercise in, I should take a backwards approach. I decided to look back at my day or week and see where I have accidentally exercised.

The Accidental Exercise Plan is simple. All you need is some creativity and a good memory.  Though once you add more than two children to your life, the later is hard to come by. Hang in there, mama!

The only equipment required for the Accidental Exercise Plan is a house and children.

And the exercises are simple--you are probably doing them all every day! You just need to recognize them so you can give yourself a pat on the back at the end of each day for exercising.

Tell me more, you say? Well, let's begin! I've broken the Accidental Exercise Program down into Legs, Arms, Abs, and Cardio.


The Basement Laundry Room

Do you have a basement laundry room? Lucky you! Don't curse the cold concrete floors, the swinging lightbulb, and the spiders that freak the living daylights out of you! Thank your lucky stars that you get to "do stairs" every day!

Yes, every time you run up, run down, lug up, lug down, you are exercising, my dear. So do your laundry with PRIDE! Your thighs are thanking you.

The Two Year Old

Do you have a two year old? Then you also have a personal trainer! The two year old will help you run every day. To take advantage of your two year old's expertise, take him to a grocery store, Target, or any department store. Turn around for 1.2 seconds then turn back around. Your child will be 100 yards away and will be urging you to begin your Accidental Exercising for the day. Run, mama, run!




Dinnertime Bicep Burn

It's 6:00 at your house. That means dinner time prep. It also means Accidental Exercising! Don't distract your clinging, crying baby with toys, wooden spoons, pot lids, goldfish, and a kitten! Hold that baby on your hip while you stir that pot!

Do you feel that burn? Ahh…your biceps are thanking you.

BONUS Workout: Have twins. Then you can do this:


Yes, these are my workout clothes.


Midnight Maneuver

This Accidental Exercise technique takes some skill but most moms are already completing this move with dexterity.

First, pass out from exhaustion in your bed while your baby is curled up beside you.

Next, wake up. Realize that it is only 8:45pm and you are an adult who promised herself that she would have an grown-up conversation with her husband that night.

Next, hoist your baby over your stomach, cradling her body with your arms. Do not wake your baby!

Carefully sit up without using your arms or elbows to help you. Flail your legs if necessary--no one is watching.

Place your baby carefully in bed.

Pat yourself on the back for getting your baby to sleep AND doing a crazy-hard sit-up.

Repeat as necessary throughout the night.

The Squishy Belly Laugh

Did you know that laughing burns 1.3 calories per minute? To take advantage of the Squishy Belly Laugh Accidental Exercise, pull up your shirt so your belly is exposed. Let your baby squish all that postpartum goodness while you blow raspberries. Your baby will laugh. You will too...WHILE YOU BURN CALORIES!! WIN WIN!


They say the point of cardio is to elevate the heart rate to strengthen the heart muscles. Here are a few ways to integrate an elevated heart rate into your Accidental Exercise regimen.

The Crash

Go about your day as normal. Hum. Sing. Be happy and joyful and unassuming. CRASH!!! In the moments after The Crash (usually from your child's bedroom), your heartbeat will elevate. If you hear the "bad cry," RUN (bonus exercise!!!) to your child's room. Your heart rate will continue to elevate until the crash and the "bad cry" are resolved.

"Cardio" accomplished.

The Daredevil

Is your child a daredevil? Lucky you! You get to experience Accidental Exercise cardio more than most!  To take advantage of your daredevil, look for ways to be scared out of our pants: jungle gyms, parking lots, bunk beds, knives in your dishwasher, etc.

Caution: a side effect of The Daredevil is gray hair.

Of course, you could always accidentally exercise by doing this too...


I call it "The Lift and Kiss"

So fellow mamas, if you are like me, let go of your guilt. Let the dust collect on those Jillian Michael's DVDs. Plan some quality "escape" time in your day, because you know what?

You already (accidentally) exercised today.


Do you Accidentally Exercise??? Share your tips below!!!

(All photos taken by Sabrena Carter Deal of scarterstudios).

Cooking, Cleaning, Bathing...Oh, My!

In September, the Motherhood Collective will feature posts on balance - having it or not! It's certainly a state most of us struggle to find. September is, for some, the calm before the storm. Our kids are back in school, fall activities have begun and we have a few precious weeks before we really have to start thinking about the holidays. What better time to take a few minutes to reflect on how we spend our time, juggle our lives and what we can do to achieve our own perfect balance! ~TMC For me, living a wholistic life is all-inclusive.  What I mean, it is part of everything we do as a family such as: attachment and purposeful parenting; respecting our children as whole persons; trying to eat a real, whole foods diet; getting the proper amount of rejuvenation and exercise; living a green and eco-conscious lifestyle; and most importantly, striving for an honest and pure Christian lifestyle.  Some of these things seem to come easier than others.  Practicing attachment parenting was a natural course of action for me.  It seems to be what I am naturally inclined to.  Ironically enough, finding balance is one of the eight tenets of Attachment Parenting.  Living a green and eco-conscious life is also very natural for me.  I am a minimalist in most areas; therefore, not being wasteful is fairly easy.

Then there are the other areas that don’t come so easily.  Respecting my children when I am a living lack of sleep is truly a task for me.  It isn’t that I don’t want to do this, but it is difficult to control my emotions when all I want is a moment of peace to gather my thoughts.  I could go through each area of my life, dividing the easy from the struggles.

After 22 months, I know that I need balance to survive.

Here are a few things that have helped me to maintain balance amongst the mayhem:

1.  Be patient.  My favorite mommy mantra is: “This too shall pass.”  Sometimes in the midst of whatever struggle we are going through, we tend to think it will never end.  As with most things with kids, it won’t last forever.  If we are patient, the phase will pass and be nothing more than a fleeting memory.

2.  Stop and listen.  Listen to your kids and your spouse.  Simply stopping to listen will tell you so much about that person’s needs, which in turn, will help you to focus on one thing.  As moms, we tend to do, do, do.  If we are focusing on these priorities, then maybe we can knock out a few of those unnecessary tasks.  This will, hopefully, decrease our busyness.

3.  Go outside.  When everything seems to be spiraling out of control, when everyone’s voices seem to be getting louder and louder, when I start to lose the ability to hear myself think – I go outside!   There are actually very few days that I don’t go outside.  I strap one kid to my body and put the other in a stroller, and off we go.  Everyone is able to take a breather, and reconnect.

4.  Simplify your morning routine.  If I have to be somewhere in the morning by a certain time, then I have to prepare the day/night before.  With two kids under two to get dressed and out the door, I have to have a few things streamlined.  I have my bag packed, my clothes picked out, their clothes and diapers set out, and breakfast in mind.  If I don’t do these things, we are late and grumpy.  Oh, and try to go to bed on time also.

5.  Have sex!  Okay, there, I said it.  I said the “S” word.  Even when we feel like we have been touched all day, we feel like we can’t stay awake one more minute, or we simply have our minds focused on 100 other tasks; this is a much needed act to have in our relationship.  How much?  Well, that is up to you and your SO.  I just recommend you do it enough so you don’t forget how.  I hear it's like riding a bike...


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