Oh Baby! Fitness is pretty darn lucky to have an exclusive excerpt from “Mom Hacks” – the new book that is available TODAY – by Dr. Darria Gillespie. Mom Hacks is full of 100+ science-backed shortcuts to reclaim your body, raise awesome kids and be unstoppable! There’s a huge section of hacks on how to get moving, to make exercise fun and ways to get the whole family exercising.
Our bodies were made to move. It feels good—like laughing. But, somewhere along the way growing up, we seem to have unlearned a few things, such as how to snort milk out our noses, how to rock striped leggings with polka dot socks and a paisley dress without self-consciousness, and how good it feels to just play.
At some point, recess became exercise, which became “no pain, no gain” workouts, which . . . well . . . just became work— and something we started to dread. .. But, post-baby, I started to think differently: I realized my postpartum shape wasn’t some debt for which I had to be penalized. Exercise didn’t have to punish my body. In fact, walking was one of the best ways I could love my shape. For the first time in years, I realized that I didn’t need to suffer to get the benefits of physical activity. Exercise can feel good. And if the first thing you try doesn’t feel good, find something else.
Two weeks after one of my friends implemented a few hacks from this chapter, her nine-year-old cautiously asked her, “You’re in such a good mood lately . . . why?” My desire for you is that by the end of this chapter, you have some habit of movement. I don’t care how small it is—simply that you can sustain it and that makes you feel good.
Hack 36: Start with Fifteen Minutes a Day
A friend of mine told me that she had skipped exercising that morning because she didn’t have a solid thirty minutes to exercise. Hold up—there are no exercise police who say that you only get “exercise credit” if you go for thirty minutes or more. You know what’s worse than just doing a partial workout? Not exercising at all.
Truth #1: You absolutely can get a benefit from exercising— for whatever amount of time you have.
Truth #2: You’re more likely to do a shorter workout. A study showed that people who aim for multiple, shorter bouts of exercise (like two 10-minute workouts a day) actually exercised more per week and lost more weight than those who exercised only when they had a single block of forty minutes.1
- Start with ten minutes a day.If you exercise less than once a week, I ask you to give me ten minutes a day. All it takes is ten minutes to boost your mood. Really. Ten minutes of doing any activity that you want. If you already are doing ten minutes a day, add another five to ten minutes, as each incremental ten minutes will take you to the next level, health-wise.
- If you can’t give me ten minutes, start with five.I’m serious. If your days are erratic, do five minutes of exercise as soon as you wake up. It’s short enough that you can squeeze it into even the most chaotic days, to build an exercise habit.
- Do multiple, shorter bouts.Break a workout into multiple, shorter intervals on the days that you don’t have a solid thirty-minute block (or when your motivation is low and thirty minutes seems sooooo long). On those days, do two fifteen-minute sessions, or even three ten-minute ones.
Hack 45 – Temptation Bundle
Brussels sprouts are all the rage on menus today. But, let’s be honest—they’re really just a vector for butter. By adding butter . . . and bacon, we’ve made these mini cabbages the plat du jour that we all love.
Exercising may feel a lot like eating plain Brussels sprouts— but what if we found the equivalent of butter and bacon for exercise? Suddenly, instead of pushing exercise to the side, you’d be seeking it out.
Sounds crazy? It’s not—and it’s called temptation bundling (TB). In TB, you pair something you don’t always feel like doing (like exercising), with an indulgence (like watching Game of Thrones).
In a Wharton study on temptation bundling, participants were assigned to one of two groups: (A) the TB group, who were allowed to listen to an addictive audio book only when they exercised and (B) the control group, who could listen whenever they wanted. Those in the TB group worked out at the gym 51 percent more! Follow the steps below for your own temptation bundles. (Oh, it sounds so naughty, doesn’t it?)
- Choose your indulgence.What do you enjoy? Is it watching Real Housewives? A good junk magazine? Or a new music playlist? Choose an indulgence that you regularly look forward to.
- Pair the indulgence with an exercise.Choose an exercise that allows you to simultaneously do that indulgence. Listen to an addictive audiobook or watch Game of Thrones while you’re on the treadmill, read your favorite junk magazine while you’re on the stair-climber, or make a playlist of your favorite songs for running.
- Only let yourself engage in the indulgence while exercising. This is key. Whatever you choose, do not let yourself indulge when you’re not exercising, or this falls apart. When my People magazine arrives or I hear a favorite running song (two of my indulgences), it actually makes me look forward to exercising. You’ll find that happens for you quickly if you adhere to this rule.
Get your copy of Mom Hacks today to see all the hacks for new and expectant moms that Dr. Darria shares. Buy the book and get access to “Mom Hacks Discounts” — freebies and bonuses for products from across the country!
— Widely renowned as an expert in making life and health better for women, Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD MBA is a regular national TV health expert, author of Mom Hacks, board-certified Emergency Department physician and a digital health executive. Given her experience, she holds a unique, multifaceted perspective of the healthcare system. @DrDarria #MomHacks