Home Learn Sticking With a Daily Exercise Routine (& Busy Parent Fitness Challenge – Day 22: Upper Body)

Sticking With a Daily Exercise Routine (& Busy Parent Fitness Challenge – Day 22: Upper Body)

by Karen Ung
Whether it’s sickness, stress, or fatigue from being up in the night with a teething baby, certain roadblocks can discourage you from being active. For the past week, a virus has been kicking my ass, but I refuse to give up my daily exercise routine.  I did the daily workouts, but at a much lower intensity than usual.
How do you motivate yourself to exercise when you can barely get out of bed?
  • Do what you can – If you aren’t up to 30 pushups; do 20, or 10.
  • Do what you enjoy (or something gentle on your body) – Instead of running, go for a walk or bike ride. If you need to relax, do some yoga.
  • Simplify – Choose lower steps to do step ups on; do knee or wall pushups instead of standard pushups; don’t squat or lunge so far; do weighted exercises without weights or with lighter ones.
  • Set goals – Set a deadline for you to get back on track with your fitness goals, but be realistic. If you were sick for a week, give yourself at least a week after recovering to get back to where you were before (# of reps, amount of weight, length of time to hold a squat, etc.).
Doing some exercise every day, and doing activities you enjoy, will ensure you stick with it. You will reap rewards from regular exercise!

Today’s Workout

Grab a couple water bottles, soup cans, or dumbbells! Today we’re going to work on our arms and chest.

1) Reverse Flies (they look more like butterflies to me)Pick up one dumbbell in each hand. Stand up straight with feet slightly more than hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Bend your knees slightly, lean forward about 45 degrees, and extend your arms out in front of you with palms facing. *Press out and up, and squeeze your shoulderblades together. Hold for a moment and bring your arms together again. Repeat 15-20 times from *. 

Lift and squeeze shoulder blades together

2) Windmills – Start standing with feet slightly wider than hip width. Hold your arms out to your sides. (They should make a straight line, unlike mine in the photos.) Bend forward at the waist, and rotate your upper body to the right while extending your right arm straight up and your left arm straight down toward your left foot. Your right and left arms should make a straight line perpendicular to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, rotate back to neutral (straight spine) and stand up with arms out from your shoulders in a T. Do it again on the other side: left arm up and right arm down to your right foot. Do 15-20 on each side. 

    • For more of a challenge, hold a water bottle / can / kettlebell / dumbbell in your raised arm (start light so you don’t hurt yourself).
    • Variation: To get more of a stretch, touch your right arm to your left foot instead of your right foot (and vice versa for other side).
Windmill – position 1
Windmill – position 2
Windmill – position 3
Windmill – position 4

3) Shuffle Pushups – 1) Do a regular pushup, 2) move your right hand beside your left hand & do a pushup (not too low), 3) move your right hand back to regular position and do a pushup, 4) move your left hand beside your right hand and do a pushup, 5) move your left hand back to regular position and do a pushup. Repeat all steps 1-5 times. *Do modified (knee) pushups if you can’t support your weight on hands and feet.

 1a) Shuffle pushup – start position
1b) Do a regular pushup
2a) Shuffle left hand to the right
2b) Do a pushup
3a) Move left hand back to start position
3b) Do a regular pushup
4) Move right hand beside left hand & do a pushup.
5) Move right hand back to start position and do a pushup

 Is physical activity a part of your daily life?

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1 comment

Play Outside Gal November 5, 2014 - 5:14 AM

I did 15 reverse flies with 5 lb dumbbells, 50 windmills (no weight), & 3 shuffle (knee) pushups. Definitely need to work on strengthening my arms!

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