The number one thing a busy mom needs, when it comes to working out, is efficiency. You can’t have more time, you just need to make the time you have more efficient. However, putting that idea into action is easier said than done. That’s why I’m going to let you in on my little secret to getting the most out of EVERYTHING you do!
When you are working out, engage your core.
When you are cooking dinner, engage your core.
When you are folding laundry, engage your core.
When you are vacuuming the living room, engage your core.
Get the point?? Always engage your core!
Consistently engaging your core will not only help rebuild those deep core stabilizers that seem to go missing after having a baby, it will help improve your posture and help you burn more calories in everything you do.
That’s right you will burn more calories, working out, cooking dinner, folding laundry, vacuuming….. IF you focus on engaging your core while you do it!
So, how do you engage your core?
First, let me dispel myth that “engage” means solely “suck in.” Think about what you would do if your angelic little one was running at you full blast to jump on or tackle you. You wouldn’t suck in your belly button right? You would brace yourself. That’s what it means to engage your core.
The goal is to engage your core for stability, in all that you do, to protect your abdomen and lower back. Use your abs to pull UP on your pelvis, not in or bearing down. Then gently push out your abdomen in all directions and then add in a little Kegel action. You specifically DO NOT want to hold your breath or bear down.
Now I’m sure you’re like, ummmm what the heck does that all mean. Here are a few ways to get a feel for what it means to “engage” your core.
These are all meant to help you get a feel for an engaged core. You don’t need to imagine yourself being punched in the gut 24/7 (although it doesn’t hurt to be prepared with a toddler).
Again, you should do this all the time, but especially while you work out. Bracing will help burn extra calories, cause your muscles to work more effectively together, and protect your lower back from injury.
So do it! Now!
This simple trick doesn’t add any more time to your day but can make a big difference.
Hint: Put some post-it around your house or at your desk at work that say “engage your core.” The more you remind yourself, the more it will become second nature (which is the goal with all things healthy lifestyle right?).
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