From the sublime to the ridiculous, here are some ways to get fitter and happier using your remote control. Please remember these recommendations come from a normal mum like yourself – check with your doctor or midwife before starting a new exercise routine.
1. Fitness shows.
Yes, I know you are rolling you eyes at me. But your time will never be so stretched as it is now. The baby is finally sleeping and the toddler is distracted with raisins and the tablet (I really recommend CBeebies Playtime). Now is not the time to fiddle about with your DVD player! Just click and go with a pre-recorded show.
- Fit in 5 on Sky. Season three is available now. You can download it and do as little or as much as you want. All you need is enough space to step side-to-side and a sports bra. It’s High-Intensity-Interval Training (HIIT), but Marvin includes a warm-up at the beginning of the series and you can select as little or as much as you want to do. If you have never done HIIT before, start gently by just going through the motions and learning the movements. You don’t have to keep up with him.
- Kickboxing, Pilates, dance and yoga on Amazon Prime.
If you have a Prime account, I challenge you not to find something to your taste. There are over a 1,000 fitness videos on prime, ranging from beginner’s workouts to ballet and 30-day shred challenges. You won’t get bored!
- Bikini Body, Boot Camp and 15 minute Total Body Workout on Netflix. Got 10 minutes and a subscription? You really have no excuse. A few of these videos do feature weights, but the dance and yoga exercises only require a towel or floor mat. Dancing around the Moses basket in my PJs felt more fun than fitness, but it got my heart-rate up and a smile on my face after a truly horrendous night.
- Youtube. Get the app on your phone and you take your workout with you. Aim for one with decent sound and the fitness level of your choice. I enjoyed using the PopSugar channel and BeFit videos.
Here in the UK, Ofcom allows a maximum limit of 12 minutes in any clock hour for adverts. Use them wisely – three minutes of planks, crunches and high knees before you go back to your regular entertainment. If that sounds like gibberish to you, here is a short cardio workout designed specifically for commercials with videos illustrating the moves.
3. Mindless fitness.
Who said you need to sit down to watch TV? To be honest, if your child is crawling or walking, sitting down is a luxury, but you can add the following to your evening routine without it costing precious adult time.
- Watch your favourite show whilst hula-hooping. I love this one: 30 minutes of weighted hooping whilst dreamily watching my favourite sci-fi programmes. Your abs and backside will let you know how effective it was, in the morning
- Walk it out. You can get mini stair steppers on Amazon from £20
- Do fitness bingo. This one works with your best show and an equally addicted partner. Agree on certain phrases or actions beforehand. 3 – 5 work best, otherwise you simply forget what you are looking for. Every time that phrase is spotted, the losing partner has to do 10 press-up, squats or star jumps.
- Gamify it. Sadly, Xbox Fitness is no more, but if you can get your hands on an Xbox 360 and kinnect bundle, you can access MiCoach, Your Shape 2012, Nike+ and UFC trainer. Visual feedback, good progression and your toddler or preschooler will join in with you!
5. Mobilize your phone. If you don’t have an Xbox, don’t despair! As long as you can hook up your TV to the internet, you can still get sweaty and competitive. http://www.justdancenow.com turns your smartphone into a games console, allowing you to track your movements and dance off with other people around the world.
Are you ready to turn your living room into your dancefloor? Or do you need a more streamlined approach to diet and fitness?