Written by Girl Birthday Gift
Since having Wes, I have been STRUGGLING to lose that extra pouch of baby fat on my belly and the excess jiggle on my upper thighs and hips. He is almost one and a half, and I still feel like I look like I am three months pregnant. I keep thinking to myself, Will it ever go away?! I am aware that diet is a huge part of shedding those extra few pounds, but I love food. Like, I LOVE it, and I guess it boils down to whether or not I want to deprive myself of hamburgers and cake, or just love my kangaroo pouch ;)
But! I am focusing more intensely on toning up those problem areas for us moms. Matt and I are starting to workout in the mornings (he has become my personal trainer whether he likes it or not), and these are a few of the outdoor toning exercises we do. The key is to remain consistent, which is also something I am working on being better at. I am determined! And it's not so much that I want a coveted thigh gap or an insanely ripped body, I just want to feel 100% confident and healthy in my own skin. It is something that will make me a better mom, wife and person all around.
So, here is a list of five effective outdoor toning exercises!
1. Squat jumps. Standing with feet shoulder width apart, squat down into a seated position like you are going to sit in a chair. Hold that for five seconds then jump up as high as you can and come back down into the seated position. Do five sets of 10 to begin with and gradually increase over time as you become stronger.
2. Planks. Get down on the ground in a push-up position (also an obvious exercise you can do!) but instead of supporting your body on your hands, get down on your forearms so your elbow makes a nice 90 degree angle. Feet should be about shoulder width apart with legs flexed. Pull in your stomach so it is also engaged and flexed, and hold for 30 seconds. Do five sets of these for 30 seconds, and then increase to holding the plank position for one minute. These are amazing for toning up your abs! I learned this from my good friend, Becca, who is the queen of fitness. No seriously, you guys have no idea. She is literally the most fit person I know AND she just had a baby a few months ago! You absolutely must follow her Instagram for daily fitness and health tips. (She is a legit fitness pro and will be guest posting soon with some more awesome ab workouts. Stay tuned!)
3. Burpees. Does anyone else want to cry whenever you have to do these? They make my legs and arms feel antsy when I first start, but they work! Start in a standing position, then crouch down, support yourself with your hands, then kick your legs out behind you. (Shown in the picture above.) Hold for a few seconds with all of the muscles in your body flexed, then hop your feet back up to your hands and jump up. Start by doing 10 sets of 10. These are good because they are kind of like a mix of squat jumps and planks and they get your heart rate going.
4. Chair sits. These also make my body tingly. Please tell me you experience this too, or is it just me? Anyway, make sure your feet are shoulder width apart then crouch down into a seated position like you are sitting in a chair. Hold for 30 seconds, then work up to one minute. Do five sets. These are going to burn like the dickens, but you will also have the tightest booty in the world and can kiss those saddle bags goodbye! Yes, please.
5. Sprints. Have you heard or high-intensity interval training? Well, sprints are the essence of it! Beware that these will set your lungs on fire, but that is the goal! In a large field or area suitable for running, sprint as fast as you can for 45 seconds, then recover for 15 seconds. Repeat this 5 times, and gradually increase it to 10 and 15 over time once you feel more comfortable. Oh, and make sure you are warmed up and have stretched before doing these! We don't need any pulled muscles now, ya hear?
Obviously all of these outdoor toning workouts are meant to burn the fat and will work you into a stupor of sweat, so be sure to stay hydrated! Drinking water is also helpful in losing weight because it can curb unnecessary cravings and overeating. Yep, I need that. The recommended amount is eight 8 oz glasses of water per day. I get tired of the taste of boring old water and like to add powders for flavor, especially after workouts.
I just recently started using DripDrop hydration powder and I love it. I get the berry flavor but they also have it in lemon too, if citrus is more you thing. You can find it in the baby aisle at CVS, and be sure to use this coupon for a $1 off through February 21 if you want to try it out, while supplies last! We also use it for beach days with Luke and Wes because Southern California has decided it is summer time with 80 degree weather! (Hey, I'm not complaining! Who wants to come to the beach with us?!) But, it is also a good hydration supplement for sick days, too, which we've had plenty of as well. And unlike other hydration supplements, which go bad after a few days of opening it, these come in packs so they have a longer shelf-life and can be easily used on the go.
I hope you find these toning exercises and information helpful! Also, here is my post for 5 awesome indoor toning exercises if you are stuck in the cold! Have fun, stay hydrated, and be well, my friends!