Weekends don’t always mean time off for busy moms. Find out how to carve out some time for yourself. One idea: Hold a ballet class in your living room!
Weekends have a reputation for being “time off” to relax, recharge and revitalize, but for busy moms, weekends may take on a far different meaning: A tiny wedge of time filled with birthday parties, sporting events, extended family visits and dozens of other commitments during the days away from the work and school week.
To keep a balanced element to this break in our weekday routines, it’s important to carve out some time for just yourself. Even better: If time for yourself includes exercise–from a walk around the neighborhood to a morning yoga class–you’ll be more refreshed and better at meeting unscheduled challenges. As with everything else, the key is to plan ahead.
Some tips on how to create some “mom time” in a packed weekend:
- A slow cooker is your friend: Plan ahead for Saturday night dinner with a slow-cooked healthy meal. Dinner–and leftovers for lunches or weekday meals–will be cooking and filling the house with delicious smells while freeing some time up for you to get out in the garden or catch up with a friend. Fine Cooking has some great slow cooker recipes and tips.
- Sleep is precious, but rising a half hour before the family can give you some “found” time to read a great book, take a brisk walk or stretch to start your day.
- Afternoon tea time can be a nice weekend tradition. When midday arrives, grab your favorite mug and brew up your favorite tea, taking in the fragrant smells and energizing properties. Then grab a magazine and sneak in a half hour of rest and rejuvenation.
- Have a ballet class in your living room. Barre classes are popping up everywhere and this traditional form of dance conditioning has proven to bring long and lean dancer type muscles to everyday bodies. No previous dance lessons required. So put on some tunes and grab a chair to hold onto and bend, stretch and sculpt away (Little ones love to move to the music, too.).
Simple Barre Routine:
- Using a high backed chair, stand with feet 6-8 inches apart and parallel.
- Place one hand on the chair and lift the other arm up to shoulder height, engaging the muscles in the back of the armpit to support the arm and mid back.
- Contract the abdominals and bring the weight of the body into the balls of the feet, feeling the muscles directly above the knees engaging.
- Bend the knees slightly and hold for five counts.
- Straighten the legs and place heels down.
- Repeat 8 times, holding each bend for five counts.
This movement can be repeated while moving the feet through different positions:
- First position, with heels touching together and toes apart creating a “V” with your feet.
- Second position, moving the feet apart but keeping the same external rotation in the hips as in 1st position.
- Repeat on the other side, holding on to the chair with the opposite hand and extending the arm out to the side.
- For the final few minutes, turn and face the chair with both hands touching lightly for balance and reach the right leg behind you and lift in small pulses. Keep both hips level and use the muscles in the back of the thigh and rear to make this small lift. Repeat on the other leg.
Barre work can increase muscle density, decrease body fat, improve flexibility and posture and increase metabolism. This ballet-inspired workout focuses on incredibly efficient, tiny movements, making it a perfect thing to fit into a busy mom’s weekend or everyday schedule.