Munich supergyms are great but what if you just don’t have to time to go? With a little baby or a toddler hanging on your leg, how the hell are you going to stay in shape? Here are a few tried and tested ideas – please add your own ideas in the comments!
1. Walk a bit further
Number 1 is WALK more. Don’t take your car. Don’t even take your bike! Get off the tram a stop sooner, go to the next supermarket-but-one, walk your kids to kindergarten… It can be easy to add a few extra steps to your day and it all adds up. Walking is great exercise. Once you’re walking an hour a day you’ll soon notice changes – you may get out of breath less often, lose weight, notice your legs becoming more toned or and perhaps even get a flatter stomach as your core strengthens.
2. Carry your kids
Hauling around extra weight is great resistance training and will help you build strength and endurance. If you’re already using a sling or carrier, that’s great news for your overall fitness. Try to take the carrier out an extra day this week or ditch the buggy all together.
3. Go with a friend
For lots of us, arranging to meet a friend means we’ll actually follow through on our plans. Instead of meeting in a cafe, why not get a go-cup and go for an afternoon walk in the afternoon. An easy pace is a great start – you don’t have to jog around (although you can if you want!). Walking with a friend, coffee in hand, perhaps with a sleeping baby in the pram, turns a dull exercise into a lot of fun!
4. Do more household chores
Yes, we hate them too! But if you have to do them, you may as well get some extra benefit. Add a little more energy to your cleaning routine and it may go quicker as well as boosting your fitness. Put on your favourite tunes and dance as you dust. Race up the stairs with the laundry. Challenge your kids to tidy up before the song ends, then all dance like loons to the next track. Your body will thank you and so will your house.
5. Do efficient exercises in-between daily activities
Add a few effective exercises in between daily activities. Here are 2 examples of quick, maximum impact options:
• Squats. Squats are great for your core and easy to fit in while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, while brushing your teeth or cooking. For a similar effect, you can try squeezing and relaxing your buttocks while you’re waiting in line.
• Planks. This takes only ONE minute. Bring yourself in a push up position but NOT on your knees! Hold this position for one minute. After 30 seconds you will start feeling it… Now hold on. And suck in that tummy while you’re at it!
• Burpees. You can do this anywhere, even in a park, if Munich weather permits and you’re not afraid of looking like a fool. Drop from standing in a crouching position to a push up position, and get back up as quickly as possible. Now do it again!
6. Get your kids involved
Make it fun and you’ll be building great habits for the future as well as getting in shape now. Whatever age your kids are, there are ways to get your little ones involved. For example, you can go running with babies in a running stroller from six months and, if your kids are older, they can follow you with a laufrad or a bike. You could all go to the park for a game of football, let them climb on your back while you do a push up, go swimming or skiing together or learn some yoga poses as a family – the options are endless!
Mare Storm came to Munich from Amsterdam, in 2005, to be with the love of her life. She wishes LMBB would have been there in the first difficult years she spent in here. Two daughters and 11 years later she’s fully integrated. Her goal now is to help others find their way in Munich! Being fit and healthy is at the core of her lifestyle and she’s happy to show you around Munich’s fitness jungle.
Photo credit: Jessica Gales van Maanen is a family and portrait photographer that frequently gets sidetracked by shooting the world around her while satisfying her wanderlust. Find her here.