Whether you are a working mum or stay-at-home mum, your daily routine involves attending to an endless list of tasks from the moment you wake up until the day ends. With pressing things to take care of throughout the day, finding the time to exercise can prove to be challenging.

However, making the effort to stay fit and healthy brings great benefit for yourself and your family. Not only will you have a renewed sense of energy, exercising does wonders to boost your mood and keep you motivated to get through the day as well.

Easy 10-Minute Exercises for Busy Mums

Staying fit and healthy does not necessarily involve clocking in an hour’s worth of exercise though – all you need is just 10 minutes a day to feel the difference.

Here are some simple exercise ideas to include in your weekly exercise routine.

1. Chair squats

Stand in front of a chair with your feet firmly on the ground, toes faced forward and feet hip-width apart. Lean your chest forward slightly. Start by bending your knees and lowering your body – as though you are about to sit down – taking care to tap your bottom on the chair and resume to the standing position. Do make sure that your knees remain over your toes and keep the weight on your heels. Do 10 to 12 repetitions.

2. Standing hip extension

Hold on to the back of the chair from behind it to keep your balance. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Keep the weight on your right foot. Push your left leg behind, squeeze in your bottom then lift and lower your left foot. Do 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.

3. Tricep dips on a chair

Sit down on a chair and rest the back of your hands on the edge of the chair. Slide your bottom off the chair with your legs straight and extended in front of you. Straighten your arms, and keep your elbows slightly bent to shift the tension on your triceps (and off your elbow joints). Gradually bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor until they are in a 90-degree angle. Make sure to keep your back close to the chair, and once you lower yourself, press down into the chair to straighten your elbows and return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.

Note: You can bend your legs for a lighter impact when starting out with this exercise.

4. Butterfly abs

Lie down on your back and keep your knees bent out to the sides and soles of your feet placed together. Put your hands behind your head with your elbows out. Tighten your abs, lift your chest and shoulders off the mat, and return to the mat. Do 10 to 12 repetitions.

5. Plank knee twist

Assume the push-up position with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your elbows to the ground. Your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders to the ankles. Keep your core in and bend one knee to 90 degrees, and bring it towards the opposite elbow. Return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps on one side, then switch sides and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.

6. Donkey kicks

Get down on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle behind you as you gradually raise your leg off the floor – make sure your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Push your bent foot towards the ceiling and squeeze your glutes. While doing all this, your back should remain still and be kept straight. Keep the movement small and controlled, and feel the muscle doing the work. Return to the start position to complete one rep. Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.

7. Modified push-ups

Get down on all fours and keep your knees together. Place your hands on the floor, keep it wider than your chest-width and lift your feet off the ground. Do make sure that your bottom, back, neck and head are nicely aligned. Engage your core muscles, bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground. Press back up to complete a rep. Do 10 to 12 repetitions.

8. Side leg lift with shoulder raise

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and have a dumbbell in each hand. Lift one leg up to the side as high as you can. While doing this, keep your arms straight and raise them up to your sides to shoulder height. Return to your starting position to complete one rep. Do 10 to 12 repetitions for both left and right legs.

9. Step ups

Stand at the bottom of the stairs or in front of a chair with a dumbbell in each hand. Step up and down on the stair or chair,
and alternate the lead leg at each count. Do 15 to 20 repetitions.

10. Dumbbell lunge and bicep curl

Assume a standing position with a dumbbell on each side. Step forward with your left foot and bend your knees until your left thigh is almost parallel to the floor. As you lunge, curl the dumbbells in front of your chest. Reverse your step to return to the start position, then repeat with the right leg. Do 15 to 20 repetitions.

Note for 8, 9 and 10: You can replace the dumbbells with items that are available in your home such as water bottles and food cans.

This article is contributed by MindChamps Singapore.

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