Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy pills

An email exchange I've been having with a mom of young children led to her asking advice about exercise.  I suggested she make sure to exercise to improve her mood. We've all heard how exercise releases endorphins in our bodies to give us a positive feeling. 

You don't need any fancy equipment or a gym membership to get a great workout in that will work your muscles and give you a bit of a cardio workout. Take a deck of cards and assign four movements to each of the suits. When you're first starting out, use only the ace through the sixes and gradually increase. Flip the cards one by one and do as many repetitions of the movement that is assigned to the suit.

This can be done any time of the day, it's all about when you need to get that mood enhancer, and when you have a few minutes (when your baby is napping or in bed for the night for example). 

Please feel free to add in the comments any other moves that can easily be done at home with minimal equipment.

Select from the following and vary it:
Sit ups
Push ups (or plank poses if you haven't achieved a push up - hold the plank pose for 10x's the number on the card)
Air squats
Chair dips
Turkish get-ups

The Burpee (yours won't look like this to start out. The idea is get your body on the floor, get your body back up and do a little jump):

The Airsquat: 
Chair dips:
Thruster (use a broom):

The Turkish get-up (if you don't have kettle bells, use a soup can to start out, graduate to a milk gallon container filled with water etc):


  1. I am a member of I too am am SAHM with young children and no car to get to the gym. I joined this website a little over two months ago and I have lost 8lbs and 5 inches. It offers a wide variety of workouts for whatever you want to do and for everything I have done I have only needed a set of hand weights, which honestly, I started off with soup cans (they are a pound each). That was enough for me. The membership is $10 a month.

  2. I always like the basic jumping jacks, faux jumping rope, or even just jogging in place while little ones are down. A good set of hand weights can also serve to help get a good workout in.

  3. Yes, and if you do these as part of the deck of cards workout, it would make sense to do 5xs the jumping jacks as the number card you get same with the faux jumping rope.

    The great thing about using the cards is the variation and the visual accomplishment. Getting three 10s in a row sucks but you know there are 1s and 2s coming.

  4. Dailyburn has stuff on youtube for free. We are doing ballet and belly dancing too. Ten minutes whups your butt. My elbow muscles hurt. I didnt know I had them.


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