You’ve probably already heard the news out of Duke University: A woman’s risk of obesity goes up 7% per child. (A man’s goes up 4%) There are lots of theories as to why this is: Less “me” time for exercise, snacking off of children’s fruit snacks and PBJs all day instead of having a real meal, and a sleep debt so big it makes Republicans look frugal.
According to that stat, my risk for obesity is up 28%. So you can understand my concern when I was hamstrung by the most common childhood infringement upon parents: illness. My poor sweet baby woke up with a fever of 102 and then as I was snuggling him into my neck, he projectile vomited over my shoulder and down my back. The vomit was so all encompassing it even managed to run inside my sock. Good thing he’s so darn cute.
Making Lemons Out of Lemonade
Now you all now I’m a dedicated gym fiend, but the #1 rule of mommyhood is that you don’t take a child who has vomited anywhere near other children for a minimum of 24 hours after the last eruption. And I’m not kidding when I say this is the #1 rule. Other mommies will forgive a host of sins: feeding your kid candy in front of their child who has to eat his sprout sandwich and never ever gets sugar; letting your progeny take apart the supermarket display of toilet paper while you read a magazine (as long as you put it back together before you go); pretending not to see when your kid picks a booger and eats it. And feeds one to his baby brother. Mommies are generally a pretty forgiving lot, especially if they’ve had more than one kid. But they will not, under any circumstances, forgive you for introducing the stomach flu into their home.
So except for a trip to the doctor this morning (verdict: fluid in both ears that isn’t an infection yet but probably will be in two days so keep your insurance card handy), I’m housebound. Which means no gym. That noise you’re hearing? Me shrieking.
The Monkey Bar Gym Makes House Calls
The principle behind the Monkey Bar Gym Workouts is that you’re working out how kids play so, I figure my kids play here all the time – I’d just adapt the workout to what I have at home. After sending off my oldest to kindergarten and plunking the rest in front of a video (those Rescue Heroes live in a scary scary world, I tell you), I strapped on and laced up.
First up – warm up by running the stairs. I live in a split level with 3 flights of stairs so that got my heart rate up pretty quickly – 240, according to my not-so-trusty heart rate monitor. Brief pause to clean said heart rate monitor with a stray baby wipe (was that a booger?). The only way it could have been better was if I’d managed to carry all the laundry with me.
Next – 50 plyo pushups alternating with 50 plyo pull-ups. Apparently a plyo pushup is the kind where you clap in the middle. Yeah, I’m that kind of stud – totally rocked it… from my knees. Got the wicked carpet burn to prove it too, punk! Obv. pull-ups are out so instead I did tricep dips off a chair. Not exactly the perfect substitute but after 50 my arms were shaking. Not to mention I was doing “toddler” tricep dips (you know, as soon as you stretch your legs out, your toddlers come running to sit on you and jump up and down while you dip because – hey, who doesn’t love a free ride?). So, done.
Then – 50 box jumps alternating with plyo leg curls. I have no earthly clue what a plyo leg curl would even entail and the MBG website is no help either so instead I substitute leg curls with an exercise ball. Except all I have is a partially deflated spiderman playground ball. I use it and it was surprisingly challenging (especially the part where I had to take it away from my 3-year old. He cried a lot. Mommy’s mean.) The box jumps were a little harder. I had my choice of a small plastic stool only about 8 inches high or my IKEA-special coffee table that hits me mid-thigh. When faced with this Goldilocks-type decision, I tend to go for the extreme so I picked the table. Holy Freakin’ Heck!!! (You like my curse words? Um, KIDS! Helllloooo!) Those were the box squats from Hades (I’ve got a million of ’em, I tell you).
My heartrate didn’t drop below 160 the entire time. I finished out 30 minutes by fake jumping rope (I made my husband Goodwill our real jump rope when we found the kids were using it to lasso each other – around the neck), more stairs, baby burpees (you moms know what I mean) and football feet. Total calorie burn for 30 minutes: 428! Yeah, baby! Not bad for a mommy workout;)
Hopefully the baby has finished all his bodily fluid sharing and I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow. But if not, at least I know I can get a good workout at home! And maybe I can figure out a way to work in the laundry too…