Put Your Feet Up

Really. Lie on the floor next to your child and put your feet or calves up on a chair or the couch. Take a few deep breaths, turn on your abs for support and lift your hips up and down. If you want to feel your hamstrings even more, pick up one leg and raise and lower your hips as your extended leg moves in concert with your hips. Now switch legs.

With a child or teen next to you doing the same things, keep your hips moving up and down, but lift your arms in the air while you do it. Want it harder still? Close your eyes. Who can lift their hips the most number of times? For the longest?

Keeping your feet up, rest your hips on the floor but lift your chest up and touch the chair side to side. Feel your obliques? Keep going, relax your throat and see who can get the highest number of side-to-side hand taps. What about up and down? Can you touch the middle of the chair with your feet still up on it? How many times?

If you are holding your baby on your hips, raise and lower your hips but change the tempo instead of taking a leg off the chair. Keep your hips as high as you can and hold until your hamstrings shake or you are done singing “London Bridge is Falling Down.” Bring your knees in and out while your hips are off the floor. You do not want to feel this in your lower back!

Drop your hips to the floor but keep your feet up. Play peek-a-boo with your baby as he/she straddles your hips and you sneak tickles in as you move side to side.

Now enjoy laying with your feet up and just breathe. Appreciate the simple things – like the floor supporting your back, your growing strength as you exercise, and the time you have made to play with your child.