For those of you who don't know me, I'm the Director of Marketing for a company called Mayfair Tech Inc. Our initial product launch was ShaToBu - The Workout You Wear. The name stands for "shape", "tone" and "burn". I'm sure you might be wondering what the heck it is... first let me ask, do you know what shapewear is? I assume the whole world knows about Spanx, but just in case, it's the modern day girdle you wear under your clothes to suck you in and smooth you out. Many of us have tried this under a special occasion dress (or under anything post-baby LOL). Our ShaToBu shapewear, however, doesn't just suck and smooth, it was scientifically proven to also tone your muscles and help you burn extra calories as you move about during the day. I won't bore you with all of the science that's been done, but I can assure you it does work, and it is real. If you're really interested, you can check out the proven technology page on our website.
When I first interviewed for the job, it wasn't the shapewear part of things that caught my interest, but rather the workout component. I wasn't a shapewear wearer, but I was and have always been into exercise. When I first went back to work after both my maternity leaves, I was in fighting form. All of the baby weight was gone and I was toned and fit. And then real life happens. The long walks with baby in the stroller and time to exercise disappear and the weight starts to creep back on (and body gets a bit "soft" - ugh). If you're a working mom, I don't have to tell you how hard it is to fit exercise into your regular routine. Even if you do manage, things come up... kids keep you up at night, travel, stress... etc. Basically, extra sleep can often win out over the early morning workout.
What I thought was so cool about ShaToBu was that it made you look better instantly (sucked in the dreaded muffin top and eliminated VPLs... visible panty lines) AND it also gave you an edge long term to help you get/stay in shape. It's NOT a miracle product and doesn't replace going to the gym, but it does that little bit of extra that may just get/keep you on the right track. Perhaps you may wonder how it can do this... well, there are built-in resistance bands in the back of the garment (just like the resistance bands we use in the gym) - wearing it makes your muscles work just a little bit harder than doing the same movement without, which in turn helps you burn the extra calories. It was developed by a female chiropractor who was concerned for the health of her female patients. I liked that part too. We now have shapers, tights, leggings and coming soon, everyday wear.
Without turning this into a sales pitch for ShaToBu, let me get to the part that I found cool - squeezing in the light workout in my regular daily routine. There is a lot of research out there that shows that doing small spurts of exercise are just as good, and maybe even better, than doing a longer workout. Doing less is also easier on our muscles and joints (another problem if we are older working moms LOL). Check out this study done in Scotland and another study done in UK. Good news for us! At the end of the day though, doing anything is always better than nothing. Every little bit helps!
So in addition to wearing ShaToBu, here are some of the other things I have done to sneak a little bit of exercise in my day, especially on those when I miss my workout!
- take a 10-20 minute walk at lunch
- get up from my desk and stretch for 10 minutes in the afternoon (or however many minutes I can manage)
- do some exercise while sitting or standing at my desk when on the phone (see images below - I created these for ShaToBu) - you can also do these while watching TV
- take the stairs when I can
- in nicer weather, play ball or do something active with the kids before/after dinner (walking the dog together is good too... especially for the dog)
- put on some music and dance with the kids - they LOVE it
- take one of the farthest parking spots in the lot
At this stage of my life, I find all of the little things add up... whether they are the pluses or minuses. Those extra bites off my kids' plates add up to pounds on my butt, so it goes without saying that whatever little extra I can do to stay active will hopefully have the opposite effect. It certainly can't hurt. If I include my kids in the activity, I get the bonus of spending time with them too. And just as important as spending the time together, teaching them about an active lifestyle instead of one sitting in front of the TV, computer or video game, will hopefully create healthy habits to last them a lifetime.
P.S. Does the silhouette look familiar? It's me LOL!