An Adventurous Life for the Budgeting Family

How to Be a Fit Mom Without a Gym Membership

How to Be a Fit Mom Without a Gym Membership

I’m nowhere near a swimsuit model or anything, but I’m in fairly good shape for having a baby in the past year. I’ve thought about getting a gym membership to a facility with childcare, but it would be a big strain on our already tight budget.

That leaves me with needing to get fit at home. Here are the ways that I stay in shape and take care of my physical health as a stay-at-home mom.

 

Fit in Tiny Bits of Exercise

When I’m playing on the floor with my baby, every once in a while he will be really absorbed with a toy and I have a minute to be still. This is when I’ll do push-ups, lying down leg raises, or some sort of ab workout like planks or sit-ups. Don’t worry about doing a certain amount or thinking you need to do a full half hour to an hour workout; every little bit of movement helps!

Get a Jogging Stroller

I quickly found out that most moms in New Orleans have jogging strollers, whether they run or not. The sidewalks here are jagged and uneven from hurricanes and huge oak tree roots growing beneath them. At least that’s what my guess is for the reason. Having the proper stroller makes it easier to go on runs or long walks. That way you aren’t struggling to try to lift the stroller and navigate around potholes the whole time.

My baby boy doesn’t like to sit still for long, so I wait until the end of the day, when he needs a body rest, to go for a jog. Sometimes I get the courage and energy to drive to our lovely nearby Audubon Park for a great running path, but it can be tricky. It’s better to not risk your child getting fussy in the car ride and just leave for your jog straight from home. That way, you get more bang for your buck and fit in more exercise before a potential meltdown! I also make sure I don’t go too far from home before circling back for the same reason. You can always do your loop again if your child is still happy to be riding along.

Be Creative with the Jogging Stroller

On the way back from my jogs, I do calisthenics on the last couple of blocks. These strollers have a strap for your wrist, so you can take your hands off the handle. You can do high knees, lunges, cherry pickers, and other exercises that really work your muscles while still moving forward towards home. You’ll really feel like you did your body good by the time you conquer those last couple of blocks home!

Have an At-Home Workout Plan

There are plenty of apps that are available to help you work out from the comfort of your home. This way, you can do workouts while your kids are sleeping or napping. I know there are usually a bunch of other things to get done, and sometimes I opt to rest as well instead of being productive, but if you decide to make exercise your priority then you can let the laundry be dirty just a little longer some days.

My favorite exercise plan is from Kayla Itsines. I downloaded her PDF of quick HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts that you do over the course of 3 months to get in shape. She now offers an app called Sweat with Kayla instead of the downloadable file. It’s a little pricier, but I can attest to how good these exercises are. I used them to get in shape before my wedding, and it was the most toned I’ve been since my high school sports days!

Play with Your Kids!

This is the most fun and important way to fit exercise into your busy mom life. Play with your kids! It’s quality time that is good for you and your children in many ways. It’s tons of fun to have dance parties and run around outside. My baby loves when I do squat jumps while holding him when we listen to music. His added weight makes the move even more effective on toning my legs.
Best of luck to you ladies. And remember, your body is beautiful no matter what. Do what makes you feel good and healthy!

Why You Should Go to The Angola Prison Rodeo

Why You Should Go to The Angola Prison Rodeo

The Angola Prison Rodeo is a wondrous thing. Although many of our friends here in New Orleans have heard of the infamous rodeo, we discovered that none of them had actually ventured to Angola to witness it. Bobby and I went together and had a lot of fun, and have been almost every year since. This October, we hope to bring our tot with us!


Fun Facts

When you first drive into the grounds of Angola, you’ll see signs to tune your car radio to the prison’s channel. A booming voice tells you a bunch of interesting facts about the prison, starting each fact with “Did you know…?” We got a kick out of it and often quote it randomly to make each other laugh. And the facts really are interesting! For example, did you know that Angola sits on 18,000 acres of farmland, and inmates grow their own food? The scary information about Angola, like those I found here, are not included in your welcoming ride. A not-so-fun fact for a blogger is that cameras aren’t allowed at the rodeo. Dang.

Carnival Food

There are booths where you can purchase food and drinks once you park and enter the rodeo grounds. There are zero healthy options, so if you’re a stickler to health foods or have food intolerances, make sure you eat before arriving. You can have funnel cake, ice cream, fried oreos, frozen slushies, and a variety of other fried junk. Hooray! And ouch my stomach hurts just thinking about it.


The Crafts and Home Goods

If you don’t want to watch the rodeo, you can purchase a ticket just to get into the grounds and see all the goods for sale. The inmates make and sell their woodwork, furniture, paintings, jewelry, and all kinds of knick knacks and tchotchkes. So far I have purchased a leather keychain with my name engraved on it, a pair of silver Spongebob earrings, a beautiful wooden secret box (where you have to take the box apart like a puzzle in order to open it), and a cute guitar bookend. The real prize items seem to be the very impressive paintings and patio furniture. There are perfectly whittled and stained gliders, rocking chairs, dining room sets, and we even saw an intricate working grandfather clock for sale on one visit.

Unique Bargaining

I know this is a little voyeuristic of me, but I find it fascinating to speak with the inmates. I also find it really great that they have this opportunity a few times a year to spend quality time with their families and friends who visit. Many of the prisoners mill about amongst all the paying customers, hanging out by their goods in case anyone wants to purchase something. And then you walk into the covered area of the fair and see long lines of fence. Inmates are on the other side of the fence, open to bargaining with you. I couldn’t help but wonder if these men had done most atrocious acts and couldn’t be amongst everyone else. It’s pretty intimidating. Bobby was bold enough to ask flat out why some inmates had to stay behind a fence. The man he asked said, “Well, most people here are guilty of bad things like murder, but a lot of us are not guilty, like me. Wrongfully accused. The guys behind the fence are new or got in trouble so they haven’t gained the trust to come out here.” So, there you have it.

The Rodeo!

And now for the main event – the rodeo! If you’ve never been to a rodeo before, then you need to see it for yourself. If you have been, this one has some fun tricks up its sleeve that you don’t want to miss. There are monkeys that ride on dogs! There are amazing horseback stunts! There are bull games where inmates competeĀ to be the last oneĀ sitting at a poker table with a bull charging at them! It’s fun and silly and outrageous and entertaining. We like to sit right up in the dirt around the perimeter of the ring, where usually little kids have seats. That way you can really feel a part of the action and get some dirt on your cowboy boots.


The Scenery

After our first rodeo, we hung behind in the parking field so we would miss all the traffic leaving. We eventually got kicked out by a guard on a four-wheeler, but before that happened we enjoyed sitting in the grass, watching the cows in the distance. That’s when we took these cute photos. Then, after leaving in our car, we followed a sign on the side of the road that said “Waterfalls”. I’m happy we did this, because it led us to a wooded trail that did indeed have lovely waterfalls. I’d like to pack some hiking clothes next time so we can spend longer exploring the forest. There were also some farm animals on the road to the trailhead. Awesome.

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Tickets for the Angola Rodeo are on sale now for each Sunday in October. They also hold the event one weekend in April each year. We hope to see you there!