Fitness Braiding: The Multi-Tasking Tip That Will Change Your Life

Fitness Braiding

Do you ever feel just overwhelmed with everything? OVERWHELMED. So instead of focusing on one pro-active thing you should be doing to chip away at your to-do list, you decide to surf your phone? Hmmm…what’s new on the Outnet? Who is hosting the Tastemaker Tag Sale on OKL? Or you read an article from WhoWhatWear and then get sucked into the articles at the bottom of the page: “15 celebrities who’ve aged horribly. Number 7 your won’t even recognize!

I feel like this more often than I’d like to admit and I had a bad case of it earlier in the week. The house was a disaster, the laundry pile was higher than Kilimanjaro, I hadn’t started dinner and work deadlines were looming.  I also needed to workout (the greatest natural way to combat anxiety!), but felt I couldn’t fit it into my schedule. Que the itch to surf my phone.

Fitness Braiding

Here is what brought me back centered:

Braid Your Workout Into Your To-Dos.

Fitness Braiding. What It Does: Helps you get fit, focused and checks off items on your to-do list. No joke…it is unique and life-changing (at least for me).

How: Braid a calorie-torching, positive mood boosting workout throughout your daily chores with 10, 5 & 1 minute-interval training.

What You’ll Need: A minute interval timer, yoga mat, sneakers, stopwatch on your phone (optional).

This works For:  All fitness levels whether you are just starting a fitness routine or a devotee hitting the high 5-6 times a week.

How Often: Whenever you are pressed for time and feel you may miss a workout or just don’t feel like working out. Since it’s broken up it feels easier.

I came up with the term and have been practicing it for two years.  Fitness braiding will make your workout fly by. Seriously it will be done before you know it and you will feel a huge sense of accomplishment. Not only have you finished a workout when you didn’t think it was possible, you also knocked out some mundane chores. Obviously each person’s schedule is unique. You could be a business professional, college student, working mom, stay-at-home mom, etc. The exercises, levels of exertion and chores will vary but switching between chores and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) will be consistent. A quick note on HIIT. I think it scares people because of the HI (high intensity) in the acronym, but it’s just a higher level than you would do over a long, steady-state period of time. It doesn’t always mean you have to push the fitness envelope until you can’t breathe.

Fitness Braiding

First decide what chores take priority for the sesh. For me it was emptying and loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry (who else hates putting it away?). Then decide which body parts you want to focus on. Abs & arms? Just abs? Butt and outer thighs? Just choose.

An Example of Fitness Braiding (I’m using my session from earlier in the week)

Total Time: 60 minutes (35 minutes training and 25 minutes of chores)

  • Start with 10 minutes of cardio. I like to push it because it’s only 10 minutes. You can use the treadmill, jump rope, run in place, run your driveway, jumping jacks/star jumps/mountain climbers…anything to boost your heart rate.
  • Next is 5 minutes of chores that you clock with your interval timer. Use the clip and hook it to your shirt or waist. It will beep every minute so just get whatever you can get done in 5 beeps. I think I got the top rack of the dishwasher emptied and the silverware put away in the first 5.
  • 5 minutes of cardio.
  • 5 minutes of chores: Finished the dishwasher, loaded the dirty dishes, wiped down the kitchen counters
  • 5 minutes of ab work: Mix it up. I have my go-to exercises but also just use my Pinterest Fitness Determination board and choose a good ab-focused pin with 4 or more exercises that I can expand without having to click to the website.
  • 5 minutes of chores: Sorted dirty clothes, pulled current clean laundry out of dryer, threw washed load into dryer, put another dirty load into washer…and beeeep back to your workout!
  • 5 minutes of butt exercises: Clam shell, donkey kicks, hip-raises, fire hydrants, squats. No rest.
  • 5 minutes of chores: Folded the first load of laundry.
  • 5 minutes of butt exercises: Repeat exercises in first set
  • 5 minutes of chores: Put the folded load of laundry away
  • 5 minutes butt exercises: Repeat exercises in prior sets (you have now finished 3 sets (15 minutes) of butt shaping)

Some things to keep in mind: Go hard during these 10 and 5 minute cardio and bodyweight intervals. No rest. Get your leisure on during the chore intervals. If I go hard enough it makes me actually look forward to my 5 minute chore breaks. When the 5 minutes are up during your chores, drop whatever you are doing and get back to working out. If you linger too long you may lose your motivation to finish your workout.

This also works to fit a workout in while traveling for business. Stuck in a hotel room as you prepare for a presentation? Braid your workout in with your screen time.

Please know that I only have my hair down and done because of a photo shoot with the talented photographer Lindsay Napiorkowski.  In real life my fitness braiding look would consist of whatever was clean along with a ponytail.

Give this routine a try and let me know what you think. I love it and use it often. Here is Tip #1 of my New Year, New You series if you missed it. Great energy your way this week. xx Chelsea Charles

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Comments

  1. Ronald Meyer says

    In August I took over as the coordinator of my college’s rec center. The ironic part of my job is that despite being surrounded by fitness equipment and community members working out and on the courts, I never have time for an actual workout of my own.

    As it turns out, I’ve been doing my own version of your Braiding method for the last four months. Replace “butt excercises” with a majority of upper body exercises, and my routine is strikingly similar. I would definitely recommended it

    • says

      Hi Ronald. Thanks for this! It’s cool to be able to make time for a workout and lace some other important tasks throughout it. Appreciate your comment. Best, Chelsea

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