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How Moms Can Fit in a 30-Minute Workout

Updated on March 23, 2013
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Benefits of Exercise

CARDIO
RESISTANCE TRAINING
It helps you lose weight
It reduces body fat
It increases your energy level
It increases lean muscle mass
It increases your strength
It helps burn calories more efficiently
It promotes good sleep
It helps you develop strong bones
It reduces stress
It controls your weight
It drops incidences of depression
It reduces your risk of injury
It reduces blood pressure
It boosts your stamina
It reduces risk of diabetes
It helps to manage chronic conditions
It can stimulate bone growth
It sharpens your focus

As a former fitness trainer, I recognize the benefits of working out, but as a busy mom and wife I realize the reality of finding time to fit it in. It’s a chore just to carve out, “me time” for ourselves, and when we do catch a break we’re much too exhausted to run on a treadmill, or ride on a bike.

Well, the ultimate irony is the more days we include exercise into our regular routine the more days we’ll have to enjoy our lives, and the more energy we’ll have to enjoy our days. Exercise is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies because it can prolong the quality of our health.

The two types of exercise we’ll focus on are cardiovascular or cardio: running, biking, swimming, etc; and strength training: push-ups, squats, free weights, etc. Cardio is widely known for helping us lose fat, but it also works the most important muscle in our body, our heart; while strength training helps preserve and enhance muscle mass that naturally diminishes with age.

While true that most moms realize the importance of fitting exercise into their lives, they may not realize just how often it should be done. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) gives us some basic guidelines to follow.

Cardio:

  • 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week, or
  • 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week.

Strength Training:

  • Adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment, but, keep in mind, when doing strength training you should wait at least 48 hours between sessions, and
  • Adults should do two to four sets of each exercise, then 8-12 repetitions to improve strength and power, or 10-15 repetitions for middle-aged and older people just starting out.

Before beginning any workout program, you should consult with your physician, especially if you’re overweight or have a history of health problems. So, now that you have the exercise fundamentals, below are five ideas on how to fit a quick workout into your busy schedule.

1. Wake up 30 Minutes Early

If you normally get up at 6:30, wake up at 6:00 and begin your workout. If you need to go to bed earlier to make this happen, then do it. Pop in a workout DVD; go to your home gym, or, if safe, take a 30-minute walk or jog in your neighborhood. By getting in your workout early, you not only get it out of the way, but you can boost your mood and relieve stress, and that’s a great way to start your day.

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2. Take Advantage of Lunch Breaks

If you work outside of the home use half of your lunch break to exercise. You can even bring your dumbbells to work and go to an empty office to lift. Or, if you’re opting to do cardio, take a brisk walk for 30 minutes of uninterrupted exercise.

If you work from home then take a break when your kids are napping, or having quiet time and sneak off to another room to get in your workout.

3. Workout before Bedtime

When everyone’s in bed and you have time to yourself spend 30 minutes exercising. Because it’s so close to bedtime the workout should not be too strenuous. Certain schools of thought frown upon exercise so close to bedtime, but if you’re doing a moderate workout, then 30 minutes at night is okay. Some people even say that working out in the evening helps them to sleep better, but you be the judge, and try it for yourself.

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4. Take the Kids with You

All you need is 30 minutes, so dust off the stroller, strap your little ones in and get ready to roll. Make it a family-affair and take the kids, and the workout, outside for a nice stroll around the park.

Or, if you prefer not to be in the cool air or hot sun, then you can take your kids to the mall and walk around for a few laps. It may not look like you’re exercising, but if you keep up the pace you really are giving your heart a good workout.

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5. Break-Up Your Workout

If you find some days that you are just too busy to commit to a full 30-minute exercise session, break it up into two, short sessions. In the morning, spend 15 minutes jumping rope or using a Hula Hoop. In the evening, you can jog in place for the remaining 15 minutes, completing your 30 minutes of cardio for the day. Or, you can do 15 minutes of weight training on your lower body in the morning, and 15 minutes of strength training on your upper body in the evening. You’re the boss, so be creative.

Remember, all you need is 30 minutes a day to help ensure you’re taking good care of the only body you’ll ever have.

So, now it’s time to get started, because in doing so, you’ll not only look better, you’ll feel better, and your heart will be thanking you, the rest of your life, for making it happier and healthier.

How Often Do You Workout?

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    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 4 years ago from Malaysia

      I find your hub works good for me. Ain't a workout or exercise people but your info make me to loose some weight around the waist. Thanks!

      Voted up, useful and shared!

    • theluckywriter profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      I'm not a mom, but this is useful info! I walk for an hour every day, but I know that I have to add some strength training and some cardio to my schedule.

    • Mommymay profile image

      Heather May 4 years ago from Ohio

      These are great tips! My kids and I do Zumba together and they love it! I also have been wearing heels around the house to tone my legs...I may write a hub on it!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i find that working out with kids is the best idea. I love to dance with my son at home. Release all the sweat and enjoy laughing.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hello, theluckywriter, walking for an hour every day is great cardio! Keep up the good work.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Mommyway, I keep hearing so many good things about Zumba. How nice that you do that with the kids. And, I love the idea of a hub about heels and toning your legs. Very creative!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      peacepurple, I love to dance with my kids as well. It's such a fun way to spend quality time with our little ones, plus get in some exercise. Thanks for your comments.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      KenWu, LOL. I'm glad you found my tips useful. And, even non-workout people can definitely benefit!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice and useful hub!

      I do exercise everyday and also go for walks, though I must include strength training as well. I like your idea of working out before going to bed.

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      ChitrangadaSharan, thank you for reading. That's great that you exercise so regularly. And, I'm glad I was able to give you an idea to try!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and so useful.

      Eddy.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Eiddwen, I'm so glad this was useful for you because that was my goal. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      Your tips are definitely useful for me as I have two little kids. I'm not very consistent concerning regular exercise but I know I should. I hope I can change that soon.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi janetwrites. Thank you for your comments. I'm so glad these tips were helpful to you, and if you include your little ones it can be even more special!

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Hi Careermommy! Super ideas! I like the way you broke down the benefit, as well as easy ways to fit in exercise! I'd like to add yoga to your list! Yoga is a good strengthening exercise that can help ease arthritis and increase mobility. We use our own body weight as resistance. I've been doing it for over 3 years and find that when I may be feeling a little stiff, I just do a few yoga stretches, and it works wonders!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hello vandynegl, thanks for adding yoga to the mix! You are correct, yoga has a LOT of great health benefits. Thank you for reading and for your insightful comments.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Except for our snowy days, I walk around the neighborhood daily. :)

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi stephanieb27. That sounds like good exercise to me!

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 4 years ago

      I try to walk everywhere. I even get a little crafty and park the car as far away from the store door as I can so that I have to walk further. It sounds silly but every little bit counts.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Celeste, I agree. Every little bit does help. Those are actually very creative ideas. Thanks for reading!

    • leilabarda profile image

      Rosa Lea Acerimo 4 years ago from Marikina City

      nice article, it motivates me to do the jogging instead of just walking. i know that it will definitely help me a lot to loose a lot of weight.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Thanks for reading Leila. I'm glad this article inspired you. Jogging will definitely help burn more calories, but good for you that you get walking in!

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Careermommy, this is a lovely article. I am a working mom and find it difficult to remove time for workouts. I somehow try to fit in sometime and go for a swim in the morning - at least thrice a week. Your hub somehow motivates me and am going to aim at being consistent. Thanks!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Toytasting, thank you so much for your comments. Swimming is great exercise. I'm glad my article has been motivating! Thank you for stopping by.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Hi careermommy! I'm an avid fan of running. I'll start doing stairs for 10 days. I want to see how it affects my thighs. haha! Sharing this one. Great hub!

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Very useful hub here. Thanks for sharing. Votes up and shared.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I'm not a mom but I've been working out at least 30 - 60 minutes every weekday since the beginning of the year. I have a Jillian Michaels DVD which is incredible! She is so positive and inspirational - it's a great early morning start to my day. My energy increases and so does my mood. This was a great article - sharing across to Twitter. Thanks!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi beingwell, thanks for your comments and the share! I used to do the stairs in Santa Monica, four days per week. What a great workout!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      dghbrh, thank you for sharing and for your nice comments!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      MelChi, I think Jillian Michaels is great. Her workout DVD's offer a wonderful workout. Thank you for your share!

    • aylsbillones profile image

      Aileen Billones 4 years ago from Naga City, Philippines

      Thanks for the tips. I am more inspired to work-out for at least 30 mins.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      aylsbillones, I'm glad my article offered some inspiration. Hopefully, you'll get in your 30 minutes per day!

    • aylsbillones profile image

      Aileen Billones 4 years ago from Naga City, Philippines

      Thanks. I will do my best. I've been so busy doing this and that, to the point of sacrificing the essential things in life like exercising. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      aylsbillone, trust me I know the feeling. It wasn't until the Dr. said my blood pressure was high that I made the demands of life not as important as my health. Thank you for your comments.

    • passionate77 profile image

      passionate77 4 years ago

      very nice and informative hub, i hv bookmarked it , definitely health comes first when we compare it to every other aspect, nice update honey, thanks for sharing, many blessings!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      passionate77, thank you for your very sincere comments. Yes, our health is key, without that all the other things in our life can't operate as smoothly.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Well written and put together hub! With all the ways you provide to fit 30 minutes of exercise in, there's little excuse to still not do it. Nice job!

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      FlourishAnyway, yep there's not many excuses left when it comes to fitting in 30 minutes of exercise. Thank you for your kind words.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Your hub shows that it is not difficult to take out 30 minutes for a cardio exercise everyday. One just has to have the inclination and be a bit creative.

      Voted up.

    • Careermommy profile image
      Author

      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi rajan jolly. Yep, it's just a matter of putting that short amount of workout time into one's busy day. Thank you for for your vote up and your comments!

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