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- Choosing a Workout
How Moms Can Fit in a 30-Minute Workout
Benefits of Exercise
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.
- 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week, or
- 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sample 30-Minute Workout
- Strength Training Workout - Fitness at Home - Health.com
Who has time to strength train? You do!
- Fitness Cardio Workout - Fitness at Home - Health.com
Who has time to burn megacalories? You do!
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.