By Nicole Flannigan
As a personal trainer and a mother, I can appreciate being able to have an hour to myself to get in a good workout. This event rarely happens. It seems that by the time I actually have some time to spend on myself there is still a million things to get done. Exercise is always on my list of things to do for the day and I have found that the best way to fit it in is by doing a 15-20 minute workout at least twice a day. Fitting in a workout can be easier if you make it a part of your daily routine. I know this is easier said than done, but it is possible. Make your workout fun for you and for your kids. Try doing a workout video in the living room while your kids play. If they are old enough to move around have fun with them, you get your workout in and the kids get worn out too! When babies are too young to move on their own, it’s the best time to strap them in a stroller and go for a walk. If you are a runner, I highly recommend investing in a jogging stroller – it will make exercising fun and the jogging strollers fold up so you can take them just about everywhere.
Exercising increases your metabolism, increases energy and will help you sleep better (even if you are only getting a few hours at a time). You can complete an entire strength training routine in just under 20 minutes using only your body weight. The best part about body weight training is that you can do it anywhere!
Total Body Strength Workout:
Warm-up: jumping jacks, walk in place for 1 minute
-Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
-Squat down, bending your knees to 90 degrees.
-Now jump up and land softly again in the squat position. Use the strength in your legs and butt to jump up explosively.
-Remember to land as softly as you can with your knees bent; keep your weight back, over your heels.
-Do 3 sets of 8 reps
Single Leg Circles
-Lie back on the mat with your arms by your sides and your palms facing down.
-Begin by pointing with your left foot, as if reaching out with your toes toward the ceiling, and rotate your leg slightly outward.
-Inhale, and trace a circle on the ceiling with your left leg, moving your whole leg, but keeping your hips still. Don’t lift your left hip off the floor.
-Trace the circle on the ceiling 5 times in a clockwise direction. Repeat in a counter-clockwise direction.
-Switch legs and repeat 5 times
Single Leg Opposite Arm and Leg Reach
-Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, abs engaged, left hand on hip.
-Lift left knee up to 90 degrees in front of you. Lean forward slightly as you reach right arm in front of you and push left foot behind you.
-Hold for 1 count. Pull both back in. Do 12 reps.
-Switch sides; repeat 3 times.
-Start in a plank position. Shoulders over wrists, back straight, core engaged. You can be on your knees or toes.
-slowly lower your body to the ground while keeping your core tight and legs straight.
-Return to start position. The goal is to lower your body slowly; you are only doing the down part of the push-up.
-Do 3 sets of 5-8 reps
No Weight Shoulder Press
-Extend arms out to sides at shoulder height, elbows bent 90 degrees, palms forward. Raise arms over head, then lower to start. (30 reps)