Experts recommend working out 45 minutes to an hour a day (30 minutes for beginners) for weight loss and fitness. But if you’re like most women, you don’t always have a block of 30 to 60 minutes a day to devote exclusively to doing your workouts.
You can still exercise–you just need to sneak in the equivalent in resourceful ways. The idea is to keep moving! I remember when I was a kid my mom used to tell me to go sit down, she called me jittery because I was always standing instead of sitting, dancing while I cooked, walking around the house when I was on the phone and guess what? Now I’m 31 and I do the SAME things!
When I’m on the phone I’m not sitting behind a computer I’m walking all through the house burning calories. When I do my meal prep on Sunday mornings I have my music blasting, I’m chopping, singing, dancing and BURNING CALORIES!
When I get to the gym I don’t look for the closest parking spot. I park in the last lot and walk all the way to the gym just to burn extra calories!
So you get the idea. KEEP MOVING! Those little, itty-bitty things add up.
Every Stolen Moment Adds Up
In case you think that short bursts of activity have a negligible effect on your fitness program, think again. One study found that women who split their exercise into 10-minute increments were more likely to exercise consistently, and lost more weight after 5 months, than women who exercised for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.
In a landmark study conducted at the University of Virginia, exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser, PhD, asked men and women to complete 15 10-minute exercise routines a week. After just 21 days, the volunteers’ aerobic fitness was equal to that of people 10 to 15 years younger. Their strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility were equal to those of people up to 20 years their junior.
In yet another study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore found that for improving health and fitness in inactive adults, many short bursts of activity are as effective as longer, structured workouts. “It would be useful for people to get out of the all-or-nothing mind-set that unless they exercise for 30 minutes, they’re wasting their time,” says Gaesser.
Breaking exercise into small chunks on your overscheduled days can also keep your confidence up, says Harold Taylor, time management expert and owner of Harold Taylor Time Consultants in Toronto, who has written extensively on the subject. “Skipping exercise altogether is ‘de-motivational’–you feel depressed and guilty,” Taylor says. “If you skip it, you tend to figure, ‘What’s the use? I can’t keep up with it anyway.’ Yet as long as you make some effort each day, that motivates you onward. Success breeds success.”
Here’s a roundup of practical ways to work exercise into your day even when you “don’t have time to exercise.” (You don’t have to do them all in 1 day; select what works for you.)
10 Min. Workouts
3 10 minute routines are perfect for busy days! This is also one of my most successful workout schedules for my busy moms programs. Its easy to stick to and very effective. Check it out here
- First thing in the morning on an empty stomach jump rope for 10 minutes. You will burn more fat since you haven’t eaten and don’t have any carbs to burn and you will feel motivated & energized for your day. AM workouts are the easiest to stick to!
- 10 minutes midday (it can be the kids naptime, lunchtime at work, while you wait for the kids at practice, after hubby gets home and its his turn lol whatever!)
This is where you’ll do a 10 minute strength routine. Pick 5 exercise
1 cardio- (jump jacks, knee ups, burpees), 1 upper body (push ups, dips, pull ups), 1 lower body (squats, lunges, deadlifts), Another Cardio to keep your heart rate up and end with 1 core (planks, bicycle crunches, romain chair). Repeat this 2x with little to no breaks.
You just did a full body workout in 10 minutes!
- Last but not least, end your day with a 10 minutes of deep relaxing stretches. Your body will thank you!
Get your Anywhere workouts at www.MILF-Fitness.net
Around the House
- When you go outside to walk the dog slowly but surely add 1-2 blocks, go a little further everyday.
- If you’re housebound caring for a sick child or grandchild, hop on an exercise bike or treadmill while your ailing loved one naps.
- Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to work your arms and shoulders, You can also perform dips on the chair when you put your food in to bake or squats between stirs.
- After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids and their friends. Even going for a walk will help burn the calories from the meal and it will improve your digestion.
- Walk around the block several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson. As your fitness level improves, add 1-minute bursts of jogging to your walks.
- While your son or daughter plays a soccer game walk around the field or better yet hit the bleachers! You’ll tone your thighs, glutes, and get your heart rate up.
- Turn a trip to the playground with your child into a mini-workout for you. Throw a ball back and forth, squat when you roll the ball to them, you can do dips on the stairs, pull ups on the monkey bars, the possibilities are endless!
Finding 30-60 minute increments can be tough but as long as you do SOMETHING everyday you will see progress!
I specialize in creating workouts for busy moms so if you need help creating an EFFECTIVE short burst fitness program check out www.MILF-Fitness.net