It’s difficult to find the time to workout as a mom. The number one excuse people have for not working out is lack of time. I get it.
Before my daughter was born, I used to squeeze in a workout during nap time or I would take group classes and put W in the childcare. Now, Sweet P is too little for the child care, and I often don’t have much time during nap time to workout. I’d rather be napping myself.
Eventually Sweet P will be old enough to go to the gym child care, but until then I would still like to maintain a healthy level of physical fitness.
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 hours a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 hours a week of more intense aerobic activity, plus two days of strength training. Unfortunately, less than 50% of Americans reach the recommended amount.
So, what’s a busy mom to do?
I came up with the Timer Workout to make sure I was getting my daily dose of fitness. It’s simple to follow, can be done anywhere and you can even include your kids.
The Timer Workout
What is the Timer Workout?
The timer workout is a simple workout you can do anytime, anywhere, and with or without the kids. All you do is set the timer to a particular time, put on some music and start working out. You can use the free workout card printables for a reference on what exercises to do.
Exercise doesn’t always require you to get dressed in your favorite gym attire, drive to your local gym or pop in your favorite workout DVD. You can be active anywhere and still get the same benefits.
- Set your timer. If you are doing cardio, set the timer for 15 minutes. If you are doing a strength training workout, set the timer for 10 minutes. I always start with cardio so I can warm up and get my heart rate going.
- Put on your music. Personally, I think this is key. If there’s a good song playing, it’s hard not to get up and dance.
- Get moving. For the 15 minute cardio session, I do a lot of different moves. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you keep moving the entire time. You can do jumping jacks, jump rope, high knees, jogging in place, butt kickers, high kicks, etc. You can even just dance or walk around for a few minutes if you get tired.
- You can get your kids involved by taking turns leading the routine. Have your child imitate your move, then you imitate a move your child does.
- Stop OR Keep going. If you don’t have a whole lot of time that day, just finish your workout after 15 minutes. If you have more time, add on another 10 minutes of strength training. I break up my strength training into different parts of the body: upper body (arms), lower body (legs) and core.
What materials are needed?
- a timer (you can use the one on your phone or buy one)
- free weights (optional)
- workout cards (optional)
How will the the Timer Workout save me time?
You can do it anywhere! If you just got the baby down for a nap, set the timer and start moving with your older child. If you finish your lunch before you kids, turn on that timer and get moving. You don’t have to go anywhere or need to wear anything fancy- you might as well put those yoga pants you throw on every morning to good use!
Examples of exercises
Here are a few sites with a lot of examples of great exercises you can add to your timer workout.
- Cardio: Greatist has a wonderful list of cardio exercises you can perform anywhere.
- Upper body: 7 best arm workouts from Fitwirr.
- Lower body: Check out Popsugar’s ultimate guide to leg workouts.
- Core: 19 core exercises from Skinnymom