We are living in a time-urgent society where the stakes to be professionally successful, socially admired and physically fit are ever present. These goals DO NOT have to be mutually exclusive, as we Modern Mom’s can have our proverbial cake and eat it too – particularly when it comes to physical fitness! How? The key is to optimize whatever time can be spent on fitness-related endeavors.
Even just 20 minutes of exercise most days of the week are enough to improve your health and reduce your risk of disease. Thirty minutes will help to increase your fitness level and stamina. Forty-five or more minutes will help you to optimize fat loss. The first step is believing that you are worth it, and that a fit body is a sexy body.
In an effort to balance all of the pieces of the pie we call life and, as they say, enjoy the ride, the following tips and tools employing sound exercise principles will help you Modern Mom’s turbo charge your workouts to get more results in less time:
o Combine your upper and lower body exercises – Cut your strength routine in half by incorporating exercises for several body parts. For example, while performing a lunge, add a set of bicep curls to the movement.
o Choose compound exercises – exercises that work several muscle groups simultaneously are more time efficient than isolation exercises, which focus on one major muscle group. Examples of compound exercises include the leg press, squat, chest fly, walking lunge and seated row.
o Circuit train – With minimal equipment, you can set up stations alternating cardio activities with strength training activities. This will keep your heart rate up so that you can get both the aerobic and anaerobic (strength) benefits. A sample circuit might include: jump rope, bicep curls, jumping jacks, push-ups, jog in place, squats, mini-trampoline and dips. Repeating the circuit up to three times is guaranteed to boost your metabolism in under 30 minutes.
o Interval train – Using active rest and work ratio’s will allow you to workout at the upper and lower levels of your fat burning zone and optimize calories expended. You can start with brisk walking for 2 minutes and jogging for 30 seconds. Then progress to 2 minutes of brisk walking and 1 minute of jogging. Eventually progress to two minutes of each and ultimately to spending less time walking and more time jogging.
o Increase your intensity – by picking up the pace, you can cover more miles and ultimately burn more calories in less time. You may need to work up to higher intensities gradually, but you will become more efficient in the process and be able to cut back on the duration of your exercise sessions.
o Stock up on 30-minute exercise video’s – Check out the latest videos that accommodate every level of fitness, body part and workout style. Four 30-minute videos a week could add up to 18 pounds burned in a year’s time.
o Multi-task – use your time on the bike to catch up on professional literature, review notes for a presentation or update you palm pilot. That will keep you up to date and save you time in the office.
o Schedule you next meeting at the gym – it is not unusual today to have a business meeting on the tennis or racquetball court or golf course. It can be a welcomed change for all parties involved and you get to exercise while you are being paid.
o Pick up the pace – Increase your speed any chance you get like at the grocery store or mowing the lawn. Run errands – literally. The calories can add up significantly and keep your metabolism burning at a higher level all day long.
o Make it a lifestyle change – by eliminating some of life’s modern conveniences and getting more physical, you can expend up to an additional 800 calories a week. That can add up to 11 pounds lost at the end of a year. So, start taking the stairs – even if you work on the 10th floor – it’ll get easier. Park your car in the last spot and keep your sneakers close by at all times. You never know when the opportunity will arise to go for a walk, hit the gym or join in with the kids at the field.
o Turn time wasters into time savers – contract muscle groups while standing in line or driving, stretch at your desk, go for a walk on coffee breaks. Remember that three ten-minute intervals are just as good as one 30-minute session. When possible, workout at lunch and then eat at your desk.
o Incorporate mind & body exercises – choosing a discipline like yoga or pilates will not only give you the physical benefits of a well toned body, but you will also enjoy the relaxation and stress relieving enhancements as well.
o Make time – Schedule 30-minute workouts in your appointment book 1-month in advance and keep that commitment the same way you would any other meeting. Set your alarm, watch or palm pilot to go off when it’s time to exercise.
o Sex counts – While I wouldn’t suggest replacing a formal exercise program with sex, it certainly does burn calories. The more fit you are, the more enjoyable all activities, including sex, will be.
o Exercise saves you time – The more fit you are, the less sleep you need, so you can add more time to your day and have more energy for you daily tasks. Exercise could be adding longer and stronger years to your life – that time is priceless.