My eldest, Sweaty Kid, is off to Junior Kindergarten (yikes!) this fall. I am finally joining the ranks of parents who must juggle the before-school/workday/after-school balance. Though my job helps me to keep fit, I look around me and see mommies going back to work, kids heading back to school, extracurricular schedules about to be formed and... horror of horrors...
...exercise about to go out the window.
Please, please, please don't stop exercising. There is nothing better you can do to counteract the stress of the school year than to take care of yourself.
Lately I've been counseling a few clients whose primary goals include fat loss. Does this sound like you? One of the strategies I give these clients is to perform a short, moderately paced workout first thing in the morning, of anywhere from 15-45 minutes. A fasted workout (i.e., on an empty stomach) can help teach the body to draw from its fat stores more efficiently, as well as prolonging your breakfast just slightly and allowing you to work up an appetite.
If you've got just 15-minutes, here is a quick workout you can do in your bedroom or living room, while you keep your eye on the morning TV news and wait for your coffee to brew! Come on, I know many of you wake up before your kids during the school year. Take 15 minutes for yourself and you will truly start your day off on the right foot!
Perform each of the following exercises for 1 minute, in order, without resting. Make it more difficult by performing more reps in the minute allotted, and easier by performing fewer reps in the minute allotted:
Minute 1 - march on the spot with knees high, arms pumping
Minute 2 - jumping jacks
Minute 3 - stand with feet together and step right foot out wide, sinking into a squat and reaching hands down to touch the floor. Press back into middle position, then repeat on left side. Keep toes and knees pointed slightly outward and push bum well behind you as you squat.
Minute 4 - push up (from knees or toes).
Minute 5 - plank (either a 60-second plank or two 30-second planks).
Minute 6(1) - stand with feet together and step right foot forward into lunge position, sinking into lunge until you can touch the floor beside your right foot with both hands. Press back into starting position, then repeat on left side. Keep front knee from pushing past front toes.
Minute 6(2) - pike crunch.
Minute 7 - downward dog or forward bend.
Minutes 8 through 14 - repeat as above.
Minute 15 - child's pose or lying on back, knees to chest.
Try doing this workout daily, Monday through Friday, and changing a few exercises every 2-4 weeks. Choose from the simple at-home exercises listed here on my Fit Family website or add in your own favourites.
Now go drink your coffee! You just worked every major muscle on your body.