Fitness Advice For Busy Moms

I have been in the fitness industry for over 25 years and if I had to pick the single biggest reason/excuse for failing to exercise it would be time.  It seems that most people live life in the fast lane, juggling a job, a home, and a family.  While I cannot change the recipe for tip-top shape, as it takes dedicated time to get the best results, I can share some tips to chip away at your fitness while on a tight schedule.

Let’s start with your mini-van workout!  We are going to target your butt and abs in the comfort of your kid’s shuttle.  An isometric muscle contraction is when a muscle is contracted but there is no movement caused by the contraction.  Basically, you are just “squeezing” the muscle tight.  So I prescribe doing supersets at red lights, which is alternating back and forth between 2 exercises.  First we are going to squeeze your butt muscles, as hard as you can, for 10 seconds, then immediately after that tighten up your abdominal muscles for 10 seconds.  Repeat this sequence for the entire red light.  In order for an isometric contraction to offer significant results, these must be done with maximal effort, without holding your breathe.  With some traffic lights lasting just short of forever, you may be surprised at how tiring these grouped exercises can be.  Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to knock out a total body workout from the seat of your car, but you can easily hit these two trouble spots.

My second suggestion is to utilize your time management skills and look for windows opportunity to exercise.  If there is a time when you are waiting for your child during soccer practice, you can be burning calories instead of time.  This would be a great time to take a walk or better yet, have a couple of exercise bands (rubber tubing with handles) in your car to do some strength training.  You can get an effective total body workout with these!  Recruit a couple of other mom’s and make it a power pumpin’ waitin’ party.

The best way to conquer your busy schedule is to be Becky Blacklidge.  Becky Blacklidge is Cincinnati’s own “Jarrod” (the Subway sandwich dude).  Becky is a mother of two very active children, ages 7 and 11, who also work full-time as a nurse anesthetist.  Becky had battled obesity for nearly all of her life and one day decided to make a change.  She told herself that enough was enough, and made exercise a priority. Today, with diet and exercise alone, she has lost and kept off more than 120 pounds!  She works overtime, she shuttles kids, and she still makes time to exercise.

I have seen so many women who have dedicated most of their adult life to the job, to the home, to the kids, to everyone else but themselves.  When you are traveling by plane, the flight attendant demonstrates how to put on the oxygen mask in case of an emergency.  If traveling with small children, they instruct you to put on your mask first, because if you are not taken care of, you are of no help to the children.  The same goes for your everyday well-being.  Part of being a great employee, a great homemaker, or a great mother is by first taking care of you.  To be the best for others, you must also be at your best.


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