How to Exercise When You're Short on Time

How to Exercise When You’re Short on Time

Family Circle February 2012When life gets busy, exercise tends to get dropped from the docket. But with these tips from Family Circle, you’ll be out of breath–not time.

I’ve yet to meet a parent who had extra time to himself or herself during the day. If your days are like mine (and I’m sure they are), I’m on the go from morning to night. The only “me” time comes before my kids get up or after they go to sleep. Exercising is always on my daily to-do list, but it’s definitely the item I skip when time is tight.

An article I read in the February 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine, however, gave me the perfect motivation to fit a workout into my routine, even when my days are busy. “Break your training into three 10-minutes sessions throughout the day,” says Andrea Metcalf, a certified personal trainer and the author of “Naked Fitness.”

Metcalf offered a few ideas for routines, some of which allow your kids to join in:

Bend and stretch walking. Alternate with 20 lunges followed by 40 strides. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Jump rope for one minute. Stop and twirl the rope in a figure eight pattern for one minute. Repeat for 10 minutes.

Run or walk upstairs for 10 minutes. If you’re able, take two at a time on the way up and down.

Bust a move. Turn on your favorite dance music and shake it out for 10 minutes. (My kids would love this one!)

Bike it. Ride a stationary bike for three minutes. Continue pedaling and raise your arms to create letters: T (arms out the side), U (overhead press), V (arms extended), W (arms up with elbows close to the ribs). Lower arms and continue pedaling for two minutes.

Jack and jog. Jog for two minutes. Stop and do 10 jumping jacks. Continue alternating until you reach 10 minutes.

Ten-minute exercise circuits sound like the perfect solution to my no-time-to-work-out excuse. They can be done in my driveway while the baby is napping, or in my den while the older two work on their watercolors. Now, if only I could work out a way to shower and dress in 10 minutes too!