Circuit Training for the Busy Mom

Kendra writes about her busy life as ‘Headless Mom‘ on her personal blog, The Adventures of the Headless Family.

I’m the mom of two active boys, ages 8 and 10. I could easily fall into the trap of “I’m too busy! I can’t possibly find time for me!”, especially with back-to-school, sports, scouts and the like.

The best time that I’ve found to exercise is when they are doing it. Sports fields and parks are the perfect venue to get moving, and since many parents feel uncomfortable leaving younger children, you’re there anyway, so you may as well use your time well. Here’s how I get the most out of one of my children’s workouts, for myself:

1. Use the Track or Walking Trail Walk for a mile or so at an easy pace for a warm-up, then stop and stretch. Use short walls, fences, benches or trees for balance. Continue walking, or jog, alternating if you wish.

2. Arms/Upper Body After your warm-up, stop once or twice each lap at a bench or low wall. Do incline push-ups, triceps push-ups, and planks. Begin with five of each (or whatever your fitness level will permit,) and work up. Keep an eye out for pull-up bars, or other play equipment that can double as your gym equipment. You can also carry light weights to do arm curls and lifts.

3. Remember Your Abs One of the best and fastest ways to burn belly flab is to stand tall and suck it in. Really. When you’re walking and keeping your torso in the proper position, your body works harder. This goes for those push-ups, too, especially if you’re like me and don’t like to lay down in the grass. Keep your abs in tight for the duration of your workout and you can save the floor work for your living room!

4. Vary Your Laps Getting bored? Try alternating running and walking. Try a full lap of lunges. Add a high-knee step. (With abs in tight and shoulders back, bring your knee up to hip-height. Sounds easy… that is until you’ve done it for a full lap!) Walk backwards. Skip. All of these variations work different muscles and can be a great way to snap the “sameness” out of the old circular workout.

5. Set Your iPod on Shuffle You love all the music in there, right? So why not listen to it all. When a fast song comes on, run or walk at a quick pace. When a slower song comes on move to slower, more purposeful movements.

6. The Cool Down – Don’t forget to cool down, stretch, and stay hydrated.

If your kids are like mine you’ll easily get to do this workout 3-5 days a week. Much better than gossiping and sipping on a latte, don’t you think? So get out there and show your kids how it’s done!

See Kendra’s previous guest post: Getting and Keeping Kids Healthy in the Summer

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