Health and Fitness Tips for Moms
The Busy Moms Shape-Up Plan
Being a mother myself I know how hard it can be to fit in a workout. I’ve come up with an easy workout plan for a 5 day week of exercise routines for the working mom, or any busy mom.
Each of the workouts is 30 minutes long, but if you don’t have the time, you can cut each workout into 15 minute workouts. Another option is you can do 15 minutes of exercise when convenient then do another 15 minutes later in the day. You’ll get the best results if you can get in 3- 4 workouts per week. You can chose which 3 or 4 workouts you’d like to do from 5 workouts bellow. Just be sure to alternate between upper and lower body exercises. If you only have time for two days a week, do one day of exercises to target the lower body, and the next workout focus on targeting the upper body. Or if you only have one day to workout, do Friday’s workout which will target both the upper and lower body. Remember that it’s better that you do something than nothing!
In each of the exercises, I explain the muscle groups you’re working in simple terms, so you know where to focus as you exercise. These workouts are fresh with variety to keep the workout fun and interesting. Another benefit is you don’t have to go to the gym, but if you’d prefer to go to the gym, I’ve included that option as well. Plus you’ll enjoy the overall toning results from this full body exercise plan.
Monday (Lower Body Workout): 30 minute powerwalk mixed with either two to three big hills or 3-5 sets of stairs. (Hills and stairs work the front and back of the legs: quadriceps/ hamstrings, as well as the glutes, and calves- Gives great definition for the butt, thighs, and calves)
Gym Option: Use the treadmill hill program. Or you can do the treadmill for 15-20 minutes and do the stairclimber (the revolving set of stairs) for another 10-15 minutes.
Tuesday (Upper Body Workout): (Interval training with weights) 15 minutes powerwalk holding 1-2 lb. weights. After 15 minutes of powerwalking, step side to side with the weights rested on your upper thigh, slowly lift your arms straight out in front of you, no higher than shoulder height. Do 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions (Targets the front of the shoulder- anterior deltoid).
Return to a powerwalk for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes of powerwalking step side to side with your arms straight and the weights at your sides, slowly lift your arms to the side no higher than shoulder height. Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps (Targets the top of your shoulder- lateral deltoid) (Shoulder exercises give a nice sculpted look to the upper arm)
Gym Option: Use the treadmill for the powerwalk portions, only do the entire 30 minutes if you have time. After finishing your cardio, go to weights. Do the same routine, but with 2-5 lb. Weights. Only do 1 set of the shoulder exercises to the front, and 1 set of shoulder exercises to the side. Stretch out your shoulders by bringing one arm straight across your chest and gently pull your arm towards your body. After resting repeat both sets.
Wednesday (Lower Body Workout): 10 minutes powerwalk or jog, 2 minutes of walking lunges (make sure your knees are each 90 degrees, and that your knee never goes over your toe on the front foot) (Targets the thighs, hamstrings, and glutes). Resume 10 minutes of powerwalking or jogging, 2 minutes standing squats (Targets outer and inner thigh, and quadricep muscle (upper thigh): bring your feet 2 steps larger than shoulder width apart, with your feet turned out squat down and up. Do 10 reps with 10 pulses repeat the interval until the 2 minutes are completed. Resume 6 minutes of powerwalking or jogging. (Lunges and squats work all of the major muscle groups of the thigh, including the inner and outer thigh, plus glutes to give muscle tone)
Gym Option: If time allots do the full 30 minutes of cardio on a treadmill, or cardio equipment of your chose. After doing your cardio go to a matt and do the lunges in place. Step forward with one leg wide enough that both knees are at a 90 degree angle, keep your upper body straight, head lifted, making sure the knee doesn’t go over the toe. Alternate right and left in place repeat for 2 minutes. Next do the standing pilee squats for 2 minutes. Rest by stretching your legs. While holding onto something, bring one foot up behind you to stretch out the front of your thigh. Alternate legs. Next to stretch the back of your legs, or hamstrings, bring one leg straight out in front of you, press your glutes straight back, and gently lean forward keeping your hands rested on your upper thigh. Last stretch for the inner thigh: step one leg straight out to the side with your toe up in the air and bend the opposite knee. Bring your weight towards the bent knee. Sway your weight to the other side. After your stretching rest, do one more set of standing lunges and squats. Repeat the stretch.
Thursday (Upper Body Workout): bicycle or powerwalk for 6-8 minutes. Using a bench or chair do 2 sets of 10-15 pushups. Bring your hands shoulder width apart. Lower your chest as close to the bench or chair as you can prior to pressing up. Make sure to keep your back flat, glutes down, and your head in line with your shoulders. You can modify the exercise by going to your knees. In between sets stretch your arms by interlacing your fingers and bringing your hands behind your back. (Pushups tone the chest, shoulders, and upper back). Resume bicycling or powerwalking for 8 minutes. For the next set use a bench or chair for tricep dips. While seated, bring your arms behind you and place your hands hip width apart. With your legs in 90 degree angles, lower your upper body with your glutes going straight down.
Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps. Stretch in between by bringing one arm straight over your head, bend your arm and gently pull on your elbow with the opposite hand. (Tricep dips tone the back of your arms). Resume your powerwalking or bicycling for 8 minutes, then repeat with 2 more sets of pushups. Last interval, resume your powerwalking or bicycling for 8 minutes, and repeat with 2 more sets of pushups.
Gym Option: Choose the cardio you most prefer such as treadmill, bike, or Stairmaster/ Precor. Do the entire cardio portion. (Push up option: Dumbell Fly’s): Using a flat bench, lay on your back. To make your back flat, bring up your feet onto the bench. Holding 5-8 lb. weights hands palms toward each other, bring your hands apart, bending your elbows. Stop when your arms are parallel to the ground, making a 90 degree angle with each arm. Do one set of 10-15 reps. Tricep dip option: Tricep Extensions): Stand up, place your right knee and right hand on the flat bench. Bring your left hand to your left hip. Extend a 3-5 lb. Weight from your hip all the way straight. Make sure your shoulder is away from your ear. Do one set of 10-15 reps and repeat on the other side. Repeat the dumbell flys for one more set, and the tricep extensions.
Friday (Combo Lower and Upper Body Workout): Powerwalk for 10 minutes, do 5 minutes of squat kicks. Bring your feet about two feet apart w/ your toes turned slightly out, bend your knees and kick out to the side, bring your weight to the other side and repeat kicking on the other side (Squat kicks tone the upper thigh, waist, and hips). Resume powerwalking for 10 minutes, do one set of 10-15 pushups on a bench or ground, make sure your hands are shoulder width apart, lower your chest towards the bench or ground, keep your head in line with your shoulders, and bring it to your knees to modify the exercise (Pushups tone chest, shoulders, and upper back). Next do one set of 10-15 tricep dips. While seated, bring your arms behind you and place your hands hip width apart. With your legs in 90 degree angles, lower your upper body with your glutes going straight down (Tricep dips tone the back of the arms). Resume powerwalking for 10 more minutes. Add one more interval of either the squat kicks or the upper body exercises.
Gym Option: Take a kickboxing class or a class involving weights and cardio (example offered in gyms is called "Body Pump" or "Interval Training with Weights")