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According to Mayo Clinic, at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity is needed to maintain health. That is thirty minutes five times a week. Between being the family taxi driver, executive chef, personal shopper and oh, there is a career of some sort out there, finding the time to be active can be a chore for anybody. However, there are ways to get in and get sweaty without sacrificing a single ball in the juggling act we call life.
Schedule it. I never seem to have time, but somehow fit in that haircut and color and get the kids to the dentist. My solution is to pencil exercise into my calendar. Granted, mine is at 5 a.m., but it is something I am used to and can’t miss.
Use the long way around. Need to use the bathroom? Go to a bathroom not on your floor. Just taking a minute of stairs burns nine calories for 160-pound person and 12 calories for a 210-pound person according to LiveStrong. Better yet, take the long way back to your desk by going up another flight. Same goes for parking spaces: the further away the better. These small calorie bursts add up.
>> Read more: 40 Easy Ways to Burn Calories Every Day
Use your lunch hour. If you get this luxury as a working mom you know that this is typically filled with errands. Instead of hopping in the car, grab your running shoes and walk/run/skip to them. No errands? Grab a co-worker or friend and take a quick walk.
Get up early. It might hurt at first, but it could mean the difference between getting that workout in or not. Lacey Holloway, mother of two and a high school math teacher and cheer coach, never thought she could squeeze more hours in the day. Between lesson plans, chasing her four-year-old and infant, and the countless practices, dances and games she helps with, she thought an early wakeup call would be the last thing on her list. However, knowing she needed to do something and after some convincing from a group of friends she tried it. “After day two I knew it was what I needed. I am up enjoying the morning and having some ‘me’ time,” she says.
Use the buddy system. It just makes sense to have another person to help stay accountable. Besides the increase in motivation, the buddy system provides an outlet for airing the day-to-day issues. Therapy and exercise in one fell swoop and at no cost either. Holloway says, “We not only work on our bodies, but we are strengthening our friendships.”
Go to the playground. You can swing with your kids to work on your abs or complete bench dips while watching your kids play. Just using your body weight and doing some pushups or squats between pushes on the swing is better than sitting with a bag of chips.
>> Read more: The Ultimate Playground Workout
Commercial break sweat sessions. In my house, it is a general rule when homework is done and the kitchen is cleaned up, we settle down for some good cuddle time in front of the TV. During commercial breaks, hop up and see how many push-ups, squats, etc. you can do. You don’t miss out on family time and you get some extra movement. Feeling extra motivated? Work out during the whole show.
Plan ahead. So your week is full of little league this and high school that. Pack your favorite running shoes and your stroller for little ones. Mandy Fox, mother of four and owner of Fox Consulting, says her go-to is the stroller. “I always have it for the little half. I push them around the soccer fields while the big boys practice.” This leads to others joining her and if practice runs long-bonus!
Make it a family affair. Date night with a farmer are far and few in between especially during calving and harvest seasons. I plan active dates with my hubby and sometimes the kids. Playing soccer in the yard or going for a walk are great ways to sneak in family time or couple time without electronic distractions.
Break it up. According to Shape, using the rule of three can help you get the 30 minutes in a day. The key to this, though, is keeping them high intensity. For example run 30 seconds on a treadmill as fast as you can with a 30 second cool down. Then 60 seconds hard with 60 seconds cool down. Continue to increase time until your 10 minutes is up for a maximum burn.