Moms are always there for their kids—especially the little ones who need extra care and love. But sometimes, moms need to show themselves some love, too. The problem is, where do they find the time? While it’s easy to say “you have to make time for self-care,” it’s simply not always feasible with the amount of work and coddling that has to be done, especially if you work from home with kids.
Fortunately, most moms don’t have to attend a 60-minute yoga session or cycling class to get the workouts they need. Even a 10-minute break a day can be enough to increase the heart rate and shed calories. So choose a comfortable sports bra for extra support and try these five best workouts for busy moms to stay fit and active.
1. Jumping Jack Squats
One of the most straightforward cardiovascular workouts for busy moms is jumping jack squats. Jumping jack squats can also improve lower body strength in the glutes and quads and burn off lots of calories. Here are the basic steps:
- Starting out with your feet together, jump up and stretch your legs wider than the outer hips.
- When you land, squat down and touch the ground with the tips of your fingers, keeping a straight back. (There are different variations of what to do with your arms and hands, but you get the idea.)
- Jump up again and bring your feet back together, clapping your hands overhead as you finish the jumping jack.
2. Skaters/Lateral Shuffles
Another fantastic workout for busy moms is skaters. Like jumping jack squats, skaters, also known as lateral shuffles, are perfect for cardiovascular conditioning, but they’re also great for your core and increasing lower body strength–along with burning calories.
- Keeping your core tight and back flat, bend forward slightly.
- Jump slightly to the right, bringing your left leg behind and tapping the ground. In the same motion, swing your left arm in front of you.
- Mirror the same move on your left side and repeat the motion back and forth, as if you’re gliding on roller skates (hence the name).
3. Surfer Get-Ups
Surfer get-ups are one of the best workouts for busy moms, working everything from your core, chest and shoulders to your triceps and quads. Another cardiovascular workout, you also burn tons of calories. Of course, not all of us are seasoned surfers, so here’s how to do it:
- Start in a plank position, supporting yourself with your hands and toes.
- Now, take a swift jump and twist your entire body towards one side. Aim to land in a low squat position.
- Face the front again and jump back into the plank position.
- Repeat each side back and forth several times.
4. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are another great exercise for cardiovascular conditioning, targeting the core, chest, shoulder, triceps and quads–almost a whole body workout! While there are many ways to modify the mountain climber, start with the classic variation:
- Get into a plank position and check your form, distributing your weight evenly between your hands and toes and shoulder-width apart. Your core (back, abs and head) should be aligned.
- Next, pull your right knee into your chest. Try to bring it as far as you can and then switch knees.
- As you do this, maintain the plank position, keeping your hips down. Also, alternate breaths, inhaling and exhaling as you bring in and release each knee.
5. Lateral Burpees
Working your entire body, lateral burpees can do wonders for a busy mom. They target the core, chest, shoulder, triceps and quads, creating one stellar cardiovascular workout, shredding calories. Like many exercises, there are several lateral burpee variations, but choose what works best for you. Here’s the basic burpee idea:
- Stand shoulder-width apart with each arm by your side.
- Simultaneously bend your knees and reach forward, placing your hands to the floor.
- Supporting yourself, kick your legs straight out behind and, bending your elbows, lower your body to the ground.
- Swiftly, use your arms to push your body back up, almost in a hop, to align your legs under again.
- Now, with arms reaching, jump straight up into the air, landing gently with bent knees.
More Workout Tips
While faster workouts are essential for busy moms, don’t skip these important steps.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Start with a 5-minute warm-up to get your blood pumping faster. This can be anything from jogging around the block to jumping rope. Cool down with some stretches or use a foam roller, adding gentle pressure to the quads, glutes, hamstrings, triceps, chest and lower back.
Use an App to Keep on Track
If you find it difficult to keep yourself on track, use a fitness app. There are countless fitness apps available to download, each able to ping you a reminder it’s time to break a sweat. Many apps can also help you get in shape, offering videos and instructions on HIIT workouts and muscle-building exercises.
Sneak in Small Exercises
For busy moms who find it super challenging to balance raising kids and taking care of their health, there are several ways to sneak in small exercises. If you live in a walkable town, place the kids in a stroller and walk instead of taking the car. During nap time, slip into some yoga pants and do a quick workout while the kids are sleeping.
Get a Pedometer
Busy moms probably walk around more than they realize. Make sure to count all those extra steps and get yourself a pedometer. Even 10,000 steps can mean burning up to 300 calories, the same as a lighter workout.