As a busy mom, you have a hard enough time fitting yet another thing in your schedule, so your cardio routines better accommodate a jam packed schedule. Sure, any exercise is better than doing none, but why not get in a full (and intense) workout in 30 minutes or less?
1. Calorie-Blasting Quickie
Head out on your own for a little me time at least once a week. Clear your head and boost your intensity with this routine. The local track, high school stadium or long staircase is the ideal locale for this one, but any staircase or open area --even around the block in your neighborhood--will do! Intervals are key to burning fat fast, so use them to fit 30 minutes of intense exercise into your busy schedule. Complete two minutes of lower intensity work by quickly walking up the stairs or jogging a lap. Follow that with 1 minute of all-out intense running. Your heart should be pounding, legs burning and it should be difficult to maintain a conversation. After 1 minute, reduce the intensity for two minutes. Complete the intervals for a total of 30 minutes. That's only 10 minutes of high-intensity, but that little bit will go a long way!
2. Total Body Circuit
Warm up for 5 minutes, then complete the following exercises in a circuit. In other words, do each exercise in succession with no rest in between. Completing the exercises in order allows your body active rest time, or rests the body part that you just worked while keeping the rest of your body moving. That will keep your heart rate high and your muscles engaged. Repeat the circuit as many times as necessary to complete your 20 minute workout. With a 5 minute warm-up and 5 minutes to cool down, you're done in just 30!
- Jumping Jacks
- Bicycle crunches
- Push ups
- Walking Lunges
- Plank Walk
3. Leg Burners
This cardio-killer will get your legs and booty in top shape in no time. A combo of running, agility and toning, 20 minutes is all it takes -- and probably all you can take! Just like the Total Body Circuit, warm up, then do the exercises in order, completing 1 minute of each exercise. Complete your choice of active rest work for 1 minute after every exercise: jump rope, short jog, brisk walk, walk quickly up and down a flight of stairs, or just up and down on one step or bench.
- Alternate lunge jumps
- Side shuffle: side lunge left, shuffle one step to the right, then lunge right. Repeat on the left
- Squat Jumps
- Mountain Climbers: get in plank position, then run in place, bringing knees to chest, while you maintain the plank.
- Stationary Side lunges: Side lunge to the left, then jump to switch the lunge to the right. Continue switching for one minute.
Repeat the circuit and rest one more time.
4. Split Ups
Sure, you're busy, but you aren't too busy for 10 minutes here and there! Plan 3 sessions of 10 minute cardio work during your day. In one session, jump rope for 10 minutes, alternating 50 easy jumps with 10 high intensity jumps. Rest for 20 seconds if needed after every other interval. In another session, toss on your tennies and brisk walk for 10 minutes. You can even catch up on calls on your cell during this one! In the third, opt for another higher intensity session, incorporating a quick 10 minute run into your day or a few rounds of one of the above circuits.
Before you know it, you've got your 30 minutes of daily exercise! You can even get your kids in on the fun by making one of your sessions sprinting races, timing each others runs, or simultaneously jumping rope. Then, it's props to you for biting your kids with the fitness bug!