Remember back before you had kids, when Saturday morning was all about sleeping in, late brunches, heading out for a quick run or workout in the afternoon, before deciding what to do for dinner plans? I mean, pre-baby, I used to think I was a bad-ass for making it to a 9 a.m. spin class on a weekend. Now? Up at 6:30 a.m., fitting in meals, naps, play-time, grocery runs, tantrums, stories, then getting a grubby toddler clean, fed, and back in bed. Not so much free time for the gym anymore, right?
What about during the week -- you know, when you're doing all of the above, only with your own work on top of that? I get it. It is hard to fit in time for yourself to exercise -- sometimes it even seems impossible. That's why this is such good news for you:
A study published last week in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that even ONE minute of exercise can impact weight loss, provided those single minutes are high intensity. That's not a typo, ONE (1) minute helps!
Now, this doesn't mean you can run for a minute a day and expect amazing results. What it does mean, though, is that if you have even a minuscule period of time to yourself, you can use it to put toward the overall recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week. Here are some ideas for short and intense exercise you can squeeze into your day (key word there is intense, mamas!). Just take your heels off first, please!
Jump ropes are super portable. These are great to pack in your suitcase when traveling. If you have high ceilings, stash one in your living room, too. Trust me, a minute of jumping rope will get your heart-rate up quickly.
Jumping jacks can be done anywhere. (Fun fact: In Australia, I grew up calling these "star jumps.") Do these in your office. Do them in the kitchen. Do them on the sidelines of your kid's softball game. One minute of jumping jacks definitely counts as intense activity.
Push-ups are another exercise you can do wherever, no special equipment required. See how many you can do in one minute. If flat-out on the floor push-ups are too difficult, try them from your knees or leaning against a desk or wall.
Take the stairs already! Anytime you have the choice, take advantage of this built-in Stairmaster. Up the intensity by running upstairs, or take two steps at a time.
Even though squats are the king of strength-training exercises, doing them quickly will turn squats into a high-intensity cardio workout. Again, see how many you can do in a minute. If you aren't sure your squat form is great, then do them in reverse: Stand up from your chair, then push your hips back to sit back down. (Although this technique is not recommended if your office chair is on wheels!)
When you're at the playground with your kids, doing a minute of cardio is easy. A quick game of tag or challenging them to a race is perfect for one-minute bursts of running.
If you have only a couple of minutes in the morning, a great way to start your day is by doing a yoga flow called Sun Salutation as soon as you get out of bed. While this may not qualify as intense aerobic exercise, beginning your day with a quick two-minute yoga wake-up routine is a good habit to start.
What do you think, mamas? Is fitting in short bursts of activity something you would try?
Image via ekkiPics/Flickr