Has the London Marathon inspired you to get in shape? The next hurdle is to find the time for exercise! It’s the bane of a busy mum's life - we know we need to exercise, but finding easy workout routines and fitting them into an already packed schedule seems impossible.
Budget workout routines that could be a simple solution to squeezing exercise into your day
You can’t get to the zumba class for the start time because that is the children’s bedtime, and going for an early morning run is out of the question because your partner leaves for work at the crack of dawn and there is no one to watch the kids...
If this sounds all too familiar, these budget workout routines might be a simple solution to squeezing exercise into your day - and the bonus is that you will gain more energy from being more active... So more opportunity to run around with the family!
Exercise at home
If your only free time is in the evening, consider getting hold of a treadmill so you can do some running after the kids go to bed. And remember, this doesn’t have to be a huge expense: explore your local freecycle to see if there are any up for grabs.
Or you can use a fitness DVD, which can be a useful way of getting in some easy workout routines when you can't commit to a set timetable. You can even do it when the children are in bed if you haven’t found the time in the day. Many celebrities have fitness DVDs, so choose your favourite celeb and go for it!
Exercise routine examples:
- Rocket jumps – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Star jumps or squats – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Tap backs – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Burpees – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
This one’s super easy, and will help count towards your 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. Start with a warm up then try out these:
- The ¾ press up – 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions
- Tricep dip – 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions
- Shoulder press – 2 sets of 12 to 24 repetitions
- Shoulder press with lunge – 1 set of 12 to 24 repetitions on each side
- Bicep curl – 2 sets of 12 to 24 receptitions
- Lateral raise – 2 sets of 12 to 24 reptitions
- Squat – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Lunge – 1 set of 15 to 24 repetitions with each leg
- Stomach crunch – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Back raise – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Squats – 2 sets of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Lunges – 1 set of 15 to 24 repetitions with each leg
- Calf raises – 2 sets of 15 repetitions
- Bridges – 2 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions
- Stomach crunches – 2 set of 15 to 24 repetitions
- Obliques – 1 set of 12 to 24 repetitions
- Back raises – 2 set of 15 to 24 repetitions
Find out exactly how it’s done with the recommendations on the NHS website and don’t forget to check out the warming down and stretching routine after exercise.
Strength and Flex workouts
Wouldn’t it be great to have your own personal trainer? Well, you can get your own virtual trainer coach for free with the NHS Strength and Flex podcasts. Each podcast will take you through a series of equipment-free exercises designed to improve your strength and flexibility. It’s an easy to follow five week plan that you can download to your MP3 player or smartphone and listen on the go.
They also have a great Couch to 5K free training plan to help plan your running plan.
Research from the University of Essex shows that exercising outside actually boosts your physical and mental health more than going to indoor gyms. The good news is that it doesn’t cost a penny, and National Trust and Eco Fitness have devised a free outdoor fitness programme that you can follow come rain or shine.
The 31-day plan includes power walking, tree press ups and ‘spotty dogs’! Download the free outdoor gym plan here.
Exercise with other mums
Find out what other parents are doing to keep fit; you may be able to join up with them.
For example, mums might want to get together for an hour of power walking straight after dropping their children off at school. Likewise, playgrounds are often packed with parents in cycling kit, who clearly fit in their exercise while cycling to and from the office each day.
If you work, think about asking your partner to pick up the children after school one night each week so you can go for a run. Or don the jogging gear or roller blades while pushing your baby’s pram to and from the shops.
Exercise routines for new mums
If you’ve recently had a baby and looking at getting back in shape, here’s some expert advice on what’s safe to do after you’ve given birth and how mums like you fit in exercise around a newborn.
Care to share your fitness routine secrets? Tell us how you keep fit by commenting below.