Are you a busy mom with the desire to workout but feel like you don’t have the time for it? These 7 short, mini workouts throughout the day may be just what you need for it feel more convenient, less overwhelming, and easier to adhere to. Plus, it has been concluded that adults are likely to experience similar health benefits from exercising in short bouts of activity accumulated throughout the day (1).
Is it worth it if I’m not doing a 30-60 minute workout at the gym? According to the CDC, some physical activity is better than none at all. It is also recommended that adults do muscle-strengthening activities two or more times per week involving all major muscle groups (2). The suggestions below are simple, easy to implement, and designed to tone your entire body.
So what are you waiting for? Modeling the importance of physical activity and taking care of our bodies in front of our children will teach them healthy habits, too.
Make sure to warm up and cool down as needed to prevent injury. Free workout download at the end of the post!
Mini Workout Ideas to Incorporate Throughout Your Day
1. Bodyweight leg exercises during breakfast
While you’re getting your kids breakfast ready for the day, incorporate some simple leg exercises in-between each task.
- 10 squats
- 20 alternating lunges
- 20 alternating donkey kicks
- 20 glute bridges (can be done on a bench, chair, or on the ground)
PRO TIP: When performing squats, lunges, and bridges, try to put most of your weight in your heels.
2. Push-Ups in the Playroom
I find that sometimes my kids are more likely to “allow” me to workout if I am still right beside them. Therefore, play time in the play room is a great opportunity for these mini workouts (or any room, for that matter). Set your timer for every two minutes to do some easy arm exercises. Push-ups are great for upper-body strength and can be done anywhere!
- 20 Wide Push-Ups
- 20 Tricep Push-Ups
3. Wall Sits During Lunch
While your children are sitting, eating their lunch, you can practice some wall sits! Stand against a wall and slowly lower yourself down until your legs are bent 90 degrees (thighs are parallel with the floor). Hold for 30-60 seconds, and repeat as many times as you can!
4. Cardio After Naptime
Get your heart pumping after the kids wake up! You can do this while they are napping instead- but why? Naptime is sacred.
- High knees
- Run in place
- Jumping jacks
5. Tricep Dips During Dinner Time
If you can find some time while you’re in-between tasks while making dinner, pull up a (sturdy) chair or bench and perform some tricep dips. With your palms facing inwards, slowly lower yourself until your elbows are at right angles. Make sure your arms are tucked against your body and not flared out. Then push yourself back up and repeat!
6. Dance Party After Dinner
Turn on your kids’ favorite music and have a dance party. We try to make this a weekly event at our house, especially when it’s raining. Dancing around the house is a great way to add some extra cardio to your day, and your kids will absolutely love it! Add in some jumping jacks, high knees, and burpees to really get your heart pumping. Playing dress-up (see picture) adds some bonus fun as well.
7. YouTube Ab Workout During Wind Down
While your kids are watching TV prior to bedtime, this is the perfect time to do a quick 10-minute ab workout on the floor. Or if you are more focused on getting the perfect booty, search for quick glute exercises. There are so many 10-minute workout videos focused on cardio, legs, upper-body, and more!
What Variations Can Be Made?
You get the general idea of what I’m trying to say here – but what happens when you get bored? Or you just want to change it up? Bodyweight exercises are great for overall toning and conditioning, but adding weights or a resistance band to any routine will offer an even greater challenge. Be sure to look up each exercise and understand proper form prior to performing it.
Here are some simple ideas to add or exchange from the above routine:
- Upper Body Arm Exercises with Weights: Bicep Curl, Tricep Kickback, Shoulder Press, Lateral Raise, Bent Over Row, Chest Press, Pullover, Superman, Renegade Row
- Lower Body Exercises with Weights: Deadlift, Lunge Pulse, Curtsey Squat, Staggered Squat, Resistant Band Squat Walk, Pilates
- Cardio: Squat Hops, Mountain Climbers, Skipping, Frog Hops, Sprawl, Kickboxing, Walking
Conclusion and Checklists
The sky is the limit here! It’s all about finding little pockets of time which work for you. Maybe you are doing dishes in the morning while your kids are eating, and breakfast time is not the best time for you. Or you might prefer to sit down with your children during meals. Can you think of another time that would work better?
There are so many possibilities and variations that can be done here! Each day, you can fill out the template with the different workouts you would like to complete.
To follow this exact routine, download the Mini Workouts Throughout the Day Checklist to hold yourself accountable. Feel free to make your own checklist if printing this out everyday is not your thing.
For the moms who do not stay-at-home all day, increase the short bouts to 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night after work.
Let me know if you try this! Which idea was your favorite? What was the biggest struggle in completing? What do you want from me next?
If you’re feeling extra motivated after performing these exercises, read the post 5 Tips to Help Busy Moms Get Fit. Maybe it’s time to push yourself a little harder!
*This post is a guideline intended to assist women in prioritizing their health, and these workouts may result in injury if not performed correctly. Please consult with your physician before starting a new fitness program*