Exercise for the Busy Mom

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Devoting a substantial block of time to a physical exercise routine can seem impossible with so many of life's more important activities vying for your attention. Here are a few quick and easy adjustments you can make to your busy daily routine which should soon have you looking and feeling better about your physical activity level.

Get a set of one-pound arm weights to keep near your bed. First thing each morning, put them on before you begin preparing for the day. You will gain at least 15 minutes to an hour of upper body weightlifting action while doing something that you do every day. Stay-at-home moms can reap an even greater benefit from this exercise by keeping the weights on longer while doing daily household chores.

If you work in an office, grab a friend and take a quick 15-minute buddy-walk at lunchtime. Run/walk the stairwells if you work in a high-rise office building. For busy stay-at-home moms, midday is a good time to get out of the house to meet and commune with neighbors, or walk to the market to shop for fresh food to prepare for the evening meal. If you have small children home with you, put them in the stroller and walk the hilly route to the grocery store for a more taxing workout. And if time permits, get the whole family out for a stroll after dinner, even if it's just a few blocks.

Two-pound leg weights are an excellent investment when used to do leg lifts while getting your daily dose of news and information in the evenings. Put the weights on, sit in a straight back chair, then raise and lower your legs slowly, coordinating between raising them together and one at a time. Toning and strength are the benefits of this exercise.

Another quick and easy activity you can incorporate into your daily life is sit ups. If you have enough vacant floor space to lie flat on your back and a piece of heavy furniture under which you can anchor your feet, you're good to go. Even if you can only do one or two sit ups at first, stay with it! You'll immediately feel the abdominal muscles tightening, and a firmer mid-section will follow shortly.

Extreme activity changes that don't fit into your busy lifestyle won't last. The easy changes suggested here should feel less like work and have more staying power, and the benefits to you and your family should prove immeasurable.