As a busy mom, you probably already know that you should “sneak” exercise into your busy day, like walking or jogging with the stroller, or hoisting your baby as though she or he were a dumbbell.
That’s great advice and hopefully you’re doing those things, if for nothing else other than enhancing the bonding between mother and child.
While jogging with a stroller or bench-pressing your baby can be great exercise, many of you who have exercised seriously in the past know that these baby-exercises don’t always meet the physical demand you’re used to, nor do they significantly impact strength gain or weight loss.
The Myth of Exercise Duration
You want to get back to serious exercise but you believe that you don’t have the time to spend an hour (or more) in the gym. So serious exercise falls off the list and you settle for something less demanding, like pushing the stroller in the rain or bench-pressing baby as she spits up on you.
Well, abandon the belief that effective exercise requires hours in the gym. The fact is that you can become healthier and support post-pregnancy weight loss with full-body, vigorous exercise in about 15 minutes. It’s not a fad, and it’s simpler than you think.
- Choose Big Exercises
First, choose exercises that move the entire body through a full range of motion. The more muscles you use concurrently, the higher the caloric expenditure, not to mention greater stimulation for lean muscle.
- Keep It Simple
Second, keep exercise simple and minimize the learning curve. The simpler the exercise, the sooner you can challenge yourself while maintaining maximum safety. Complicated exercise programs slow things down and diminish the metabolic effect of fat burn.
- Work It!
Finally, perform these exercises at a vigorous pace, and rest only when you’re out of breath or when your technique starts to break down. Essentially, the more physical work you can manage in less time, the greater the fat burn and metabolic health. It’s that simple.
The Mechanics of Fat Burn
More physical work done in less time results in an increased concentration of lactic acid, the by-product of vigorous muscular work. Lactic acid triggers growth hormone. Growth hormone stimulates fat metabolism—or fat burn.
Movie stars, by the way, pay thousands of dollars to have growth hormone treatment in order to stay young-looking and lean. Why not produce growth hormone naturally through vigorous, whole-body exercise and enjoy all the other benefits it offers?
At the Gym, Or At Home
Full-body exercises include squats, push-ups, and burpees, along with many others. You can also invest in some light weights like a pair of dumbbells, a kettlebell, or a medicine ball. Search online for videos of exercises utilizing this equipment. Turn your living room into an intense 15-minute home gym. It’s that simple.
Or consider joining a gym (if you haven’t), and exchange babysitting times so you can dash to the gym for your 15 minutes of highly effective exercise. It’s all the formal exercise you need to assist you in getting healthier and managing body weight.
Don’t let the widespread, arbitrary belief that you must exercise for hours in the gym prevent you from enjoying more important things in life, or to psych you out, leading you to abandon serious exercise completely because you think you haven’t the time.
You can still have the time you need as a mom and at the same time get super fit and healthy. You can still spend time hugging and being with your child—as a healthy, fit, and fabulous-looking mom!
Johnny Nguyen is the Director of Health and Fitness at The 3rd Door in Palo Alto. He has been in the exercise industry for nearly 2 decades, has helped numerous people gain better health and fitness in a private environment, is experienced in many areas of fitness training, and holds a degree in Sports Medicine. His professional interest includes exercise metabolism and weight loss.You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.