5 Minutes for Fitness — Creative Fitness

5 Minutes for FitnessI need help adding fitness into my beyond-busy life!

So the Workout Mommy herself has signed on to be not only my new personal trainer, but YOURS too!!!

Every Thursday, in our newest column 5 Minutes for Fitness, Lisa (aka Workout Mommy) is going to help us add at least 5 Minutes more exercise into our days. So, if you’re better than I am, and you already get some exercise, you can still be challenged to add a few more minutes. And for those like me, well… we’ll start with 5 minutes and work our way up!

Okay Coach Lisa, we’re ready to go!


Lisa - The Workout MommyAs a busy mom of two, I do not have a lot of time to devote to exercise. I let my gym membership expire because the commute to and from was eating up too much of my day. My children did not enjoy the childcare room and honestly, it was just too expensive.

Fitness is important to me though, both for health and sanity reasons! As much as I cherish my time to exercise alone, there are days when that simply is not going to happen. Therefore, I have come up with some creative ways to slip a little fitness into my busy day.

Here are a few ideas:

Quick cardio
Run up and down the stairs several times to get your heart rate elevated. No stairs in your house? Do a minute or two of jumping jacks instead. Involve your kids by having them count with you!

Laundry room squats
I have a front loader, so with each handful of laundry I shove in my machine, I must perform the perfect squat. Remember, knees should stay in line with your toes and SQUEEZE your glutes!

Spend a few minutes doing only lunges, either stationary or walking. Going to the kitchen for a drink? Lunge your way there. Outside playing with the kids? Lunge around the yard. Heading to the potty bathroom? Yep, you got it, lunge your way there.

Find yourself on the floor cleaning up a spill? Do as many push ups as you can while you are down there, either on your knees or military style. Don’t worry, that spill will still be there when you are done!

Sculpt the muscles on the back of your arms by doing a few sets of tricep dips off your coffee table.

Plank it
Work your shoulders, abs, and low back all in one shot. Get down on the floor in a military push up position and just HOLD IT! Draw your abs in and don’t let your lower back sag. After about 20-30 seconds your arms and abs will be having a party!

Dance party
Put on some good tunes and dance your way into a sweat with your kids. Fun and fitness for everyone.

These are just a few to get you started. Do you have any that you can share?

Remember, even just five minutes of fitness is better than nothing, so put on your shoes, grab your water, and get moving!

picture source: Polite Chaos


  1. says

    hmmm…maybe if I get the reminder often enough I’ll actually try some of those things! (Although my laundry room is so small, my squats would have my back leaning against the wall!) For now, I’m gonna pour myself a cup of tea and have another Dove chocolate (it is DARK chocolate; that makes it healthy, right?). After all, I wouldn’t want to wake the kiddos by getting all energetic or anything!

    Seriously though, I do look forward to seeing the column and finding ways I can get stronger and healthier without having to admit I’m actually exercising!

  2. says

    Great ideas! I have heard that just cleaning the house thoroughly burns lots of calories. Some days that works for me but then I go and eat too much at dinner time!

  3. Katie says

    I am sooooo excited about 5 Minutes for Fitness! I love thinking of how to encorporate getting tone around the house while I do the stuff I do. This morning after reading about Lisa’s tips, I laughed and thought about a moment I just experienced last night. You know (and every mom has experienced this) when you squat down to have that talk with you child about behaving. Well, ironically, I was at the gym last night, had to do the lets behave speach at his level only to find myself thinking OK, hurry up and look at me in the eyes and get the point because my legs are starting to shake and I am not in good enough spape to stay down here all night long.

  4. says

    Good grief! Are you trying to kill us all off?

    Apart from the push ups, I do all of those against my will, there is no element of ‘voluntary’ in my regime. Yes, the children join in too, they are the cause of all this unnecessary movement.

    Now throw all the clean laundry off the couch so I can lie down and take a rest.


  5. says

    p.s. you have inspired me to renew my gym membership.

    I nip along their with the children and take advantage of their ‘kid care programme.’

    Then I’ll go and lock myself in the yoga mat cupboard to hide.


  6. says

    “Find yourself on the floor cleaning up a spill? Do as many push ups as you can while you are down there, either on your knees or military style. Don’t worry, that spill will still be there when you are done!” I love it! My wife would probably give me a kick to the ribs! “Do you ever stop working out?” she would say :)Great tips Lisa(workoutmommy)! You are right on as always…and of course one of my favorites!

  7. says

    I realized when my son got a Radio Flyer wagon last Christmas and we tried it out that the streets in our neighborhood actually are somewhat inclined. In fact, they are just enough so that when we go uphill I can really feel the difference when pulling the wagon,(with a 5 and 3 year old inside it). It’s a great workout, not only for my legs, but arms, too. Just remember to change pulling hands to balance out the workout.

  8. says

    Ok, these are great tips and something I can actually do. I don’t have the money for a gym membership and as a single mom…its not like I can leave my son at home and take a jog. I know I know….I could get a jogging stroller (except I can’t afford one of those either)…but then the dog whines because I would have to leave him at home….he’s a shihtzu w/little stubby legs and he would tire out too quickly….

  9. says

    I trick myself into exercising. When I go to the grocery store, I park a 1/4 mile away, even if I have kids with me, that way it’s a guarantee that I will walk at least 1/2 mile in the parking lot that day.

  10. says

    I went to curves but I did great at first and then I stop going.

    I start to do fitday again. It sure help me to keep track of what I eat and if I’m getting enough nutrition in my diet.
    It great in lot of ways.

    http://www.fitday.com and on my sidebar I have a link to my personal one.

  11. says

    i get the fit tv channel on my cable — and i like to record gilad or some other 30 minute show and do it when the kids are napping. i can squeak in some exercise and fast forward through the commercials, and the spurts of exercise are intense! so i know i’m getting in a good workout!

    also, situps with the baby sitting on my belly get a lot of little laughs and pushups with my two-year-old on my back gets some serious roaring laughter. (of course, i can only do a couple of those!)

  12. says

    What a wonderful idea! I will tell you what, though! I have stairs leading to my basement that I frequent because we store and spend lots of time down here (my computer/office is down here as well as lots of homeschooling supplies), so I am not exaggerating when I say I must climb and descend these stairs 15-20 times a day! And I can FEEL it in the morning! It may not do much for my heart rate, but it’s working out my legs!
    I think another wonderful idea is to just go outside with our kids and kick a ball around – run around the yard with it or chasing our children. That will get our heart rates up and our children’s, too! This keeps a healthy heart! :)

  13. says

    Love it. We dance to Move It Move It from the Madagascar CD. It’s a blast. We also made up a game to “hunt for” the monkey on that same CD. My two year old is also finally moving and groovin’.

  14. says

    Hi Lisa! I LOVE your post. These are exactly the types of things that I’m trying to implement into my daily life. I actually am parking further away from my work so I walk a little more each day.

    It is the baby steps, right?!

  15. says

    Congrats on the column, Lisa! Great stuff. As for something to add, a few years ago I read about this tip. When folding laundry, put one piece of clothing away at a time so you have to walk back and forth to the closet/drawers from where you are folding the clothes. I do it all the time now so I get in extra steps that way.

    I personally love to go to the gym. I go to Turbo Kick and Spin classes BUT when I first started my new lifestyle I was able to lose 75+ pounds by doing just in-home workouts so it’s definitely doable.

    Looking forward to reading more at 5 Minutes for Fitness.

  16. says

    this is a little off topic but I had so much trouble remembering to do my keegle exercises. I made a rule to do them any time I was sitting at a red light!

  17. Stacy says

    These are great tips, perfect for everyday fitness! Along with exercising and being active you should watch your calories, which is why I love the DOVE Chocolate peanut butter promises. They are the perfect size to curb that chocolate craving and they taste DELICIOUS!


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