5 Minutes for Fitness — Creative Fitness

by Lisa

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

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RefreshMom August 14, 2008 at 4:14 am

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 Sarah August 14, 2008 at 7:03 am

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 August 14, 2008 at 8:38 am

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 Beau August 14, 2008 at 8:39 am

oh, we love the dance party! so much fun and a great little work out!


5 Lani ~ The Wooden Porch August 14, 2008 at 8:52 am

Awesome! I’m going to try those TODAY! I need the extra kick to get me encouraged to move a little (ok LOT) more.


6 Maddy August 14, 2008 at 9:14 am

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.



7 Maddy August 14, 2008 at 9:22 am

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.



8 Mark Salinas August 14, 2008 at 9:29 am

“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!


9 Fit Bottomed Girl August 14, 2008 at 10:43 am

The clean-ups are hilarious. But seriously, it makes sense. You’re already down there, might as well make it worth your while!


10 KFJ August 14, 2008 at 11:26 am

Great advice!


11 Shannon (My3Sons) August 14, 2008 at 11:26 am

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.


12 casual friday everyday August 14, 2008 at 11:37 am

Dance party…woot woot! My kind of work out :D



13 Organizing Mommy August 14, 2008 at 11:55 am

Good job. I teach pilates, and I’m a huge fan of fitness. We all need reminders.


14 Doll Clothes Gal August 14, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Physical exercise and diet – the 2 most inportant things for personal well being. Great post.


15 melody is slurping life August 14, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Welcome, Lisa! I love your new column.

As a former personal fitness trainer, group fitness leader and continued fitness fanatic, I am certain to enjoy this one. Fitness…my key to sanity.


16 DeniseRMT August 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Love it! Love it! Love it! I’m in! Fits in perfectly with me and Run DMT! :-)


17 Z's Mom August 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm

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….


18 Lisa August 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm

These are great ideas! Thanks!


19 Audrey August 14, 2008 at 4:30 pm

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.


20 munchkinsandmusic August 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm

5 minutes for fitness sounds great! The ideas are great!


21 peppylady August 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm

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.


22 christieo August 14, 2008 at 10:12 pm

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!)


23 Annette August 15, 2008 at 12:43 am

Great tips for real moms ;) And congrats on the new column!!


24 Christin Slade August 15, 2008 at 7:52 am

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! :)


25 Jennifer, Snapshot August 15, 2008 at 8:22 am

This is great Lisa! I want to be fit–look great and be healthy–but spending 5 hours a week at the gym is just not my priority right now.

These tips help!


26 FitMom August 15, 2008 at 9:11 am

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’.


27 @ Lisa August 15, 2008 at 12:48 pm

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?!


28 Angie August 15, 2008 at 9:14 pm

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.


29 candeelady August 16, 2008 at 3:57 am

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!


30 Stacy August 17, 2009 at 3:11 pm

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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