In a constant productive chaos that is the life of a working mother, I find it hard to make room for regular workouts. Don’t get me wrong: I love my baby, I love my work, and I love my busy schedule. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But also, I really like being fit and healthy.
So, how can us busy mothers integrate sports into our crazy lifestyles? Many of us don’t have the time nor the energy for exercise that goes beyond the absolute basics of staying in shape, and out of the three things we need in order to exercise (motivation, time, goals), we often lack time, and not necessarily the motivation.
So here is the answer. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is perfect for people with a tight schedule, like most of us mothers. It only uses up a fraction of the time it takes to complete a regular workout, but delivers impressive results. Apart from HIIT training, I also do Yoga to balance my stress levels and maintain flexibility.
And luckily, there are fitness apps that allow me to stay fit completely independent of a gym membership or fixed time exercise classes.
- 7 Minute Workout
This fitness app helps to manage all activities around HIIT. It contains 12 exercises that form a very challenging 7-minute workout. It is quite easy to follow the routines with detailed video instructions performed by both male and female instructors, as well as images and motivational voice over. This fitness app also helps you track your weight and overall progress, and as an extra incentive, you get awards for continuing your workouts.
For me, this fitness app is of tremendous help. With the implemented calendar, I can easily keep track of when I have to do my exercises. And the reward system is a nice-to-have add-on that gives me the extra motivation I sometimes need to keep going.
Although 7 minutes of exercise every other day sound like something everybody could do, research shows that that’s not always the case. Because of the intensity of the training, a lot of people struggle with motivating themselves to keep going.
A Danish research team has found a solution to this problem. Instead of seven minutes, they extended the duration to 12, what is still very manageable for people that lack time for regular workouts. Then, they changed the structure of the workout routine into the so-called 10-20-30 pattern: 30 seconds of relaxed, calm exercise, 20 seconds of moderate exercise, 10 seconds of full throttle all-or-nothing, repeat. This way, the dreaded High Intensity workout is broken up into manageable parts and the workout automatically becomes more enjoyable.
Jogrunsprint is the accompanying fitness app for runners who want to try out this new technique. It structures your workout into a 1km warm-up phase and then launches you into the 10-20-30 cycle. After 12 minutes, you have already worked out more efficiently than during a 30-minute run. I have lowered my weekly running mileage considerably, but I feel fitter and healthier than ever before.
- Yoga Studio
Yoga takes more time than HIIT. But that’s ok, as I cherish my Yoga practice as an oasis of calm in amidst the flow of my ever-busy lifestyle. I truly believe that without Yoga, I wouldn’t be able to feel balanced.
As a mother, a full-time colleague, a business traveller, a dog owner, and even a home renovation expert, I simply struggle to even find time for my regular beauty appointments, let alone a trip to a Yoga studio.
Yoga Studio caters specifically to this type of lifestyle.With this fitness app, you have a library of visuals of over 280 Yoga positions and 65 ready-made HD video classes right in your pocket. The best thing about Yoga Studio, though, is the video stitch feature. Just choose some of your favourite positions and throw them together using the smart-link feature. Out comes a completely customised Yoga class – an amazing feature for seasoned Yogis like me who want to mix things up a little.
All three fitness apps helped me get rid of my guilty conscience. I now have found a way to stay fit and healthy, regardless of whether I am traveling, am office based, at home or even on that seldom holiday. They fit into my schedule perfectly!