The other day one of my clients asked me, “If I have 30-minutes to workout, what should I do”? Great question! Many women opt for cardio only, but the most effective post-baby workouts include strength training or functional exercise (think: lunges, squats, planks, pushups). Functional exercises will increase your strength, help alleviate aches and pains, torch belly fat, and give you the muscle to take on the demands of life – in addition to these other benefits.
Here’s how to maximize your 30 minute workout:
1-2 Workouts Per Week | Functional Exercise & Cardio
The next time you hit the gym or workout at home, maximize workout time by incorporating both functional exercises, cardio and light stretching. You’ll rev up your muscles, burn calories, and get an endorphin boost while moving briskly between the two formats. To add intensity to any workout: add more reps, and take less rest between exercises and sets. (Here’s 4 more ways to add intensity to your workout.)
Example of 30-Minute Workout:
2-3 minutes warm-up
8 minutes cardio (power walk, elliptical, stairs, run, jump rope, etc.)
10 minutes functional exercise
8 minutes cardio (try to increase perceived exertion on this set)
2-3 minute cool down, light stretching
3+ Workouts Per Week | Interval 30-Minute Workout
If you can carve out three or more weekly workouts, alternate your sessions by adding an interval workout. An interval involves a series of alternating low and high intensities. You can create your own interval workout with any type of activity that works a large muscle group in a repetitive manner (running, rowing, stair climbing, cycling, swimming, etc).
Example of a 30-Minute Interval Workout:
Whatever your mode of exercise, start at a comfortable pace for 2-3 minutes then increase your pace for the next 3-4 minutes so that you are outside of your comfort zone. Repeat this cycle of low and high intensity for 30 minutes. Interval training is one of my favorite postpartum weight loss workouts for calorie expenditure — try it and reap the benefits.
Whether you can make it to the gym or do home workouts, the bottom line is really this: keep moving, stay strong and have fun! If you’re the type of person that needs accountability and motivation to exercise, check out Active Moms’ Club Small Group Training programs for prenatal and postnatal mamas. Our programs deliver results and you’ll have camaraderie with other fabulous mamas just like yourself.
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