Easy and Effective Exercises for Busy Moms

It's hard to find time to exercise when you're a busy mother. But just because you're a mom doesn't mean you always have to put yourself last and have to let your fitness slide. Here are some simple exercises even the busiest mom can fit into her schedule.

The Abs

Growing and birthing children affects your abdominal muscles. While you may not get them to the condition they were pre-children, there are some exercises you can do to tone them up again. Plus toned abdominal muscles will also help your posture and protect against lower back pain.

Modified Crunch: three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side; takes 3 to 8 minutes

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor at slightly wider than hip-width. Touch your ear with one hand and place the other loosely on top of your thigh. Tense your abdominal muscles pulling your bellybutton to the floor. Curl up so your hand reaches the top of your knee then slowly roll down never fully relaxing your ab muscles. Repeat and switch sides.

Butterfly Ab Curls: three sets of 10 reps; takes 3 to 8 minutes

Lie on your back on the floor with arms straight over your head, the heels of your feet together and your knees open to the sides. Tense ab muscles and lift shoulders, neck and head off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly roll back to the floor never fully releasing the tension in the muscles. Practice kegels while doing this.

General Muscle Toning

Triceps: three sets of 10 to 15 reps; takes 3 to 8 minutes

Turn with your back to a flat surface like a chair or low counter. Place hands behind your back on the flat surface with your fingers pointing to the front. Tuck your elbows closer to your body and stretch out your legs so more of your body weight is shifted to your arms. Slowly lower your buttocks using your arm strength and bring your body back up. Repeat.

Squats: three sets of 8 to 10 reps; takes 4 to 10 minutes

Use a chair for the first few times to make sure you have the correct form. Stand in front of the chair with your feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart. Firm your ab muscles, relax your shoulders and keep your back straight. Shift your weight to your heels and push your butt back as though you're about to sit in the chair, but don't let it touch the seat. Hold for the count of two to five. Use your leg muscles to push yourself up to the standing position again.


Here are a few tips to squeeze in a little cardio to burn a few more calories. These are not intense cardio workouts but will get your heart rate up slightly a few times a day.

· Run up and down the stairs to do laundry or go to the bedrooms.

· Run in one spot while waiting for the vegetables to cook in the microwave.

· Play tag with your children.

· Take the stairs at work if you have a job outside the home.

· Do jumping jacks with your kids.

· Hop up the stairs with your feet firmly together. For safety reasons, don't try to hop down the stairs.