Like to run? Improve your workouts…
Reader Question: Tiffany from Paging Dr. Mommy blog recently sharedÂ her problems with a weight loss plateau: “I have been eating less and exercising more, and nothing seems to be changing [in over 3 weeks]. I would just like to lose about 10 more pounds, and I want to look moreÂ toned.”
Reader Routine: After having one child,Â Tiffany runs roughly 12 milesÂ each week (4 miles at 6.0 speed, 4 days per week). Since exercise isn’t the only answer, make sure to stay tuned next week for our Nutrition Momma Tips for Tiffany’s diet!
Fitness Momma Solution:
* Change The Setting:Although Tiffany is doing a fantastic job of fitting cardio into her busy motherhood routine, simply changing her route or treadmill settings can help her see results. Try alternating between running outside (on completely different paths), finding hills or stairs to run at a local school, and using incline or distance settings to shake things up on the treadmill. Better yet, switch one of your treadmill workouts per week to new machines:alternate between 10 minutes of fast-paced cardio on the stationary bicycle, the stair master, and the elliptical (for example), to work new muscles in 30 minutes.
* Add Intervals: It may sound simple, but adding intervals to your cardio routine will burn more calories than a steady paced run alone (which means you can work out for less time!) Shake it up by adding 60 second intervals one day (alternating between a fast pace runÂ and a steady jog), 30 seconds on another, incline intervals (jogging on a flat surface and running full-out up a hill the next), and a steady, long-distance run (one day per week).
* Add It On: Another way to up the anti with weekly runs or cardiovascular exercise is to simply add new techniques to your routine. Try wearing ankle weights or a weighted vest one day (butÂ go slow toÂ avoid injury), go for a long walk another (stopping along the way to do body-weight exercises like push-ups, squat jumps and walking lunges), or even running on a trampoline. Anything that gets you moving in a new way will help spice up your workouts.. and your metabolism!
* Try Circuits: Perhaps it goes without saying (as many helpful readers and moms pointed out on the Bookieboo website), but Tiffany could truly benefit from strength training. Building lean muscle mass will help your body burn more calories throughout the day (even when you’re doing nothing!) If you don’t have time to follow an intricate program or weight lifting plan, try making 2 (of your 4) workouts per week involve circuit training.
* Mix It In: Create a fast-paced, fat-burning circuit by alternating between a small amount of intense cardio (like a 60 second sprint on the treadmill or outside) and a body toning exercise. To truly take advantage of your time (as a busy mother), try doing exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time (like a squat with an overhead press) on one day, and that challenge your balance another (doing movements on a wobble board, stability ball or a rolled up Yoga mat). This calls more muscles into action, in a shorter period of time…
* Shake It Up: Although it’s good to stick to exercise you enjoy, another way to see new results is to completely replace one of your old workouts with something new. Try an intense class at your local gym (like dance aerobics, weight lifting or even Pilate’s), a new video at home… anything that challenges your mind and muscles with something different.
Need help improving your Fitness or Nutrition Momma routines? Let us know!