15 Minutes That Will Change Your Life
Many of you received an email from me a few weeks ago asking what topics you want to hear more from me about. Most of you chose health and fitness, so let’s start there! (If you didn’t get that email, you might not be subscribed to my newsletter. You can sign up here!)
I have this maxim that I developed as a young mom called the 15-minute rule. The 15-minute rule is basically a guideline for squeezing time for important activities with your kids into a busy schedule. The rule applies to any important activity that all too often gets neglected while tending to all the distractions that come our way. Things like outside-play time, math and reading lessons, cooking, and cleaning all apply under the 15-minute rule. On some days, it just seems like the world won’t allow you any time to take care of these necessary tasks. The 15-minute rule was basically my way of ensuring that I fit these duties into my busy schedule. And it really worked.
Exercise absolutely fell under the category of “neglected activities” for me, as I’m sure it does for all the other young moms out there. We all know how important exercise is for maintaining good health and staying in shape, so why do we so often neglect it? We don’t need to answer that question—I understand how other things like work and paying the bills can push exercise all the way to the bottom of your to-do list. So let’s find a way to squeeze 15 minutes of exercise into our busy days. If you can do this, believe me when I say that you’ll soon be addicted to your daily 15-minute workout!
One last thing about exercise. There’s no shame in having neglected it. I did too, before I started doing my 15 minutes every day. But why am I focusing on it so much? Staying in shape is great, but I think the bigger payoff comes with extra boost in energy. It seems counter-productive, but wearing yourself out with exercise does give you that extra spring in your step. And that energy boost is so important when we want to give all of ourselves to those we love, especially our families. Keeping in prime health enables you to serve others to the fullest of your capacity.
Below I’ve sketched out a simple plan for keeping to your 15-minute exercise rule. As a young mom, I began this routine of splitting 15 minutes into two sessions a day, which helped me get the baby weight off with all seven pregnancies. In upcoming posts and emails, I’ll give you all some specific workouts that helped me. For now, let’s keep things simple.
Four essential parts of your 15-minute exercise plan
1. Resistance training
We all know that muscle burns more calories than fat, therefore I work to get more muscle, not just burn calories.
Every day, you must do some sort of resistance training. I recently got myself some weighted workout bars (which I love), but light weights of any kind will work. As long as you are doing resistance, even your own body weight, it will work. You can even use your babies for this. When doing sit-ups, put them on your chest for more resistance. Put them in a backpack and do lunges. You get the idea? Talk about being a super mom!
For cardio, you can either do aerobics, run, or walk. I choose to walk because I know that I will stick with it. At the minimum, I walk three times a week for two miles each time. Just about everyone can walk, which makes this an exceptional time to develop relationships by walking with someone you love. This one’s great for the super-busy folks, because you can even conduct your business meetings over the phone while walking!
3. Water, water, water
Did you know that many of us walk around sluggish because we’re dehydrated? This one is an easy fix. Drink eight ounces of water each day and you’ll be covered. Spread it out throughout the day to make it easier on yourself. Really, the foods we eat often have enough water that if you don’t get quite that much you should be okay.
4. Get your rest
I know, I know. Easier said than done. If you have babies that are waking you up each night, catching up on the weekends will really help. I remember waking up every couple of hours to feed my babies during the week, but Scott would let me sleep in on the weekends so I could make it another week. If you don’t have sleep, you won’t be able to exercise and, if you are like me, you’ll be tempted to eat crunchy, fatty, salty things. Also, your cortisol levels will go up the more stressed and tired you get, making it extra hard to shed the pounds and stay fit.
In future weeks, I’ll be showing you my workouts and sharing food tips that will keep you full of energy!
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