Issue 01 • April 2012Total body

Advice from a foxy mama

As a middle-age mom working full time, running a household with my husband, two boys, and a feisty Westie, I am constantly trying to find time to work out. Like a lot of people raising families, I am overscheduled and overmaximized. I am fortunate that I work in the fitness industry, which helps me to stay active. However, like everyone else, I have to take a little time to get my heart rate up and keep my body strong. In fact, it is especially important for mothers to take time away from their responsibilities and save time for themselves. Here are some of my favorite ways to keep in shape when I have limited time.

Take Little Bites

If you don’t have 30 minutes to get on a cardio machine, then break it into three 10-minute increments. Take the dog for a quick 10-minute walk before work. Walk to your favorite lunchtime eatery. Take a 10-minute bike ride with your kids after dinner. Not only do these “little bites” of exercise add up, but they also help establish a fit lifestyle.

Try a Tabata

This is my all-time favorite way to get in a quick workout! Here’s how it works: you pick eight different exercises. I like to alternate a strength training exercise with a cardio exercise to maximize the benefits. Then, you perform each exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. After you have completed all eight intervals, you rest for a full minute. Then, you get to do it all again. You perform the sequence a total of four times and you are done in 20 minutes! As always, you should make time for a five-minute warmup and cooldown. See an example of one of my favorite routines below.

Jackie’s 20-Minute Workout Routine

[one_half last=”no”]
Bicep Curls (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
Jumping Jacks (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
Triceps Extension (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
Jump Rope (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
[one_half last=”yes”]
Pushups (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
Upright Rows (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
Squats (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
Plank (20 sec)
Rest (10 sec)
Now take a full minute to catch your breath! Repeat three more times and trust me, you’ll feel like you really accomplished something!

Hold Yourself Accountable

Keep track of what you do. You can keep an online log, paper log, or even wear a pedometer. These are all excellent tools to help keep you on track. Are you truly taking the recommended 10,000 steps a day? Wearing a pedometer will help you see if you are where you want to be and motivate you to step it up if needed!

Workout with a Friend

Everything is a lot more fun with friends around. Try this: Pick six exercises. Again, I suggest mixing cardio and strength, and setting a timer for a duration of 20 minutes. Take turns doing each exercise repeatedly until the timer buzzes. Encourage your partner and let them encourage you! Take this a step further and get your friends and family involved in local events. The Jacksonville community offers wonderful road races, walks, biking events, etc. that are fun for all ages. Make fitness a part of your everyday life!

Rise and Shine

This is my secret weapon. I get up early and get a workout in before I begin what I like to call the “go to school marathon.” It takes me approximately two hours to get everyone up, fed, dressed, and to school. Does that sound familiar? I find that once the family’s day has started, it becomes more difficult for me to find time for myself. It’s such a great feeling to check exercise off of my to-do list before the day even gets started!

Jackie Culver serves as President of JOC Fitness, is a Fitness Consultant for Shannon Miller Lifestyle, Executive Director of the Shannon Miller Foundation, and a certified personal trainer. For more of Jackie’s musings, check out her blog at

Photography and Makeup by Renee Parenteau.



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