How and Why to Fit in 45 Minutes of Exercise

If you’re working at your job, caring for a new baby, driving kids around town, taking care of an elderly loved one or any combination of these, you probably don’t have the time, energy or patience to add one more thing to your to-do list, never mind 45 minutes of exercise. However, this one simple addition to your routine could improve how you feel, how you see yourself and how you face the world. Interested? 

How and Why to Fit in 45 Minutes of Exercise
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

It Just Takes 45 Minutes

45 minutes of exercise in some form, just three to five times per week can have amazing physical and mental health benefits. If 45 minutes of exercise seems out of reach, think of each session as an opportunity for “me time” that could improve your mental well-being. You could also try adding these moments to your list of things to do, just so you can take pleasure in checking them off the list. 

Often, the toughest part of any new physical routine is getting started, but there are extensive mental health benefits to doing just that. First, physical activity releases endorphins, which can trigger positive feelings in your brain and improve your mood. In turn, this boost in your state of mind can help you deal with bouts of anxiety and depression. It could lift your spirits and help you accomplish even more than you thought possible. 

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Additionally, being more active during the day can help you sleep better, which has its own rewards. Poor sleep and depression tend to reinforce each other, meaning that one often leads to the other and creates a vicious cycle. In this case, not sleeping well could lead to depression, which can lead to poor sleep, and so on. 

Adding movement to your day can help improve self-esteem, especially if you find that your clothes fit a little better. After a few weeks of 45 minutes of exercise, you might even consider trying on some jeans that you haven’t worn in a while — just to see how they look and give yourself some encouragement. 

Tips to Keep You Moving 

Pick a time of day to exercise for 45 minutes and be consistent. Maybe you know that if you don’t move as soon as you get out of bed, you won’t fit your session into your day. Alternatively, maybe a sunset stroll can help you relax. You do you. 
Make it fun. Play music and throw a private dance party. Just the sound of your favorite tunes could help improve your mood because it can trigger happy memories. Music also causes the brain to release norepinephrine and melatonin, which help you relax and sleep. 
Try something new. Learn to hula-hoop or belly dance. Take up a new craft or art project. Check online for instructional videos or visit your local community college to take some classes. 

Workout Tips for Stay at Home Moms

Add some steps. Accompany the kids to the bus stop, take your dog for a walk or park your car in a space that is farthest from your door — anything to get yourself out for 45 minutes of exercise. 
Mix it up. Walk outside one day, then dance in front of the TV on the following evening. Keep it fresh and flexible. 
Chart your progress. Give yourself positive feedback. Whether you use pen and paper or an app on your phone, seeing progress toward your  goal of 45 minutes of exercise can increase the likelihood of success. 

How to Get Back to Your Workout Routine After Giving Birth
 Go outside and play. Being active outdoors on a sunny day enables your body to take in vitamin D, courtesy of the sun. Low levels of vitamin D can contribute to depression, anxiety and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Be sure to wear sunscreen if you plan to be outside for an extended time. 
Make new friends. Being active enables you to interact with people, and socialization is vital to fighting isolation and depression. Stop by the local park, join a gym or walk to wherever people gather. Wave and strike up a conversation.  45 minutes of exercise will go by in no time when you’re having fun with friends. 

Strive for 45 

45 minutes of exercise for three to five days per week seems to be the sweet spot, but any increase in physical activity can be beneficial to your mental and physical health. To learn more, check out the accompanying resource. 

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Reclaim Fitness

Author Bio

Dan Borucki is an ISSA Certified Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer at Reclaim Fitness. He is committed to providing a level of service that is focused on the individual, whatever his or her needs and goals may be. Borucki strives to encourage, support and challenge his clients to feel stronger, healthier and more confident. 

How To Get Back To Your Workout Routine After Giving Birth 

A woman’s body goes through a wide range of physical changes throughout pregnancy. Though the miracle of life is reason enough to celebrate and embrace these changes, some women hope to return to their original physique as quickly as possible. Once the baby is born and the mother recovers from childbirth, many moms contemplate getting back into a fitness routine. Here are some tips for mothers who want to establish a workout routine after giving birth.

How to Get Back to Your Workout Routine After Giving Birth
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

What To Consider 

On average, women gain about 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. Even if you are still taking yoga or exercise classes during pregnancy, you’re still likely to experience the common symptoms of being pregnant, including weight gain, abdominal extension, breast enlargement and warped posture. Regardless of how fit you might have felt before pregnancy, most moms experience atrophied muscles, poor posture, aches and general fatigue long after the baby is born. 

Generally, it takes 40 weeks to form the pregnant body and grow a baby. Because of the complex transformations you experience during pregnancy, it is unrealistic to expect your body to bounce back quickly. Depending on different factors — such as age, labor and lifestyle — it could take another 40 weeks (or longer) to return to your prenatal physique. Here are a few tips to consider if you choose to implement a workout routine after giving birth. 

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Starting a Post-Pregnancy Fitness Plan 

For most women who undergo an uncomplicated delivery, it’s usually okay to resume regular physical activity a few days after giving birth. Regular exercise after pregnancy can help strengthen the soft abdominals and boost energy levels while relieving stress, promoting sleep and reducing the risk of postpartum depression. If you’re ready to focus on physical health, consider these tips. 

Start slow and steady.

Even if you went to the gym six days a week before giving birth, exerting too much force on your post-labor body can present complications. If the labor involved a C-section, it would be wise to wait until the first post-operative check to make sure the skin has closed completely. Starting slow usually involves a walking routine to make sure nothing bleeds, pulls or hurts. The priority should be a safe recovery for your uterus

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Establish a feeding routine first. 

Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, your milk supply and feeding cycle could contribute to some of your “baby weight.” Though some of the pounds might be lost as fluids are released during the first few days after labor, the rest of the weight is typically lost over time. If weight loss is your goal, remember that if you do breastfeed, you will likely need at least 500 more calories per day than before the birth. 

Evaluate the muscle groups. 

It will certainly be nice to reunite with your favorite gym, but don’t expect your muscles and joints to work the same way as before. Your pelvic floor might be weak and unable to take any intra-abdominal pressure. Additionally, the rectus abdominals may have separated in order to carry the baby. Consult a doctor or physical therapist to help draw the abdominals back together and strengthen your muscles. 

Workout Tips for Stay at Home Moms
Experiment with exercise. 

Exercises that may have worked before pregnancy may not work post-partum. There are many forms of physical activity that are gentle and ideal for a new mother’s body. Try various exercises that won’t strain any sensitive areas or risk infections on healing wounds. Brisk walking, swimming, light weightlifting and yoga are great to start incorporating into your workout routine after giving birth.

Don’t neglect nutrition.

As your body readjusts without the baby, make sure it’s still getting the food and vitamins that it needs. Losing weight is often a challenge with or without pregnancy, so be conscious of the transformations that can happen. Hydration is also a key component of health, especially if you are breastfeeding. Hormones may also be changing, which can influence your appetite and metabolism.

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Having a baby is no easy task, especially if you’re a new mother. Don’t give up or feel discouraged if the weight sticks around longer than expected. Seek support from your partner and loved ones if exercise is a priority for you. The most important thing to remember is that rest is crucial. Even a few moments of rest post-workout might help with relaxation and muscle restoration. Exercise may not be easy, but it can provide benefits for you and your newborn.

Author Bio

Dan Borucki is an ISSA Personal Trainer at Apogee Fitness, a group fitness facility. He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and holds various certifications in fitness and nutrition.