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How to build the perfect workout plan for your Schedule and Lifestyle



After over a decade of secrecy, I am finally ready to share the secret to my fitness success. Are you ready? The magic that has always kept me active and fit is that I tailor my workout regime to my lifestyle. My high school workout plan was simply to attend my regular sports practices and contests and essentially eat anything I wanted.

Fast forward twenty years later and that’s just not going to cut it. My current workout has been through an evolution of sorts. With three active kids and a full-time job, I had to create a way to stay fit that works for me. This is why it is so effective…it is tailored to my current needs.

I also find it necessary to include a disclaimer. I am genetically blessed with high metabolism. My parents are both naturally thin, so I am certainly blessed in that regard.

I also don’t love food. It’s okay, but I’m pretty picky and fill up quite quickly. I drink strictly water during the day and relish in a glass of white or chocolate milk in the evening with my dessert.

That being said, dessert is a must for me. While it surprises many, I never skip dessert. That’s right, never!

Most importantly, though, I love being active. It’s an important part of my life, so for me, it isn’t a punishment. Since I don’t drink coffee, I joke that exercise is like my “morning cup of coffee.” If I don’t get it, I don’t feel right.

So, on to the important part… my regiment. I work out before I go to work. It requires me to get up early. And even though I am by nature a night owl, mornings work best for my family. The kids are still in bed and we have busy after school schedules.

Since I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a gym membership or equipment that I just don’t have room for, I have opted for alternative methods of exercise. My equipment includes running shoes, dumbbells, and workout DVDs.

When the alarm sounds at 5:30 a.m., I turn it off and head straight for the bathroom. Wait…why am I telling you this? Well, I am a mom and I have mastered the art of multitasking. While I am brushing my teeth, I do toe raises. Essentially, I stand on one foot and lift my heel off the ground. I complete 20 reps, then switch feet until my electric toothbrush tells me my two minutes are up. I find myself doing movements like this all day when I’m just standing.

Then I gear up in my sports bra and shorts and make my way downstairs and pop in one of five Jillian Michael’s DVDs. I alternate between ten different workouts on three different DVDs. They include “Ripped in Thirty,” which is the one that got me hooked, “Killer Body,” and “Beginner Shred.” Each workout is between 25 and 35 minutes. They are complete body workouts using your own body weight and light dumb bells. There are modified and advanced versions of most exercises so you don’t have to be an advanced athlete in order to do the moves. I complete these workouts during the five weekdays.

On Saturdays, I complete one of the 45 minute to an hour long workouts. These are entitled, “Hard Body” and “Extreme Shed and Shred.” There are two workouts on each DVD for a total of four.

Since I’m a teacher, I add these workouts into the cycle on Saturdays, on snow days, and on Christmas, Easter, and summer breaks.

Sundays I take a break from the circuit training on the DVDs, but leave the rest of the workout routine unaltered.

As soon as the DVD ends, I gear up for a two to three mile jog with my trusty partner, Ivy the German shepherd. I jog in the rain, snow, sleet, or heat. I prefer jogging outside, but if the conditions are really unbearable, I’ll go on the dreaded treadmill.

During the week, I jog two miles and on the weekends I extend it to three. I jog seven days of the week, and I know what many of you are thinking…you hate running. Guess what? So did I! I really think it’s an acquired taste.

In high school I was a sprinter…up and down the basketball court, around the bases in softball, 200 meters around the track, but upon the suggestion of my dad, I began jogging longer distances in college to stay in shape. I took a while, but It has become something I thoroughly enjoy. As a mom and teacher, it’s sometimes hard to even go to the bathroom alone, but when I am jogging, the only person I am in charge of is me. It helps me destress and clear my head of distractions. Now I’m that weird horse show mom who leaves the campsite early to go for a jog before helping her daughter with morning chores.

After I jog, I do pull ups. When I first started, I used the clothesline post. Then I graduated to the monkey bars on the swing set. I’m guessing people driving past my house have often wondered why there is an enormous child still playing on the monkey bars, but it’s all in the name of sculpted muscles. The clothesline and monkey bars are unbearably cold in the winter so I eventually installed an indoor bar in the garage. I do between ten and fifteen pull ups each day.

Then I take a shower and finish getting ready for work.

Not to brag, but I am the luckiest girl, because I have the best job! I am an elementary physical education teacher. That means that I get to continue being active all day. To give you an idea, I counted the totals for exercise I do daily. They include 120 jumping jacks, 60 squats, 30 push-ups, 60 sit-ups, five 30 second plank intervals, and four 20 second hallow man intervals.

In the evening, I take our dog for a one or two mile walk as well. My kids often join the dog and I on the walk, and it’s a great time to talk about the day.

If you have made it to this point, I hope you aren’t overwhelmed. It might sound like a lot on paper, but it’s spread out throughout the day. I have complete faith that if I can do this, anyone can. Make the decision to do it and then start.

If you want to start a workout routine similar to this, make sure to catch my next article where I give you tips to create a workout that you can stick with.

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