It may no longer be bathingsuit weather, but fall is the perfect time to start prioritizing your health and fitness. All moms -- even if you have no previous fitness routine -- can carve out time to fit in a workout. Plus, with fall comes beautiful outdoor scenery and crisp air, making exercise even more inspirational. Three of Bergen County's top fitness experts share how to get started, and provide an easy workout challenge to give you a little added push.
Suzanne Crowe, owner of FIT4MOM Bergen and Oradell mom of 3 boys, has been a certified FIT4MOM instructor since 2014 and owner since 2016
When it comes to starting a new workout routine, Crowe suggests starting slow, and building up gradually with the length, intensity and frequency of your workouts. "Set a realistic schedule so that you feel successful at the end of the day," says Crowe. To start, block out the time on your calendar, fill your water bottle, pack a post-workout snack and set out your gear in advance. Whatever workout you choose, be sure it's something that keeps your interest. "Try out a class before making a commitment, and find an accountability buddy to share your workout goals," she says. Another way for new moms to make it work for your schedule? Incorporate the family! FIT4MOM offers virtual and in-person classes at paved parks where moms can get a safe and effective workout with their little ones in tow. Above all, practice self care. "Get outside every day, enjoy the fall air whether at an outdoor fitness class, doing meditation or in a local race," she says. "You need to take care of you, so you can take care of them."
Fitness Challenge: Walking or jogging combined with body weight exercises are the easiest: no equipment needed but sneakers! Here's a 10-minute workout you can do anywhere with your stroller or with your big kids.
Start with a quick 2 minute walk or jog to warm up. Do one minute each exercise, repeat two times.
Side to Side Shuffle (or step): Soften your knees and travel 3 or 4 steps from side to side either shuffling or stepping
Squat With Heel Raise at the Bottom: Begin with your feet a little more than hip-width apart, roll shoulders back and down. Push your weight back into your heel and sit back with your hips like you are sitting in a chair. When your thighs are almost parallel, lift your heels up and lower them back down, slowly. Come back to stand while pushing your heels into the ground and squeezing your glutes at the top.
Rear Lunge + Knee Up (30 seconds each leg): Begin with your feet hips width apart with your toes, knees and hips facing forward. Step straight back with the right leg and lower your knee toward the ground into a lunge position. Pressing your weight into the heel of your stationary foot, bring your right leg up in front no higher than hip height with knee bent.
Cool Down: Take a slower paced 2 minute walk
Extra Challenge: Planks and Gratitude. Start with 15 seconds and build up your time each day for a month. During the planking time, close your eyes and visualize one thing you are grateful for. Even just a few seconds of being mindful will feel good.
Darlene Bellarmino, owner of RISE Training and Nutrition LLC, is a personal trainer and nutrition coach, NASM CPT, CNC. Find her on IG at Risetraining.fit and FB at Rise Training
If you're new to working out, Bellarmino says getting started doesn't have to be overwhelming. "For moms on the go, getting even 15 minutes a day of a workout will help you feel good and keep you active," says Bellarmino. Body weight exercises are a good starting point. "You'll feel completely satisfied and you didn't even need equipment!" Getting in an outdoor workout is easy with the many trails and bike paths in the area. Or, join a women's sports league or running group. "Not only will you get a great workout, you'll meet some great people," says Bellarmino.
Fitness Challenge: To start, set a number you want to reach by the end of the month. For example, 300 push ups means you will do approximately 10 push ups a day. Gradually add reps each day.
Squats: Day 1, do 10 squats; day 2 do 15 squats; day 3 do 20 squats and continue adding on each day for the month.
Push Ups, Alternating Lunges, Tricep Dips, Jump Squats, Skaters, Burpees: Do 12-15 reps for each and 3-4 sets.
Colleen Brace, co-owner of Fitness With Friends
There are so many simple ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule without having to exert much effort. "Walking your kids to school when possible, walking to the neighborhood store for coffee or even just walking your dog is exercise," says Brace. "Kids have soccer practice? Walk the field. Meeting a friend for lunch? Take the bicycle instead of the car. Anything to get you outside and moving is good for your physical and mental health." Most importantly, change your mindset by thinking of working out as something you want to do, not something you have to do. Finding a fun class like Zumba or low-impact cardio, such as those offered through Fitness With Friends, can motivate and inspire you. Brace also suggests treating yourself to some new workout gear to get excited about. "When we look good, we feel good," she says.
Fitness Challenge: For a quick, simple and effective workout that you can do anywhere, try this three times a week in addition to walking for 30 minutes two times a week.
3 Exercises: Do this consecutively and start with four rounds week 1, increase to six rounds week 2, and eight rounds week 3.
10 pushups (traditional or modified on your knees)
20 jump squats (or modify with regular squats)
25 bicycle crunches