They say there is no place like home for the holidays and when it comes to squeezing in a workout during this busy time of year, I think “they” are right!  Once you pack up and head to the gym, find a parking spot and get the kids settled in childcare, you have added at least 30 minutes to your exercise time.  Why not put the little ones in front of a 20-minute cartoon and make your workout time count for more than a shuttle service for your gym shoes.

Workout Videos, On Demand and Podcasts:

There are quite a few good, quick workout videos on the market today, everything from yoga to bootcamp styles. Try checking out a few from your library or getting them from Netflicks to decide what you like.  Many are inexpensive to purchase once you know what you like.  Two I have in my own library are “Jillian Michael’s 30 day Shred” and “Yoga for Everybody”.  Both are available for about $9.99 and feature 20-minute workouts for different levels.

I also love the Balletone workout DVDs.  Its a combination yoga, fitness, ballet workout and best yet…its all done barefoot!  What is easier for busy moms than to not even have to put on shoes!

Most cable services now have fitness channels on their On Demand service.  Again, many of these workouts are short and sweet and available in a variety of styles.  Why not try a Bollywood dance workout after the kids are napping?

If you have parked your kids in front of a video, you may not have access to the tv.  Search iTunes for fitness podcasts.  Many are free or less than a dollar and you can download a trainer lead workout right to your ipod.  Let a top yoga instructor in New York talk you through a series of Sun Salutations or listen to a celebrity trainer suggest the same workout for you that J Lo and Heidi Klum do at their houses.

The Big 5

Ready to start right now?  Going on vacation and need something to do in your hotel room?  Try this workout below that I call the “Big 5.”  This workout requires no equipment and hits every major muscle group in your body and can be completed in about 10 minutes.

Squats:  Stand feet wide, toes pointed forward.  Squat down as if sitting back into a chair.  Be sure your knees track over your ankles. Do 10 repetitions

Lunges: Stand with feet hip’s width apart and step forward (keeping width the same) to a long stride.  Lead with your back leg and lower your knee to the floor.  Do 10 lunges on one leg, then switch to the other leg.

Push-ups: On your knees or on your toes, wrists directly under your shoulders, fingers in slightly.  Lower your nose towards the floor, push up and repeat.  Do 10 repetitions

Plank/Mountain Climber:  Start in full push up position.  Slowly draw one knee into your chest (foot off the ground) and return to push-up position.  Draw other knee in.  Repeat 10-20 times

Seated Heel Lifts: Sit on floor, balance on heels, recline back just until you feel a little tension on your abs.  (Be sure you can pull your abs in and feel stable.  If your shoulders are rolled or your abs are pushing out, you are reclined too far.)  Hold arms our in front of you with your shoulder pulled back and dropped.  Slowly lift one heel at a time about 6 inches off the ground.  Repeat 10-20 times, as long as you can maintain your abdominal stability.


Repeat the whole workout from the beginning one more time.

AND remember, the best most effective workout is the one you do.  So just get up and move, dance with your baby, play chase in the back yard, do a squat every time you push your child on the swing.  I promise it will add up