The 15-minute workout. Why bother?

Other than hauling my kids around in the trailer, which I seem to manage only once or twice a month, and walking to the park, my fitness regime is more or less non-existent at the moment and as much as I’m sometimes okay with this, at other times I’m not. But there never seems to be time and up until the other day the idea that I could “make time” (as critics always say when anyone complains of being short on time) was laughable. But with DD back at school and DS settling into his creche my head cleared long enough for me to remember Fitness Blender, which is the name for Kelli and Daniel’s online “gym”. It’s fab! I first stumbled upon when I was cycling a lot and looking for ways to improve my overall fitness with a strength-training workout that I could do from home and I’ve been a fan ever since, with breaks for things like having babies, where I always felt more comfortable with a specifically prenatal class (my absolute favourite when preggers was the Baby Bells the Fit Pregnancy Kettlebell Workout DVD by Lauren Brooks.) But back to Fitness Blender. These I like because workouts are totally low-key and understated: no-one shouts nonsense like “feel the burn” at you or taunts you with a posse of gym bunnies. It’s just Kelli and Daniel showing you what to do and being utterly human about it. It’s my kind of thing and maybe yours too.

Working out from home does have it’s problems though. Especially when two small children are around. Given they are fascinated the moment any video is played on the laptop and that they love to jump all over me as soon I workout, kettlebells are out – I dread to think how much damage a swing with a 10kg weight could do to a small child – as is the hula hoop, which seems to magnetise both small people towards it as it spins. Anything quiet and floor based is also largely out, as nothing shouts climbing frame more than a mummy on an exercise mat. The key then is to find something that involves jumping around fast enough to distract them while also keeping you moving too fast for them to get a good grip on you. The shorter and the harder the better!

Cue HIIT. In the last week I’ve managed a few of their short <20-minute sessions, of which there are many. I finished the 17-minute video earlier this morning and now I ache! It took about 30 minutes in all what with occasional breaks to nurse DS who was tired and wanting attention, so not strictly HIIT but as close as I can manage with both kids around. But what good is a 20-minute workout!?

Well, I’ve only just finished this one and I’m already feeling it. On day three after the 12-minute video (which includes kettle bells) I was aching everywhere and struggling with stairs. And that’s without the crunches , which I missed out knowing they are the last thing someone like me with a diastasis recti should be doing (I held a plank for the duration instead.) So now I’m a convert. On alone days I can workout for longer, obviously (that day will come, and soon, I’m certain of it!) but until then I’m all about the ~15-minute workout.

If you’re short on time and looking for inspiration, try one of these. All are good when you have the kids around as they’re all bodyweight workouts so no dangerous weights flying around – except the kettlebell one, which is a killer!

Remember, if you’re recovering from diastasis recti, don’t do crunches or you’ll make it worse! Swap any crunches out for a variation of plank, which is a great exercise for repairing a separated mummy-tummy 🙂 Have fun!