Erin is a mom of two and has been with Today’s Mama for ten years. She is charged with finding and sharing all of the wonderful things the web has to offer. She is particularly fond of food, photography, printables, and funny things. She writes about losing weight in her Healthy Living for Mom series, and is chronicling her attempt to master her DSLR camera with her series, Big Girl Camera.

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Healthy Living for Mom: My Workout

I’ve noticed that many of the moms at preschool drop-off are decked out in fabulous workout gear. Two hours later when we all reconvene to gather our kiddos, they are fresh from the gym…sweaty and glowy from feeling the burn.

Right now, my schedule isn’t super gym-friendly. I joined a gym in November but I haven’t managed to carve out time to go just yet.

I’m sneaking up on the gym.

All of my workouts so far have been at home. I have a treadmill in my basement and recently I’ve added a few extra exercises to my routine and I’ve noticed that the workouts seem to be burning more weight and building some muscle tone.

Don’t get me wrong, I could still take you out with a well-timed upper arm waddle slap. But the biceps are emerging from the soft. Progress, yo!

So I thought I would share a breakdown of my workout. For two reasons.

Because I wonder what other people do for a workout. People talk about “going to the gym”, but I want to know what they are doing and for how long. It’s easy to get into a rut.

Curiosity is a great rut-buster.

Also because I’ve lost weight with what I think is a pretty approachable workout. I’m not doing some crazy-intense program and I think that this time of year, it’s easy to get sucked into feeling like you have to make some epic resolution and commit to some equally epic training program.

So much pressure.

Let’s just dial that down a bit.

Now, I understand that every body is different and what is working for me is just one example of feeling the burn.

I’m also not, in ANY WAY, belittling anyone out there that is working toward running a marathon, or a 30-day shred, or hired a trainer to whip them into shape. I think those are all good things…just not things that I can do right now.

If you’re in the same boat, here’s what I’ve been doing:

Treadmill: 30 Minutes

-Warm up with a easy walk on a flat incline for the length of one song.

-Increase incline to 7 or 8 and run for the length of one song.

-Decrease speed and catch my breath.

-Spend the remaining time walking at a very fast pace, at 10 incline.

-At the 30 minute mark, cool down with an easy walk on a flat incline until I catch my breath.

Wall Sits (3 sets to a count of 25)

Planks (3 sets to a count of 20)

Push Ups  (3 sets to a count of 12)

Bicep Curls with a resistance band. (3 sets of 12)

I always keep my earbuds in and listen to some good workout music when I do the wall sits and push ups. Because those exercises kill me and the music keeps me focused enough so I don’t end up saying, “Screw this. I’m going to watch Glee.”


  • Starting Weight: 195.5 pounds
  • Week Nineteen Weight: 177 pounds ( -5 pounds / -18.5 pounds total)
  • Goal Weight: 165 lbs

Please share your workout in the comments below. I need more ideas!


Other posts you might enjoy…

The Bar Method 

Healthy Living for Mom: New Year’s Resolutions 

Body Movin’ After Babies 

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Comments (15)

  1. Pingback: Healthy Living for Mom: Away From Home « « TodaysMama TodaysMama

  2. Cory 01/17/2012 at 1:24 pm

    I do all my workouts at home with limited equipment. I used to use a nautilus-style piece of equipment for bench press and butterfly, but my nephew taught me some cross-fit basics that got me off the plateau. He is a former D1 baseball pitcher and now a cross-fit instructor in Milwaukee. The short and the long of it is that you probably shouldn’t use a lot of fancy equipment, because it rarely approximates the natural movements you do to perform daily tasks and it often risks damage through repetitive motion, stress, or pulls. Here is my routine. At 38, I can more than keep up with the kidlets. BTW, I do not listen to songs, I watch movies checked out from the public library.

    10 pullups
    25 pushups each side with a kettle bell under one hand (simulates one-arm pushups)
    100 situps with legs spread and flat to the ground, alternating touching each toe
    50 kettle bell swings (30 pounds)
    15 kettle bell clear and overhead presses(each hand has a 30 lb kettle bell)
    25 kettle bell side “suitcase lifts”(each hand has a 30 lb kettle bell)
    30 kettle bell squats with one kettle bell
    32 lunges with a kettle bell
    30 kettle bell tricep lifts (one foot forward, one back and bring arm from dangling to 90 degrees)
    15 minutes on the recumbent bike
    Repeat 3 times without breaks

    It takes about 1.5 hours and I built up to those levels. I am in better shape than when I played football in high school.

    One note on treadmills. I did use one but I can’t because I have a family history of knee problems and I was starting to get tendonitis in my knee. If you have great knees, the research I had read said that it is best to do interval training where you alternate between 30 second sprints at top speeds and 1-2 minutes of jogging. It supposedly “tricks” your muscles into burning more calories. One more thing. I often get asked “why kettle bells” (well first they ask what they are, but you can look that up)? The number one calorie burner is cross country skiing. Number two is cross-fit training using kettle bells. I am all about efficiency.

    • Erin Oltmanns 01/17/2012 at 2:12 pm

      WOW. Thank you for taking the time to share your workout in such detail. I’ve been wanting to get some kettle bells, but didn’t really know what to do with them.

      How do you do a pullup at home and how many times per week do you do this workout?

  3. Rose 01/11/2012 at 4:41 pm

    My kids are older so I’m one of those gym rats who can leave after the boys go to school and stay as long as I want. I’ve been playing racquetball for an hour or so for my cardio…way more fun than just running…but I do incur a bruise now and then. Started lifting weights in March so I’ve kept that up 3 times a week. I was more vigilent during the Maintain, Don’t Gain contest that just ended (which I won..yay me!) I’m going to try adding a 15 min. inclined run on the treadmill to get my heart beating fast. Running is not good for my degenerative disc disease…but it feels good in short, hard bursts! I’ve lost about 40 lbs last year…trying to lose the last 20!

    • Erin Oltmanns 01/11/2012 at 8:25 pm

      40 lbs in the last year?! Good for you! And you are right, racquetball is WAY more fun than running. I used to play with my Dad, before I had kids.

  4. Raejean 01/11/2012 at 3:04 pm

    I like to mix it up sometimes with Kinect Adventures or Just Dance. I still haven’t made it through the Olympic Ridge Runner with all that jumping and squatting!

    • Erin Oltmanns 01/11/2012 at 8:26 pm

      Ooooo. I love this. My folks have a Wii Fit that is gathering dust…maybe I’ll steal it!

  5. joycek7 01/11/2012 at 10:42 am

    recently i’ve been downloading cathe friedrich workouts. some are simple some are not. there are some that all ou need is a band, travel fit comes to mind, or you can buy them and mix and match, im not ever bored

    • Erin Oltmanns 01/11/2012 at 8:26 pm

      I will have to check those out. Thanks!

  6. Allison Y. 01/11/2012 at 9:32 am

    I don’t belong to a gym and didn’t visit one once while I lost all my weight last year, so I do it at home and it works out great.

    I walk my dog every night, and if I haven’t done any other workout that day, I’ll go about 2 miles and jog/fast walk it. Other workouts during the week may include: Jillian Michaels 30 day shred (just started that and really feeling a difference), a RIPPED class at my local fitness place, or something like a hike or bike ride.

    • Erin Oltmanns 01/11/2012 at 8:28 pm

      That is awesome! I didn’t realize you lost all that weight without a gym…YAY for at home workouts! I’ve heard good things about the Jillian shred, but she scares me!

  7. Erica Fehrman 01/11/2012 at 8:44 am

    I like to bring out my inner tigress with kick boxing videos. The Kempo portion of P90X was the only day I looked forward to. It feels like there’s a point to those workouts, while punching the air and pretending it’s some bad guy. I tried to get Jake to go pick a bar fight with me, but he said Kempo-X wasn’t exactly the same thing and it would end badly for us. Pshaw.

    • adriane 01/11/2012 at 7:01 pm

      this cracked me up because my sister and i do a lot of BodyCombat at our gyms and we always say we can totally win a bar fight…but only if the right song is playing really loudly and someone is shouting at us, “jab, cross, hook!” 🙂

      • Erin Oltmanns 01/11/2012 at 8:29 pm

        Adriane-this may be the funniest thing I’ve ever read. EVER!

    • Erin Oltmanns 01/11/2012 at 8:29 pm

      Thank heavens for Jake being the voice of reason! I bet Rachael would go pick a bar fight with you though. 😉