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$300 loan.

What follows here might sound familiar: I’m having trouble maintaining a regular workout regimen.

I wrote similar words a little less than a year ago, and not much has changed other than the fact that now I have two children and time to myself is an even more precious commodity. The only times I have to squeeze in a workout these days is either first thing in the morning (usually after my nearly 5-month-old’s 5 a.m. feeding), or just before bedtime (after both the girls are tucked safely in bed). It’s just where we are in terms of our kids’ development and needs: Someday all too soon, they’ll be independent and won’t need Mom and Dad for everything.

Keeping in mind our circumstances and that this too is temporary (one of our household True Rules), I’ve come to grips with the fact something is better than nothing — even if that something is sometimes only five minutes of kettlebell swings or 10 minutes of walking on the treadmill. So over the past two weeks, I’ve incorporated quick morning workouts, where I squeeze in a couple rounds of a strength/cardio circuit (sometimes, if I’m lucky and everyone sleeps in, I’ll get a bonus third round!).

While it’s not the kind of exercise routine I enjoyed in my pre-children life, it’s pretty darn effective for this nearly five-month-postpartum Mama: I was sore from Monday’s workout (included below) until Wednesday, and I’m pretty sure it was the suitcase deadlifts that did me in.

Try it for yourself, and feel free to share any quick strength workouts of your own in the comments section below!

Jamie’s Quick Strength Workout

Complete two to three rounds, doing 15 to 20 reps of each exercise. Rest during the circuit when you feel your form is compromised. Rest between rounds for 30 seconds to a minute.

  • Pushups
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Suitcase deadlifts (10/side) — illustrated above
  • Reverse lunges (10/side; hold a kettlebell)
  • Plank to Side Plank (hold 10 seconds in each position, starting in the center, then moving to a side plank on left, back to center, and then to the side plank on the right)

NOTE: I got through 2.25 rounds before I heard “MOOOOMMY!” coming from our 3-year-old’s bedroom. Let the day begin!

Jamie Martin is Experience Life‘s director of digital initiatives, and the mama of two sweet girls. 

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