For your average person, fitting in exercise, healthy eating and time for self care around a 9-5 job while still maintaining a social life can be a big stretch. Add in parenting and/or running a business and you’ve got a serious challenge on your hands.

As a mum of four, small business owner and lover of your occasional glass of vino, I understand this better than anyone. And as I always say - it’s all about balance, right? 

It’s taken me many years to really nail down a routine that works for me - and as is the way, this routine continues to change as I’ve welcomed more kids, different school pick up routines, day to day business runnings and at the moment, renovations. If you read my introduction article, you’ll have learned that I change my overall focus each week. One week might be business, another pleasure and the next fitness. It’s not a gig that will work for everyone, but I’ve found my groove - for now anyway! If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that it’s never going to serve you to focus all your attention on getting to the gym 7 days a week for two hours if the time just isn’t there. You’ll just end up feeling guilty for not doing something your life doesn’t realistically allow for.

So - the first thing to do here is set some realistic goals. Really be honest with yourself when you’re mapping out your time. Plus - I find if you underestimate how much you can achieve, there’s always a chance that you’ll do more and surprise yourself, and feel bloody awesome doing it! Don’t be strict or stagnant in your goals either - life has a tendency to get in the way so make sure you’re adaptable - don’t beat yourself up if you overslept after a big Saturday night and didn’t get around to your workout!

Finally, I find it helps me feel balanced when I sub in another lifestyle must with exercise. Sometimes I make it social and do it with a friend, and other times I go it solo and add in meditation - instant “me time”! 

Here are some of my favourite exercises to give you the best workout possible in 30 minutes or less. Combine them, sub them, repeat them, create a circuit - as much or as little as you like and whatever works for you. And remember - be kind to yourself, and always warm up with some stretches first!

Oh - and if you need to pop the kids down in front of Bluey for half an hour while you get some exercise in, I’m giving you full permission!

To create a circuit, do 10 reps of each of these exercises. Once you’ve completed one full set, rest for one minute and repeat. If you’re looking to hit 30 minutes, aim for 6 sets!

Squats - these can be done with or without a booty band - add an alternating straight leg lift to the side at the top of the squat for extra resistance. Make sure you’re not dipping your chest and are keeping your weight in your heels!

Resistance band deadlift - you’ll need a booty band for this one! Stand with your feet hip width apart, slightly bend your knees, loop your band under your feet and hold the centre with both hands. Without bending further from your knees, bend at your hips, lowering your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then lift back up. Make sure you’re never locking your knees!

Resistance band bicep curl - start with in a kneeling position with both knees on your fitness mat. Bend one knee up and position the band in the middle of your foot. Rest your elbow on your bent leg and pull the band up - make sure your wrists stay straight! Do 5 reps on each bicep.

Swiss ball jackknife - start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet and shins on a swiss ball. Squeeze your core and bend your knees to roll your swiss ball forward toward your arms until only your toes are on the ball - keep your hips down here! Pause then extend your legs back out, keeping your core engaged.

Resistance band lat pull down - position the band around your wrists and extend your arms above your head. Slowly lower your elbows, make sure they stay in line with your body! Pull down until your hands are at the same level as your head, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Raise your arms back up and repeat.

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