Need a few quick exercise ideas for a jam-packed morning? Here’s a few that will get the heart rate up and work nearly every muscle in your body:

Jumping Jacks – Yes, we did these in Elementary school. And they are still just as effective. Start with 5 or 10, grow up to 30 or 40 at a time.
Plank – bring your heart rate down then just hold a plank. Start with 10 seconds, grow up to 20,30,60 seconds or more.
Bicycles – lay down on your back, bring your legs up to your opposite elbows and start pedaling! Core work, leg work – check!
Stairs – if you have stairs in your house, run/walk up them 2 or 3 times (or more!). If you don’t have stairs, do stationary high-knees. Start with 2 or 3 minutes, build it up minute by minute.

If you are not doing any exercises in the morning, consider starting with 5 min of high intensity cardio, 5 min of muscle building and repeat.

After having 2 back surgeries for herniated discs, I let myself go… all the way to 280 lbs. I couldn’t even put on my own shoes (thank goodness for slip-ons)! Picking up things off the floor was a thing of the past (pre back surgeries). I could not do one sit-up or push-up. I could probably do about 1 or 2 jumping jacks. Literally! I couldn’t do a plate push for about 5 feet, but in all seriousness…why would I need to push a 30lb plate across the floor? Oh and burpees? What the heck is that? And what kind of name is ‘burpee’ anyways!?!? :o)

Over the past year or so I’ve built up little by little and now my exercise regimen includes going to a regular bootcamp class at Fitness Optimist. Check out their websites: www.fitnessoptimist.com and to lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks www.melt20in6.com

Example of our exercises that whip us in shape:

Dynamic warm-up about 1 min each
Leg cradles
Hip flexor
Mountain Climbers
High knees
Butt kicks
Jumping Jacks

Upper Body day Circuit & Weight training 1 min each, rotation 2x
Bicep Curls
Shoulder presses
Sit-up plus
Chest Presses
Kettlebell halo’s
Decline Push-ups (knees or feet on box)
Tricep dips
TRX Rows (working shoulder/back)

Finisher- Victory Run
After a 1 min break to catch our breath and get water, we run down the parking lot and up the hill around the building. It’s about a 400 meter sprint. We do it 2x. The first time I tried this victory run I got about 6 parking spaces down the parking lot and had to walk. I just couldn’t catch my breath at all. I don’t think I’ve ran anywhere since high school gym class. I may have ran from the living room to the kitchen many times though! Building endurance is the key for me – I just keep on pushing myself to do better and better each time.

Those darn pushups were something I couldn’t even fathom I could do back in the day, now I can do a real push-up not on my knees – OK, not too many, but every one counts! :o)

On a scale of 1-10, my core strength was -10 (Yes Negative)! I’d probably put myself somewhere between a 4-5 right now. I still have a long ways to go, but again…personal progress is the key. Do more today than you did yesterday.