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Considered one of the best gymnasts in American history, two-time Olympian Shannon Miller is an expert in women's health and fitness. She is also mom to toddler Rocco, and is currently in London as an Olympic gymnastics commentator. We caught up with her to get some tips on staying fit for busy moms.
What tips do you have for busy moms who are trying to stay fit?
"Make your health a priority. It's very easy to slip into mommy mode where you take care of everyone else, but forget about yourself. Build fitness time into each day. That might be a block of time in the morning or a few 10-minute segments through the day. Either way, it will help you stay fit, healthy and strong."
"I'm like any mom. My schedule is crazy, and when I'm home I want to spend time with family. I've started getting up a little earlier so that I can work out before getting my son up. I love the quiet house. When I miss the morning I try to squeeze in exercise throughout the day. I take the stairs when possible, or go for a walk. I love to get my son involved, because I want him to know that fitness is fun. We'll throw a ball then run to go get it or just jump around the house! When I travel, I bring workout dvds with me so I can get a full body workout on the go."
What should moms think about when building a fitness plan?
"Think about your lifestyle and what you want to achieve. If you're not a morning person, don't tell yourself you're going to get up at 5 a.m. each day. It won't happen. Find ways to be active that you truly enjoy; you'll have a much batter chance of sticking with it. And most important, set a goal. Thirty to 45 minutes of physical activity five to six days a week is fantastic! Then write it into your schedule to keep yourself accountable."
Are there any types of exercise that are most conducive to moms or busy women?
"I like multitasking exercises so that I'm working more than one body part at a time. Walking is one of the most beneficial ways to lose weight and keep it off, and it's a fun way to build a mom's group or just enjoy the outdoors with your little one. If you only have a few minutes, I'd suggest jumping rope. It's a great way to get your heart rate up and work your whole body at once!"