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Fit Moms: A Healthy New Trend E-mail
Written by Jeff Behar   

If getting in shape is on your list of New Year's resolutions, you have plenty of company. In January, gym memberships soar, exercise bicycles are dusted off and millions of diets are started with the best of intentions for the New Year. But if you're a busy mom, jump-starting an exercise routine can be daunting — no matter how motivated you are. Finding time can be the greatest challenge: How do you squeeze exercise in around your children's extra curricular activities, the dentist appointments,  birthday parties, and work demands? When you do find yourself with a few moments of free time, you're likely to have a long list of tasks competing for your attention — making it hard to justify leaving it all behind to go to the gym.

But physical fitness has been linked to everything from increased bone mineral density (counteracts osteoporosis), improved mental health and energy levels, decreased risk of heart disease, improved blood sugar levels, stress reduction and even cancer prevention. 

But finding time for fitness isn't always easy.Here are some top fitness tips for moms to help them get and keep the shape they desire.

Top 5 Fitness Tips for Moms

  • Prioritize. Find a gym that is either close to home, close to work or on the way to your child's school or after school activities.
  • Choose a gym with childcare. There are many gyms now that offer childcare so you can get a quick 45 minutes of exercise while your child can get some exercise and make new friends too!
  • Walk with your child. Walking is a great way to burn fat and also spend some quality time with your children. Jones says the best way to gain fitness from walking is to maintain a brisk pace and include some hills for extra cardiovascular conditioning. "Swing your arms as you walk, and try to walk for at least 30 minutes, three or more days a week," she says. "To make the walk a little harder you can wear a backpack filled with water bottles and other supplies. The extra weight will help provide a more challenging workout for you while allowing the walk pace to be slower for your child 9or less fit friends that may accompany you)! To keep the walk interesting for your child, take along a brown paper sack or a tote bag to hold the treasures you find. Collect pine cones, leaves, rocks, twigs, acorns, pine needles, tree bark, spring flowers or anything else that looks interesting. To make the walk more fun, make it educational and turn it into a counting activity. Count the number of leaves your child collects. How many palm trees does she see (I am in Hawaii!!) ?
  • Eat well. A good well balanced diet is equally important to a fit figure. Stay away from processed foods, transfats and excess carbohydrates. Stick to low fat proteins, good fats and complex carbohydrates (in moderation).
  • Get good sleep. Good sleep keeps cortisol levels down, helps recharge you. Additionally studies show that failure to get restorative sleep results in higher levels of body fat. 
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