Get Fit!

Jumpstart Your Exercise Routine

workout-headIt may seem a little cliché to start focusing on fitness after the first of the year, I know. But push that idea aside and prepare to power up! I’ve pulled together a starter set that will challenge your body just a little bit in the beginning and give you something to build on a bit later. From core strength to cardio to some kid-friendly exercises that will take you back to your recess days, you’re covered. And by the time spring hits, you won’t feel like covering up! Here’s my mini-boot camp plan:


Core strength is about more than moving your belt in a notch. A solid core can help to prevent injuries, protect your inner organs and central nervous system, relieve back pain, improve posture and, well, okay it can help your pants fit more comfortably…

I’ve found a do-able workout I’m doing daily that is building my body’s core strength—on Pinterest [no surprise there]—that I can accomplish in well under 10 minutes:

Easy Abs

  • :15 Plank
  • 10 Mountain climbers
  • :15 Plank
  • :10 Side plank [each side]
  • 10 Vertical leg crunches
  • 20 Bicycles
  • 30 Scissor kicks
  • :15 Plank

Work at your own pace, and when you’re comfortable with the exercises search for an upgrade. Challenge yourself—you’ve got this!


Put a little hustle into gaining muscle with a cardio workout. If you’re unsure of how to preform a specific exercise, look to Pinterest or YouTube for a quick demo. This cardio blast can be completed in 15 minutes. Just repeat it twice.

Cardio Blast

  • 1 Minute jump rope
  • 1 Minute plank jacks
  • 50 High knees
  • 5 Push–ups
  • 15 Burpees
  • 50 Jumping jacks
  • 1 Minute squat punches
  • Repeat 2x

Spend a couple of weeks getting familiar with this routine, then mix it up with a little online research to challenge your heart, lungs and muscle groups.


Get the kids involved and channel your inner 3rd grader with a workout that reminds you of PE in elementary school. Benefits kids reap when exercising include better concentration, lessened fatigue, increased immunity, low blood pressure and cholesterol levels [kids have them, too] and a cheerful and competitive nature.

Circuit Circa 1985

  • Jump rope
  • Jumping jacks
  • Skip
  • Sit-ups
  • Army crawl
  • Crab walk

Feel free to do whatever moves you—this is an opportunity to let fun rule your workout. Incorporate other exercises from your childhood: bear walks, leap frogs, a pickup game of dodge ball or kick ball. You’ll feel like a kid again [until your muscles start talking to you].

Remember to stretch before and after your mini-workout with your mini-me. Simple stretches that incorporate yoga are great warm-ups and cool-downs for your crew.


Protein, carbs and simple sugars are great for re-launch and recovery. Feed your post-workout appetite with a few go-tos you can get-to:

  • Eggs
  • Chocolate milk
  • Orange juice
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Pitas & hummus
  • Dried fruit & nuts
  • Pineapples

What’s most important? Eat SOMETHING! And hydrate…with water.

The simpler your plan, the more likely you are to stick to it. Days will become weeks will become months will become a healthy life, and you get to live it!


About the author: Heidi Alger

Heidi Alger is the mother of two low-maintenance, high-energy kids under the age of 10. She offers financial guidance, budget tips and lifestyle advice keeping the challenges of modern military families in line, writing alongside an award-winning team at Pioneer Services. Her grandfather, a CW04, served in the Army Security and National Security Agencies during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Follow Heidi on Google+.

Contact: Heidi Alger


comments powered by Disqus