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How Even the Busiest Moms Can Fit in a Workout


RESPECT. That's what I have for stay-at-home mothers everywhere! I'm 0 for three this week in getting my boys off to school on time and, sad to admit, I'm three for three in taking a cab six blocks!

I woke up to beautiful weather this morning. My boys had their helmets strapped on and scooters in hand. I planned to zip them down to school and then go for a long walk, but when PB&J prep ran late and I forgot the scooter locks, plans changed. I hustled them into a taxi and then dragged two scooters home over my shoulder. I'm going to call that my "weight training" for the morning. I also took two extra flights of stairs in my building, replaced my instant oatmeal with steel cut, and drank an extra 8 ounces of water—so the entire morning wasn't a bust!

The reality is that my (and my family's) schedule will likely never afford me two full hours to take an "official" exercise class, so I'm tweaking my routine. And based on the soreness in my muscles, I think it's working! It definitely requires some strategy—when my boys groaned at the idea of taking a walk yesterday, I presented my bargaining chip of ice pops made with fresh squeezed orange juice. I lured them to the river with the frozen sweet treats, and then we diffused their energy and my sleep-deprived lethargy with a high-impact river walk.

RELATED: Tone Every Inch on a Park Bench!

Instead of strolling down the pier, we hopped across the boardwalk planks, never touching the cracks. For some healthy family competition, we had a three-man (two little men and a mom) monkey bar race. The kids even burned off some energy belly laughing at my pathetic monkey bar skills.

The best part of our day came when we toe tapped our way down a long stretch of benches overlooking the river. My son Harry and I did leg raises while my little guy, Reese, timed us. His legs are too short to reach the park bench, but no 4-year-old boy can resist the beep and flash of working a stopwatch (and it kept him from running away).

After 10 minutes and five runs up and down the benches, I was wiped out. My son had moved on to climb a wall of rocks when I was approached by a woman who had been watching our obstacle course bonanza. "I've watched you touch every three-feet high surface on this pier," she said. "It looks like you and your son have some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder. Call me—I can help."

I laughed and tried to explain my makeshift fitness plan, but her face showed some serious doubt. Instead, it was more believable that I had a disorder that could be knocked out with therapy! I guess the idea of just running around is too outdated and simple to be viewed as a "workout." As the one and only Cindy Adams would say, "only in New York kids… only in New York."


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