Building a Simple and Effective Home Gym for the Busy Mom

I always considered myself to be a pretty fit and active person. When I got married I did what most newlyweds do… I cooked and I ate and I packed on a few pounds! I knew that I wanted to shed a few of the pounds I had gained as a happy newlywed. I would go to the gym sporadically and saw sketchy results. Then, I had two children in two years, which changed my wanting to shed a few pounds to needing to lose at least fifty pounds! As a new mom with a toddler and a newborn there was no way I was going to the gym, even though in my mind I saw myself getting up at 5am every morning, going to the gym and getting my pre-baby body back. You know, like all those other moms out there…. Anyway, that vision did not became my reality. I realized that I was going to have get started with what I already had.

When I decided it was time to get in shape and lose the baby weight, I gathered the various equipment I had scattered all over my house and discovered that I had a pretty effective home gym. I found that you can get fit at home with no or minimal equipment that won’t break the bank! The equipment that I have includes, dumbbells, a stability ball, an exercise/yoga mat, a jump rope, and resistance bands. I use each of these in various ways to create a great workout!

I have three pound and five pound dumbbells. I use the three and five pound weights when I do squats to make them a bit more challenging. Place one weight in each hand. As you bend your knees into the squat position, lift your arms in front of you to shoulder height. Do three sets of five to start. If you can do more, increase the number of reps per set.

Although my stability ball has become more of a toy for my kids, there are some excellent core exercises that can be done using it. A simple and easy one that is very effective is crunches. To do this, lay back on the ball with your feet firmly on the floor. Place your hands with your fingertips to your ears, so you do not strain your neck and gently and smoothly lift your head pointing your chin towards the ceiling.

My exercise/yoga mat is of great use, especially since my entire house has hard wood floors! I use it for everything from sit-ups to crunches to planks and more. When choosing a mat, make sure you choose one that has enough cushioning to be comfortable and enough of a grip so you won’t slide around while exercising.

Another simple tool is my jump rope. I have to admit my rope has been under utilized. However, recently I took it along with me to my family reunion. Mostly because I had packed a jump rope for my daughter and I wanted to show her how to use it. I got a great workout on the go! That is the beauty of the rope. It is compact and travels well. With this in your arsenal there is really no excuse not to get a workout in. If you don’t know where to begin, try this jump rope workout by

Another compact and easy to use item are resistance bands. They can be used for a total body workout. I primarily use them for my arms but they can be modified to workout your legs as well. Two of my favorite resistance band exercises are a simple curl and a shoulder press, although I know I could also do this with my weights. You can also combine those two exercises to make your workout more challenging. Resistance bands come in a variety of colors which correspond to different weights. They can be bought individually or as a set. Again they also travel well eliminating excuses.

Since starting to work out a few years ago I have added Kettle bells to my arsenal. I plan to add these final items to my home gym to continue to add variety to my workouts, a Chin-up Bar, and a Bosu Ball. Kettle bells are the most trendy and popular workout equipment these days. Beside being on trend they provide an excellent upper and lower body workout. A chin up bar provides a full workout for your arms, shoulders, back and chest. They are available in sturdy varieties that don’t require being screwed into your doorway and they are compact enough to be stored under your bed. Lastly, the Bosu Ball is another piece of stability equipment. It looks like a stability ball that has been cut in half. It can be used in a variety of ways to build your core muscles.

Often people don’t embark on a journey to fitness using the excuse that they can’t afford a treadmill or a gym membership. The reality is that three out of four gym memberships go unused any way. I have introduced you to eight must have items for your home gym. If you purchase one item each month, you will have your complete home gym just in time for summer! Remember to be fit and have fun!

What is your favorite at home gym equipment?

4 Reasons to Do the Core Workout

Four Reasons You Need to Do The Core Workout

Each week on the FitFaithLife Instagram page we share a Wednesday Workout. This week’s workout was The Core Workout.  So, I am sharing Four Reasons You Need to Do The Core Workout. Core workouts target the muscles in your abdominals, lower back, and glutes. They provide power, stability and endurance. A strong core is the foundation of functional fitness.

The Core Workout
The Core Workout


REASON 1: Core Workouts Build Balance and Stability

Most physical activities require the use of your core muscles. A weak core makes you susceptible to injury, a weak back and back pain. By doing exercises that build your core, you will enhance your balance stability, which is important as we grow older.

REASON 2: Core Workouts Can Help You Get Flat Abs

Your abdominal muscles are only a part of the muscle group that make up your core. However, there are several core exercises that target your abs and along with a healthy, balanced diet, can help you achieve flatter abs.

REASON 3: Core Workouts Can Be Done Anywhere

Most core exercises do not require any equipment and they can be done anywhere. Exercises like planks and Supermans, only require enough space to lay on your stomach or side.   The Glute Bridge is another classic core exercise. They can be done inside or outside without having to make many adjustments.

REASON 4: Core Workouts Can Help You Reach Your Overall Wellness Goals

Core exercises really should be the foundation of your exercise regime.  The exercises not only tone your abdominals, but they tighten your glutes and legs and strengthen your back.  If you are an athlete training for an event or someone who is striving to live a healthier life, adding these simple but effective exercises to your workouts will yield quick results if you are consistent.


 If you missed our other Wednesday Workouts, follow us on Instagram to stay in the loop. What are your exercise goals? Are you strengthening your core?

Happy New You!

Every year on January 1st, thousands of people embark on spiritual and fitness renewals. Some call them resolutions, some call them goals, but regardless of what you call it the New Year is a time when many of us make the decision to change.  If that is where you are right now, I say Happy New You! The Word declares that God will do a new thing in Isaiah 43:19. It says,

“Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

So if you are ready to make a change, God is ready to assist you.  However, there are some things that you must do to ensure your success. These three things will put you on the road to permanent change that will create the “New You”!


Without a written plan you are planning to fail. There is something about putting your goals in written form that makes them concrete in our minds. The bible says to write the vision and make it plain… In other words, keep it simple. You don’t have to write a dissertation. Just take a few moments to clarify what you want to accomplish and how long you plan for it to take you to reach completion.



Life is so much more fun with a friend.  Get a “Power Partner”! Someone you can pray with and exercise with.  Someone who you know wants what’s best for you but will keep you accountable to your goals and to God.  It’s easy to look at your spouse if your married, and want them to be that person.  However, keep in mind sometimes they are not and we need to pray and reach out to the person that God lays on our heart for this role in this season.  Once you have your partner, you need to communicate your needs. What do you expect them to do and what are you capable of doing for them.  If you are not a morning person, don’t agree to get up at 5am for prayer and a workout, unless this is an area that God is working on in you and you need someone to hold you accountable to doing it.  Understand though, that your partner has to know this ahead of time to be fair to both of you.  Make sure that you and your Power Partner communicate well and have an open heart.


What are you going to accomplish this year? Whatever it is you must start with prayer.  Pray for direction. Pray for clarity.  Pray for commitment. Faith without works is dead.  But your faith will also be dead without prayer.  Prayer is our direct line to God. It is the way we receive the power to do the things that God wants us to do.  Prayer gives us the confidence to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.  Once you pray, it is time to perform. You must step out on the faith that God has given you through His Word.  Whatever He has put in your heart to do, you can do it!




Make the most of the Holidays

Five Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years mean big family meals and holiday office parties. Not to mention the eggnog, cakes and pies which can all put a strain on our waistlines.  These Five Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays will help you enjoy the holidays and all they bring without regrets.

Make the most of the Holidays
Five Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays

De-Stress and Get Rest:

The holidays can bring stress from fighting traffic, hours of shopping for food and for the perfect gift.  Stress can add inches to your waistline. Stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels which can interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease. Avoid the rush by making a list of all that you need to get before you leave the house or better yet shop from home.  Online shopping is a way avoid the hustle and bustle and find some great deals. Sites like Amazon give you the option to shop from the comfort of your home and save time, gas and money. Many grocery stores offer a shop from home option and they will deliver your items right to your door.

During this holiday season take the opportunity to de-stress by drinking a cup of herbal tea, diffusing your favorite essential oil, lighting your favorite candle or simply taking a walk.  Also remember, that rest is the key to rejuvenation. Getting enough sleep during the holiday season might be a challenge but your mind and body will thank you if you maintain as regular a sleep schedule as possible.

Drink Your Water:

Water is vital to maintaining your health and wellness. It is also important to maintaining your waistline.  While you are out and about this holiday season, carry a bottle of water with you so that you can remain hydrated. Often we mistake thirst for hunger. By staying well hydrated, you will also avoid those moments when the food court calls your name. Drinking water will also help you to keep your mind sharp and your body energized.  Many of us indulge in holiday spirits during this time of year. Many alcoholic beverages contain high calories. It is recommended that you drink  more water when you are consuming alcohol than normal.

Eat Before You Go Out:

Whether you are going to the mall or to a holiday party, eating a small snack an hour before you leave the house can help you stay on track.  Have a small healthy snack like cheese and apples, or a green smoothie. By eating something before you go out, you won’t be so hungry that you are tempted to eat everything in sight.  You will be able to be social without piling three of those little plates with food.  Also, eat slowly. It takes your brain about twenty minutes to realize it’s full.

Get Moving:

Over the next few weeks, our schedules will try to dictate how much exercise we get.  Try to maintain your exercise schedule. However, if getting to the gym seems like an impossibility, finding unconventional ways to keep moving will help you stay on track with your exercise plan. Walking the mall, taking the stairs and parking further away from the door are practical ways to get in some additional movement.  Other ways to get moving include, getting outside for a walk, raking leaves or shoveling snow.  Ultimately,  just don’t let the holidays keep you from maintaining your exercise routine.

Enjoy Time With Family and Friends:

The holidays can be a whirlwind of rushing from place to place but being with those we love is the best part of the season.  Take the time to recognize those you love and be thankful for all that you have been blessed with. If you are able to have your loved ones around you, if you are able to share a meal or give a gift, you already have the full measure of what the holiday season is all about.  So. if you eat that extra piece of pie or have double servings of stuffing, be kind to yourself.  Enjoying the moments of celebration in life will do more for you in the long term.





stay fit challenge

STAY FIT: 30 Days of Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus

Working out my body is vital to my physical and mental well being. However, more important than that is my desire to stay spiritually fit.  Each day I begin my day by reading a devotion and scripture. I usually find this by using the YouVersion Bible app. They have so many unique devotionals that are available for FREE.  Next month we will be using the STAY FIT: 30 Days of Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus devotion to guide us in our daily study time. This devotional was created by the staff of North Point Ministries with the goal of “prioritizing staying spiritually fit by focusing on the most important relationship in our lives.”

I have found that I pour out so much of my self as a wife, a mom, a daughter, an educator, a friend and a blogger.  It is easy to become disconnected and distracted.   It is easy to stop growing when you are so focused on everyone else’s growth and development.  The need for a greater connection becomes apparent, especially when my patience grows short or my thoughts are not as forgiving as they could be.  I have learned that it is very difficult to pour out of an empty cup. If I am not growing, I can’t help anyone else grow either.  Spending time in God’s word is the first and best form of “self care”.  This 30 day “challenge” is a way of reconnecting to our ultimate source of power – God.

stay fit challenge
30 days of Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus

During the month of October we invite you to STAY FIT and devote some time “strengthening your connection to Jesus”.  Join us on Facebook and on Instagram each day in October to share your insights and to encourage others as we grow stronger together and build each other up in our faith.