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Health & Balance

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The WebMD Healthy You Challenge: Two Mom Makeovers

WebMD's expert team helps two crazy-busy mothers transform their eating, workout, and life routines.

Four Kids and a Sweet Tooth continued...

The trainer's advice

Losing 20 pounds is very doable. Set yourself a goal of losing one pound per week. If you do two months of very intense good eating and good exercise, you'll lose 10 pounds and will have a lot more energy and the motivation to lose the second 10.

But you have to create a 30-minute window in your day to get to the gym. Do a short, quick workout to elevate your heart rate and focus on the bigger muscle groups. You can also build in cardio workouts throughout your day. Do lunges while vacuuming, for example. Every three feet, do five lunges. When washing dishes, do squats against the counter. When going up the stairs, go two steps up and one step back -- it takes longer and burns more calories.

The workout I've designed for you is much easier than taking care of four kids.

You can do it at home or at the gym, using 2- to 5-pound dumbbells; do it three times a week.

Heidi's workout plan:

•20 boxing punches on each side (that's 40 punches). Hold both fists loosely below your chin, with your knees flexed and weight on the balls of your feet. First punch forward and toward the left with your right fist, shifting your weight forward as you punch (lead with your right hip). Then do the same from the left side. Alternate punches rapidly.

•15 full sit-ups. Instead of crunches, do military-style full sit-ups where you come all the way up. Lie down, knees bent, with arms overhead. As you sit up, you can swing your arms over your body and touch the floor next to your heels when you reach the top. Keep your lower back rounded as you lower yourself back to the floor.

•10 lunges on each leg

•20 shoulder presses with dumbbells

•30 seconds to 1 minute of jumping jacks or jumping rope

Repeat this routine three to five times, with short, active breaks in between. If you're doing it at the gym, run on the treadmill between sets. At home, you can get the kids to do this routine with you -- call it the "Swanson Family Olympics." Make it a competition to see who can do a wall squat longer or who can do more jumping jacks in one minute.

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