Fitness doesn’t have to take over your life in order to get into shape, get fit or maintain the fitness levels developed over the summer.

As I always tell my clients – fitness and healthy eating only work if they can be maintained long-term. This is the biggest obstacle for many, as we all want that quick fix, but short-term fixes don’t work. Making small changes in diet and lifestyle is what will give the long-term results.

As you head back into the routine of September – the summer holidays are over and the children are back to school – it is the perfect opportunity to assess how much time you have to spend on your training and fitness.

I’m a mom with a four-year-old and another one on the way, and a business to run, and over the next four weeks I’m going to share some of my tips on how to keep in shape when free time is in short supply. I will be including advice on home workouts, gym workouts and cheats for quick meals that help make my life easier (and will hopefully help you) without losing focus on the goals.

Let’s start with our first home workout. I’ve picked six exercises this week for you to fit in twice during the week, and have set out a cardio plan for two other days, which will include a walk or a run.

Plan out in advance the days for the workouts and days for the cardio sessions.

The exercises in this home workout should take no more than 15 minutes to complete, and as you develop your fitness levels you can increase the sets from three up to five.

Do each exercise for 20 seconds before moving onto the next one until you complete the set, then take a short break and do the next set.

I find the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning before anyone else is up, that way you will not get distracted.

For the two cardio days allow for a minimum of 25 minutes of activity. Start this week with a fast-paced walk. I find that with small children, it is great to put them in the buggy and go for an evening walk shortly after dinner time. The fresh air helps tire them out and give them a great night’s sleep.

Best of luck in your first week!

Getting back into a routine: Part 1 of 4

Push  Up

1/ Start on your knees or toes, with hands under the chest and back flat in a plank position.

2/ Lower yourself to the ground and then back to start position. Keep the back flat throughout.

Crunch reach

1/ Start by lying on your back, with your knees bent, feet flat and your hands on your thighs.

2/ Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and slide your hands up to your knees. Keep your feet flat throughout. Then lower your head, shoulders and hands, and repeat the movement.

Reverse lunge

1/ Stand upright holding dumbbells (if you have them, if not without is fine) by your sides, with your arms straight.

2/ Take a step backward, dropping your back knee to the floor and leaning your torso slightly forward with your weight on your front leg. Push off your front foot to return to the start position.

Side Plank

Support your body by leaning on your side on your elbow and on the side of your foot, with the opposite foot sitting on top. Keep your body straight and hold that position. Try to hold the position for at least 15-20 seconds while keeping your form.

1/ Start on your toes and hands, with your arms straight, back flat and your feet together.

2/ Jump your feet out to the sides without moving hand position. Immediately jump back to the middle and repeat. Keep your back flat throughout.

Sumo Squat

1/ Start by standing upright, with your arms bent and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.

2/ Lower yourself towards the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees. Then push through your heels to return to the start position, keeping your back straight and head up throughout the exercise.

This article appeared on Independent.ie