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The Real Mom's Fitness Plan

Fitness pro Kathy Smith looks toned, together, serene. But Smith, fitness book author and exercise-video star, is also the mother of two young daughters. She's juggled a nursing infant, a demanding toddler, and a ringing telephone  -- and felt like she couldn't add one more thing to her "to do" list. "It's easy to put exercise on the back burner," says Smith.

Still, she says, when it comes to fitness, moms shouldn't let themselves off the hook. "To say 'I don't have time' is doing yourself a disservice  -- and you'll have lost your momentum, your routine, and your physical strength by the time your priorities shift in a few years and you can devote more attention to getting in shape," she says. For Smith, the key to fitness is consistency, not long workouts: "Even 10 minutes can be important."

Exercise experts agree: Just 30 minutes of moderate activity three times a week promotes good health. You can split your workouts into 10-minute segments and still reap the benefits: a healthier heart, stronger bones, less stress, and  -- yes!  -- less fat and more muscle.

Lauren Purcell has written about health and fitness for many national magazines.

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