Meaghan Terzis is a model mother

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Fitness model Meaghan Terzis might look as though she spends all her time at the gym.

But as a busy mother of two young children, that’s just not possible.

Nor is it necessary, she says.

"I’ve made it a part of my lifestyle," the 29-year-old yummy mummy explains of her exercise regimen in a phone interview from her home in London, Ont.

Terzis, a national-level bikini competitor with the Canadian Bodybuilding Federation, limits her workouts to no more than an hour and 15 minutes, five to six times a week.

"That’s it," she adds. "I don’t spend countless hours at the gym. I don’t work out twice a day."

Terzis, whose husband Bill is a full-time cosmetic dentist, leaves the house every morning at 8:55 with her two little ones in tow — 4-year-old Evi and 1-year-old Jack.

It’s a five-minute walk to their local GoodLife Fitness, where the in-house daycare opens at 9 a.m.

Terzis drops off the kids and then hits the iron.

Since her time is at a premium, she doesn’t mess around.

"I’m there to get it done. There are days when my iPod dies and I keep my headphones in my ears because I don’t want anyone talking to me," she admits with a laugh.

"Don’t get me wrong. I have some great friends at the gym. There’s days where I go and my workout was not as good as it should’ve been because too many people were chatting. That happens and you just kinda shake your head."

Terzis, a fit 130 pounds at 5-foot-7, typically lifts weights for 30-45 minutes following a short warm-up. Her weight-training regimen is split into three main workouts: leg day, upper-body day with a focus on shoulders, and arm day (biceps and triceps).

She does cardio twice a week, usually for no more than 20 minutes a session. Terzis prefers sprint intervals on the treadmill or StairMaster.

"They’re not too intense and they’re not that long," she says of her cardio sessions. "I’m more focused on the weight training."

And that’s it.

Her almost-daily gym sojourns make her a much healthier mom. And the kids love it, too.

"They get to play with other kids. My kids are so social because it’s really taught them how to socialize with other people," she says. "And it’s nice because I’m right there. So in between sets, I’ll pop my head in and know that they’re OK. "¦ It’s a good thing for them and for me."

Terzis and the kids are back home by 10:30 a.m.

"And I have the rest of the day with them," she notes, adding that they keep her active right until bedtime.

"We walk to the park. I take them to the splash pad. We have a pool, so we’re always in the pool. Life’s busy with two kids. It’s constant go, go, go."

Her balanced approach to working out extends to the kitchen.

Terzis, who first started lifting weights about seven years ago when a bad knee injury put an end to her competitive soccer career, says her diet isn’t super strict.

"I love steak. I love making my own burgers. I love pork. I love meat," she explains. "I eat a lot of salads and a lot of vegetables. But everything I eat, my family eats."

Of course, there are a few things that her family eats that she doesn’t. Namely, bread and pasta.

"I make pasta for my family," she adds. "And I’ll make brown rice and put my pasta sauce over my brown rice. I might make little tweaks for myself, but I try not to take away too much from my family because they enjoy those kinds of foods."

Terzis, who plans to return next month to her office manager job at her husband’s dental office on a part-time basis, advises making fitness part of a balanced lifestyle.

"It’s about being healthy," she says. "You have to find that balance between work and family and living a healthy lifestyle. And I found that balance."