Sticking to an exercise routine can be hard for anyone, but being a busy mom can add a whole other level of difficulty. I know that since I became a mom, one of the things that I have struggled with most is staying fit and healthy. Moms can’t manage to shower or go to the restroom by themselves, how can they fit in a daily exercise routine? It can be done. It might be difficult some days, but everything that is worth it usually takes some work. However, self-care is so important. It is worth the effort. Here are my 13 exercise tips for busy moms.
13 Exercise Tips for Busy Moms
1. Schedule it.
I have always been a scheduler. About a year ago I created my own binder to help keep me organized. You can read about how to create one for yourself here. If you have an appointment, like a doctors appointment or teacher meeting, on your calendar you know you will make time for it. The same goes for exercise. Block out a certain time each day to work out. If it is important to you, it will be on your calendar.
2. Get it out of the way.
This one is actually a personal preference. It might not work for everyone. However, for me, I like to get my exercise out of the way early. If I waited until the end of my day, I am more likely to come up with excuses. Plus, I am exhausted at the end of the day. I try to get up before my kids and get “sweatin,” but that doesn’t always happen because my kids get up SO early. If I can’t get my exercise out of the way before they wake up, I will do my yoga after I take my oldest to school. This makes it much easier because I only have one kiddo at home and I can usually keep him entertained. Then by the time I pick up my oldest from school at noon, I am already finished for the day.
If you have a hard time getting up early, LifeHack has some great tips for waking up earlier.
3. Make a plan.
This tip goes hand and hand with the first two. Write out a plan.
- When do you plan on working out?
- Mornings? Nights?
- Every day? Every other day?
- What type of work out will you do?
- Yoga? Running? Walking?
- Will you work out at home? Or the gym?
These are a few questions I would ask yourself. Then take your answers and write out a plan. If you plan on doing the same thing everyday then just write out a list, if your days will be different than write out a plan for each day.
4. Include the kiddos.
This one is huge for me. If I can’t get my children’s attention on a specific activity for 20-30 minutes then I will switch things up and find exercises that I can do with my kids. Let them do yoga or exercise videos with you. Play basketball or some other sport with them. This way you get your exercise in for the day, and you are modeling great healthy choices for your kids.
Yes, I recommended writing out a plan, but I also realize that things come up. Be flexible. Don’t take the stance of “this way or nothing.” If you aren’t flexible then you chance not sticking with it.
5. Get outside!
Get outside. Play with your kids. This is a great way to fit in exercise and quality time with your kids. Your kids will be having a blast and you will be having fun and burning calories.
6. Go for a walk. Make it a family affair!
Go for a walk every evening as a family. This is a great exercise for everyone and allows for time to talk as a family, without too many electrically distractions.
7. Be creative.
Like I said before, you have to be flexible and you also need to be creative. Sometimes, our schedules are so crazy that you might have to sneak in your exercise whenever you can. Do 10-15 minutes of strength training while your kids are eating breakfast or while they are watching their favorite morning cartoon. Walk or run certain errands if they aren’t too far away. For example, my oldest son will start kindergarten next year and it is on the corner of our street, so I plan on walking to drop him off and pick him up when the weather cooperates.
8. Prioritize your time.
This was an eye-opener for me. I sat down and calculated how much time I spend watching Netflix/Hulu and on social media. It was a huge reality check! I don’t have time to exercise 20 minutes a day, but I can spend 45 minutes on Pinterest?!?! Prioritize your time. What is important to you?
9. Drink lots of water!
Drinking water is very important for your body, especially during physical activities. Also if you aren’t drinking enough water your energy levels can suffer. If you don’t have energy chances are you won’t feel like working out. I am not a fan of drinking water. It just gets boring to me. I also don’t like to drink warm water. I love it when it is ice cold. To help me get my water in every day, I bought one of those cooler cups that keep liquids cold for 6+hours. I fill it full of ice and water. It keeps my water cold and I can carry it everywhere with me.
You can also make it more exciting by making your own infused water. Click here for some tasty infused water ideas.
10. Watch what you eat!
Watch what you eat. Certain foods can drain your energy or make you feel miserably full and you won’t’ want to work out. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I also try not to eat out very often. It is so much harder to eat healthy when you are eating out.
I have started doing a lot of smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to get in your daily fruits and vegetables and they are very filling. You can make you a smoothie and take it with you. Super easy. Super yummy.
11. Use your resources.
You don’t have to spend big bucks on yoga classes or gym memberships. I have found some great yoga videos on youtube. Dance parties with your kids in the kitchen are free. Walking and running is free. Playing with your kids at the park is free. Use your resources. Youtube is awesome for exercise videos.
12. Find allies.
Find a workout buddy or join a fitness group on Facebook. If you have someone that can keep you accountable and motivate you to keep going it is so much easier. Fellow moms are great because they understand exactly how hard it can be. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maybe you can find a mom that is willing to switch off babysitting every other day so that you can each have some alone time for going to the gym or working out alone at home.
13. Be easy on yourself.
The truth is days will come when you barely have time to sit down. Sick kids, sick husbands, big messes, etc…I have learned that I can’t control everything. I take the time I am given and try to make the most of it. 5 minutes of treadmill time is better than 0 minutes. If you do miss a day, don’t stress yourself out. You don’t want to make yourself feel so overwhelmed that you don’t continue. Be proud of every little accomplishment.
Making time for yourself for working out is doable. Make yourself a priority. Your husband and kids need a healthy, happy wife/mother.
Good luck and happy ‘sweatin’!!
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31