I know. You’re busy. You don’t have time to workout. How are you going to fit in a 30-minute run or 45 minutes of yoga or even 20 minutes of weights when you have school pickup, grocery shopping, laundry to fold, that meeting with the community board, and a job on top of that? Well, what I’ve gathered through my own experience — and through chatting with many women just like you — is that you actually don’t have time to not exercise.
Exercise — whether it be racquetball, pilates, or spinning — can increase your energy level, invigorate your mind, and help you solve those problems that you’ve been trying to find the solution to for days — including how you are going to fit everything in. And it can help you be a much happier mom/wife/friend/person when, by all accounts, you should be a basket case. (It never ceases to amaze me how cheerful I can be after a run when just an hour before I was on the brink of losing my mind.)
But you don’t have time for exercise. No really. You’ve been through the schedule, and you just don’t know how you could manage. Well, I’ve got some proven busy mom workout tips for ways to squeeze in some fitness from women who, just like you, have households to run, marriages to maintain, children to care for, communities to serve, friends to laugh and share with, and careers to cultivate.
6 Ways Busy Moms Fit Fitness into Their Lives:
1. Schedule Exercise First
It may seem a little backward, but trust me; if you schedule your workout first, it’s a lot easier to see how everything else can fall in around it rather than trying to find space for it later. There are other things in your schedule that will come “first” too or that have a non-negotiable, untouchable place in your day, but if you make exercise one of those things, doing everything else will be less draining and more manageable.
2. Take Advantage of Odd Times
A lot of moms (even working moms) have flexibility in their schedules or have time at hours they wouldn’t normally think of. Early mornings, before school and normal work hours, just before lunch or mid-afternoon may be the perfect time to sneak out or take an at-home break while the kids are napping and you’re at home, anyway.
3. Embrace the Jogger
It may not seem like much fun to take your kids along on a workout, but there are a handful of reasons to consider it. First, it’s better than no workout at all. Second, it’ll make you stronger. Third, it’s fun to meet up with other jogger-pushing moms to form a jogger brigade. Fourth, bringing the kids along let’s them see what exercise looks like and why it is important for you.
4. Remember That Home Workouts Still Count
There are days when you just have to put on your workout gear, roll out your yoga mat, and crank up your Spotify playlist in the comfort of your own home. And while you may feel a little silly and self-conscious about talking to Jillian Michaels as she kicks your behind through the TV screen, you’ll end up feeling so much more empowered and confident that you won’t even care. BONUS: Sometimes the kids like to join in, which adds another level of challenge/fun.
5. Find a Gym with a Kids’ Room
“Free” child care with your gym membership is sometimes the clincher. A core conditioning class in which you don’t have to watch out for rug rats when you are doing legs-down or remove one from your torso when you’re doing crunches is awesome. But even more awesome is having that class scheduled for a particular time and knowing that you don’t have to worry about the kids while you work on your pigeon pose.
6. Look to YouTube for a Quick Fix
Even if you only have 15 or 20 minutes, there are workouts on Youtube that can let you get some exercise — or try out something new — when the day goes off the rails and you’re forced to re-schedule on the fly. And those 15 minutes may be the minutes that allow you to handle the unexpected with confidence and courage.