I am not a fitness blogger. I see those ladies posting photos of their rock hard abs in their sweaty fitness outfits and think, nuh-uh. Not for me. But, I do believe in exercise and the importance of trying your best to be healthy. And, like it or not, exercise is part of that. But how do you find time to exercise as a mom? How do you sneak in a workout when there are always kids around? We all know it’s not easy. But for something this important to your health, it’s worth some extra effort. So, check out these 6 tips for finding time to exercise as a mom.
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6 Tips for Finding Time to Exercise as a Mom
1. You’ll Never Walk Alone (so Use a Stroller)
I love a good walk. And I make it a priority to take a walk every day, kids or no kids (actually, it’s always with kids- where else would they be?). I enjoy the fresh air, getting out of the house, stretching and moving my body.
The kids enjoy getting outside too. But if my goal is actual exercise, I can’t take one of the dawdly, picking up rocks, smelling flowers, and scuffing shoes in the dirt walks that my kids prefer. So, for at least one walk per day, my kids go in the double stroller. Even my five year old who is getting a little too big for it.
I want an aerobic walk. And with the kids along, the stroller is the only way I get one. If your kids are too old for a stroller, consider a wagon or putting them on bikes or roller skates. Or for school age kids, a bribe to motivate them to walk at a decent pace. Whatever it takes so you can move at a pace that feels like exercise.
2. Exercise Videos
It’s hard to find time to exercise when you always have kids underfoot. This is why I love exercise videos. I can watch one and exercise while still supervising my kids. Many times I’ll start one at my kids’ snack time so they are happily occupied while I march, kick or dance along with the video instructor and supervise them at the same time.
I’ve had to stop mid-workout to change a diaper, break up a fight and wash kids’ hands any number of times. But you, know DVDs pause and it’s no big deal.
Here are a few of my favorite at home workout videos
- Walking to the Hits Party Songs
This is one of Leslie Sansone’s walk at home workout DVDs. I enjoy most of hers because you don’t need to be particularly athletic or have great rhythm or dance skills. All that is required is the ability to walk or march in place. This particular DVD is my favorite because I like the music. And I like the option to do a shorter workout by starting in different places from the main menu. With this DVD I march around the house following and supervising my kids while I exercise and you can do that with this workout without losing your place or getting lost.
- Total Mix: The Complete Full Body Workout System
I’ve been doing this workout DVD since I was in college (in other words, a while ago). There are 9 ten minute workouts on the disc. Each is targeted to a specific area, legs, buns, abs, arms, etc. You can combine any of the workouts together to fit the amount of time you have. I usually stick to doing one a day. I can almost always find 10 minutes for a quick workout. These are a bit cheesy but a good workout and no special skills needed.
- Yoga for Dummies
When I feel like a workout but am too tired to march or kick I will often turn to this yoga DVD. I am not skilled at yoga but this DVD is pretty slow and easy. Fair warning, it’s easy to hurt yourself doing yoga. Exercise cautiously and start slow. As with any exercise routine, if it hurts, stop.
3. Just Dance
Dancing is a great way to build some exercise into your day. If your kids are full of energy and driving you nuts, turn on some music and have a dance party. If you’re cleaning house, doing dishes or folding clothes, turn the music up and dance while you work. You’ll find yourself moving more, getting a little bit of a workout in and still getting the things done that you need to. Win-win.
4. Do a Workout with the Kids
Being a mom is a workout all on its own. So take advantage of that and be a little more intentional about making it a workout. When I take my kids outside I try to run around with them. You can play a game of tag with your littles or race them across the yard. Or on rainy days in the house pop in a kids’ workout tape and do it along with your kids.
5. A Few Minutes at a Time
I have never been someone who likes long workouts. The first thing I do when I buy a workout tape is check how long it is. More than a half hour is a no-go for me. So, I like fitting in my workouts a little bit at a time throughout the day. Ten minutes here and there can make a big difference.
When my kids are on our swing set outside I will walk the length of the yard and back to get some movement in. I also will do squats or leg lifts while I push them on the swings or supervise outdoor play. I’ll never be a powerlifter but these few minutes a day do help. It might make my neighbors think I’m a little strange if they see me squatting in my yard, but that’s a different issue.
I also own a few workout videos that are ten minutes or less. When I don’t have much time but I want to do a quick workout, I pop in Total Mix Complete Body Workout System with its multiple workouts that are all 10 minutes each. Sometimes I only have ten minutes and these workouts make that time count. And there are a ton of other DVDs you can find with workouts broken down into 10 minute segments. Keeping a few on hand is a great way to avoid getting bored with your workout.
6. Move More
Maybe you don’t want to workout. And I totally get it. It’s not my idea of fun either. But moms tend to prioritize their families over themselves and sometimes our health suffers. And that’s not good for anybody. It’s important to take care of yourself.
If you hate walks and workout videos or the idea of doing squats at the playground, you can still sneak in a little bit of fitness every day. All you have to do is move more.
Park your car a little further from the grocery store. Stand up when you’re folding laundry instead of sitting on the couch. Leave the clean laundry on the couch and walk from room to room putting it away a few pieces at a time. MOVE.
Move more, be healthier. This is something almost anyone can fit in. Do it for your family, mamas!
Do you have some ways you sneak exercise into your busy day? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!