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Whether you are a new mom or you have to juggle kiddos and work, your daily schedule is probably so filled up that you don’t feel like exercising often. You barely have time for yourself and even if you manage to squeeze ten minutes-long precious break, you’ll rather enjoy your coffee while it is still hot than working out.
I feel you.
You might just want to settle for the fact that at this stage of life, you don’t have time to exercise, but – hold your horses there!
No matter how busy we are, there is always something we can do. I’ve put together some great ideas for you to choose a busy mom workout routine that fits your needs and schedule.
What’s more important – make it a habit and stick to it.
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Find motivation to exercise
Firstly let me tell you: I am no fitness freak.
I am just a regular mom who exercises. I made it part of my daily routine but I don’t obsess with gym or smoothie pictures on Instagram.
I do it for me.
And even though I love how exercise makes me feel afterward (because, endorphins), it sometimes takes a lot of self-motivation to get myself moving (because, deep inside, I’m still a lazy person, lol).
So I totally understand how hard can be gathering the motivation to work out at all.
First of all, don’t do it for anybody else.
Do it for YOU.
Do it, because you deserve to feel and look good. Start out with baby steps and use little tweaks to keep yourself motivated:
1. Give yourself micro-challenges
Don’t like those “long distance” challenges? Create some little challenges instead.
For instance, I would challenge myself to do 100 situps until lunch. Then I’ll do 50 lunges while outside with the stroller. Or, when walking, I would do a speed walk for the next 10 minutes.
Create your personal micro-challenges based on what you feel comfortable with.
2. Sleep in your workout clothes
If you prefer exercising in the morning, before the kids get up, try sleeping in your workout clothes so you can start straight out of the bed. Even getting dressed in the morning can be challenging sometimes so try to eliminate possible excuses beforehand 🙂
3. Listen to audio books or podcasts
Chances are, you don’t have much time to read or study during the day. Going for a walk with the baby? Grab some earbuds and put on your favorite audiobook while you’re walking.
Or take it as the opportunity to learn something new! I personally love listening to Spanish lessons or to podcasts focused on blogging and marketing.
4. Track your success
Wear fitness tracker that you can wear around your wrist and track your daily activity like steps or calories burned so far. You can even set personal goals or compete in challenges with your friends who also wear a fitness tracker! I bet you can beat your husband in getting the most steps in 🙂
Another great device is a body composition scale, as apart from weight tracking, it records other important body composition measurements such as body mass index, body fat percentage or muscle mass.
As the total weight number isn’t the only value you should fix your eyes on, using a body composition monitor (I use TANITA) is a great way to stay motivated.
This smart device can detect even small changes inside your body over a relatively short period of time. It shows you if your workouts and a healthy diet are working even when it is too early to see the changes in the mirror.
5. Exercise with your kids
It is fun and I do this quite often because most of the time, I just don’t have any other choice, lol.
What motivates me is that my older son always wants to exercise with me and actually enjoys it. He is five and can do a push-up better than me! I want my kids to lead an active lifestyle and the best way to prepare them for this is by setting an example in myself.
A short workout boosts your energy
Let’s be honest here. You are a mom. You probably spent most of your day in a crazy rat race, trying to get done as much as possible. And, when you finally have some downtime you’d rather drink your coffee while still hot then go for a run.
Before you convince yourself that you have no time or energy for a workout, just think about it once more.
As unbelievable as it may seem, exercising doesn’t drain you of energy! The truth is regular workouts can make a real difference in your energy level and also your mood.
When you exercise, your endorphin level increases. Endorphins are the body’s natural hormones responsible for the feeling of euphoria commonly known as “runner’s high.” That is the reason you feel so good and confident after you’ve exercised.
Exercise also improves your cardiovascular health, which allows you to have greater endurance throughout the day.
And this is exactly what a busy momma needs, right?
When it’s easier for you to do daily chores, you’ll be able to end your day without feeling exhausted.
How to find time to exercise with a busy schedule
Finding time for yourself is tough. But does that mean you can’t have it?
You’re just gonna have to find different ways to make it work.
I know it makes you cringe thinking how on earth am I going to do this!
But hear me out. All you need to do it to sneak exercise into your daily mommy routine and make it a habit. And it’s easier than you think. Check out my tips for a busy mom workout routine – tested and approved by a working mom of two 🙂
1. Walking with a stroller or a baby carrier
Sneaking a cardio activity into your busy daily schedule is actually easier as you might think. You don’t have to go running 10 miles to get proper fat burner cardio. In fact, walking happens to be just as good as running when it comes to weight loss and health effects. It is the easiest way how to lose pregnancy weight naturally.
Aim for a brisk walk in the duration of at least 30 minutes, ideally 1 hour. Your walking pace should be about 3,5 mph (this is a pace when you are still able to talk while walking but you need to catch the breath after a couple of sentences)
To speed up the calorie burn during your walking session, add some toning exercises to build nice, lean muscle. Simple walking lunges and squats are a great way to tone your legs and bottom.
If you are a super-introvert like me, you might find a bit awkward to do squats in front of other people passing by.
Find your “private workout spot” in a park or a forest – simply a place where you feel good and confident.
This one is great for those crazy busy days when you just don’t stop for a moment. The trick is you try to squeeze in an exercise while doing daily chores.
As a mom, you probably spend a lot of time on your feet. Doing dishes, changing diapers, cooking…
Why not use this time to tone your legs a bit? Try doing calf raises or side leg raises while you change a nappy. Just think of how many times do you go nappy changing, right? Do 2 sets of leg raises every time, and you will feel it for sure 🙂
To make it easier for you, I’ve put together a FREE Cheat Sheet with 6 awesome exercises that you can do while doing household chores or running errands. Be sure to check it out!
3. Get up earlier than your kids
I know, you’ve heard it before. Get up early. But how, when you are constantly sleep-deprived?
When you have a baby, the chances are, you are probably up early anyway. As a matter of fact, I am writing this post at 5.30 AM after morning feeding :)(Sleeping in fitness clothes might help, lol).
I know it is hard to force yourself out of the bed, especially after a dreadful night.
But hear me out.
Working out in the morning is actually the best way how to pump yourself with energy for the day! Just a short, 20 minutes workout routine will work wonders for you!
4. Find a gym with babysitting services
Whether it is mommy-and-me classes, baby-carrier dance classes or just a regular gym with a childcare option, give it a chance!
I’ve tried all of the above and what actually suits me the most is having a fitness instructor that babysits my little one while working with me. I’ve been working out with her for years now.
As a matter of fact, we have been through both of my postpartum weight loss journeys and she is just amazingly flexible. With kids, without kids, pregnant or not, she always creates a great workout that suits my actual needs 🙂
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
There will be days when you’ll not be able to think about any workout at all. Sick kids, vacation, traveling, terrible headache or a dreadful night – you name it. Even a super easy, busy mom workout routine will seem impossible to accomplish.
But hey, life happens, right?
Try to do the best you can. Dance with your kids, squat to pick up toys instead of bending over. Watch your posture. Even if you do just 50 sit-ups that day, it is way better than nothing!
How do you find time to exercise? I would like to know how you do it! Let me know in the comments 🙂