How Do Stay-At-Home Moms Find Time To Exercise

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Tips to help busy moms find time to exercise regardless of their routine or schedule. Stay healthy by balancing fitness into your motherhood.

Don’t let yourself choose between being a productive homemaker and mother or being fit. No matter what stage of life you are in, it will always be busy. People need fed, chores need done, errands need ran, children need cared for, the list goes on. If you let your obligations become excuses for why you didn’t work out that day, you will never workout again!

Just as you plan the rest of your daily To-do List, so should you plan your workout routine. It is important to make your health and fitness a priority just as you would getting dinner on the table or vacuuming the house. I fell victim to the hurdles of trying to get it all done everyday and letting my own needs take a back seat to get that accomplished. As a stay-at-home mom myself, I underestimated the challenge of fitting in my daily exercise. Use these mehtods and you will no longer wonder how moms find time to exercise. Let’s start with the basics then dive in deeper!

  • Find the areas of opportunity ahead of time and “schedule” in your workout for the day.
  • Get active with your family.
  • Get help from your community. Reach out to family, friends, or childcare facilities.
  • Save time by working out at home.
  • Set yourself up for success. Meet your kids’ needs just before you want to workout.
  • And remember that taking care of kids and doing chores can definitely be exercise.

When should a stay-at-home mom exercise?

Schedule in your workout

Take advantage of when your kids are asleep. Waking up early and fitting in your workout is a great way to start off your day and get it out of the way before chaos ensues. But if you’re not an early bird you can take advantage of nap times or even right after the kids lay down for the night.

If you like to knock out other projects when the kids are asleep, plan a block of exercise when your husband gets home. Having Dad take over will keep the kids occupied so you can be uninterrupted for the “me time” you need.

Get active with your family

Maybe your workout that day is playing tag at the park, or catch in the backyard, swimming in the pool, or playing chase around the house. You can all go for a bike ride, grab your stroller and go for a walk, or workout on the sidelines during their soccer practice. Worst case scenario you can workout in the backyard while they play alongside you. If you have little ones, get them involved and search for “Mommy and Me” workouts.

Your kids will have fun and they will learn the importance of exercise by following your example. Everyone can blow off steam, destress, and enjoy eachother’s complany afterward. Plus, it’s a great way to get some family bonding time in that doesn’t involve food or the TV (guilty!).

Get help from your community

If you are lucky, then you may have family and friends nearby that love your children and want to help you when they can. Even if it is not regular, setting up playdates with loved ones can be an opportunity for you to get to the gym or squeeze in that workout in the basement.

If that isn’t an option for you, check out local fitness facilities. Many offer childcare while you workout with a membership or a small added fee. Then your kids can go with you and you don’t need to make extra arrangements!

Mom workouts at home

Set yourself up for success

If you need to workout while the kids are awake then be sure to take the steps to avoid all possible interruptions. Although this may look different based on age and needs, most often it involves food, sleep, or bathroom breaks. So try to plan or take advantage of cluster care. For example, right after breakfast and getting ready for the day. The kids will be fed and fresh from a night of sleep with clean clothes/diapers. You can apply this to post nap time. When they wake up, offer lunch or a snack and take them to the bathroom. I have found that when my kids have those basic needs met, they are more likely to participate in independent play.

If they still need help you can also throw on their favorite show, music, or pull out a less frequently played with toy to hold their interest.

Save time

By working out at home, you can eliminate a lot of wasted time in travel, setup, changing, and whatever else is involved with going to a gym. You won’t have to stand around waiting for equipment or for the coach to get the class started. You’ll have complete control over your time and workout. The best part is you can do what you want, when you want to do it.

Home workouts are inexpensive (often free!), flexible, and allow you to take advantage of an impromptu nap by squeezing in a 30 or even 20 minute session. And you don’t even need equipment. Read why home workouts my favorite way to workout as a stay-at-home mom and get results. Pssst! I have a bunch of home workouts designed for busy moms like you. They get to the point and most of them are around 30 minutes or less! Check them out on my Youtube Channel.

Taking care of kids and chores can be exercise

Depending on the age of your kids, all the running around involved with them can be exercise in and of itself. I don’t know how often I have to walk back and forth to change a diaper. Or dance and crawl around with my toddler. Or if you have older kids they may need you to practice catch with, run through the sprinkler, or play on the playground. Motherhood can be as active as you want it to be.

And as far as chores goes, does working around the house count as exercise? For sure! If you want, you can do all your chores at once and keep your heart rate up for an uninterrupted hour or more. Think of all the moving you do with folding the laundry, doing the dishes, scrubbing the tub, making beds, etc. Full body “exercise” is required for all of those tasks.

If you’re feeling hardcore you can make the chores harder like washing your floors by hand or taking the laundry up and down the stairs one pile at a time. You can basically do your chores less efficiently and really get in your steps. For example, does vacuuming count as cardio? Well, if you do it with enough intensity to increase your heart rate and for 20 minutes or longer, it can!

When you really think about it, how many steps does a stay-at-home mom take? Between childcare, chores, errands you can easily average 10,000 or more. It just depends on how active you are that day! Grocery shopping is a big one for our family. It’s a way to burn some time out of the house while my kids are distracted by their surroundings. I may walk around the store a few extra laps or go up and down the aisles we don’t even need to just because. That’s just one way busy moms find time to exercise.

Example schedule to help moms find time to exercise

The best part of the stay-at-home mom schedule is that you are your own boss! Yes, you may have appointments, school pick up and drop offs, and practices to get to. Even with time restricted obligations, you control what your daily routine looks like. Implement consistency in your workout schedule.

If you are someone that thrives in routines and strict schedules, then incorporate your fitness into that model. This makes it become just another expected part of the day. Here are some ideas of what that may look like for you.

  • Early morning before the kids are up
  • When dad gets home
  • After school drop off
  • During nap time

Maybe your week changes day-to-day or you are more “go with the flow.” In that case, it is worth the time to sit down with your calender and write in your workout session during the open slots. Even if the time changes, maintain consistency in your frequency throughout the week. For example, by picking certain days of the week. That way you know, “Hey it’s Wednesday, so I have to workout today!” Check out my example.

Stay-At-Home Mom Workout Schedule

DayTime of Workout Session
Monday5 am before kids are up
TuesdayDuring nap time
WednesdayRest Day
ThursdayAfter school drop off
Friday6 pm when Husband gets home
SaturdayFamily bike ride
SundayRest Day

Personally, I prefer to get it done first thing in the morning. Then I don’t have that lingering over me the rest of the day. Some days that is before the kids are up or right after breakfast, whatever works! I find it easier to make excuses or lose motivation as the day goes on. Regardless of your approach, having your workout schedule “penciled in” mentally prepares you for when the time comes.

If you find that the mental hurdle of exercise tends to be the biggest problem, check out my best workout motivation for stay-at-home moms. And if you need some help keeping yourself on track, download my FREE Accountability Chart! Designed to help you set health and fitness goals daily, weekly, and monthly and actually stick to them.

Be one of those busy moms who find time to exercise

Now you have all of my best secrets! I hope that being equipped with these tips gives you the confidence and drive to make a commitment to your fitness, however it works for you. All there is left to do, is just get started.

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