Let’s face it, finding time to fit in exercise as a busy mom, is usually low on your list. There is always something more pressing that needs your attention.
Exercising was something I thought I would never be able to fit in with two kids who are 22 months apart while parenting alone. I dreamed of the day I would be able to hit the gym again but 6 years til they were in school full time was too long! I would get pretty frustrated with traditional exercise videos because they didn’t work for me.
I couldn’t make the time to commit to doing 30 minute videos because when my kids were awake it just wasn’t possible. When they napped I had chores or work to do and at night I either worked or was so tired there wasn’t a chance in hell I was getting up to exercise!
So I had to get creative with how I fit in exercise for myself.
Here are 5 ways to fit in exercise as a busy mom
When my kids were little (and also when they are not so little as I still wear my 1 ½ year old!) they were and still are my velcro babies. They wanted to be by me all the time and because I’m not an octopus I couldn’t hold them all day and still get stuff done. I needed my hands free. So I attended babywearing meetings and found wraps and carriers I liked and started babywearing.
Now I know you are probably thinking, how is this exercise?? Well let me tell you lugging around a baby on your stomach or back for various hours throughout the day will give you some crazy core strength! There is also the added weight for your legs and butt when you have to squat down while wearing your baby/toddler. An added bonus, you get to remain close to your snuggly child while still getting everyday stuff done!
Walking your dog
My dog is horrendous to walk! Seriously…I never wanted to try to attempt walking him with my kids because I felt like it would be way too hard! He is a big dog and pulls on the leash big time! So I thought, there is no way I can push a stroller and walk this dog that I need two hands to manage.
It wasn’t until my mom suggested tying the leash around my waist or to the stroller that I thought wow this is possible now! It was a really simple solution that I never thought of. So if you have a dog that pulls on a leash, don’t let that discourage you from getting out and getting exercise! Now you can take your dog and your kids on a walk to get some fresh air. You can also babywear while walking to get that added core strength!
Even if you don’t have a dog, taking your kids out for a walk has benefits for both you and your kids. Fresh air is good for everybody!
Toning throughout the day
Sometimes I have time to fit in a short youtube exercise video, which is a great way to get a workout in. When I don’t, I will still try to tone up throughout the day. I do squats, pushups, various stomach and arm exercises whenever I can fit them in.
For example, when my kids are busy playing, I will do 20 squats. Later on I’ll do 20 more when the opportunity arises. I do the same for other types of toning exercises. So it isn’t all done at once, but it’s still something!
When my kids see me they will ask what I’m doing, which is a good opportunity for me to instill a healthy lifestyle in them. They know exercise keeps you healthy and feeling good and sometimes they join in (It’s pretty cute to watch a 3 year old imitate squats)!
Games with the kids
I have two super active kids who love to play running and chasing games. Inevitably I end up playing tag, “grab” (where I have to try to catch them as they run by me), roar (tag except they roar like a lion as they run after me), pillow fights, and other made up games in this fashion. I definitely expend some calories doing these throughout the day and you will too!
So this one isn’t a daily thing that I do, but it is still a really fun activity that promotes bonding and being active. I will take my kids to areas like playgrounds, or forest preserves with parks so we can walk or run around after we play at the park. A nice bonus is that fresh air usually gets my kids nice and exhausted for nap time or bedtime.
Find a way to make it work!
If you’re like me, and traditional workouts at a gym or exercise videos don’t work for you, don’t get frustrated! I know it can be hard to fit in time to exercise as a busy mom, but it’s important for your health and makes you feel good too. These 5 unique ways of fitting in exercise can help you burn calories and tone up.
I’d love to hear other unique ways you have found to squeeze in exercise as a busy mom!