How to Find Time to Work Out As a Mom

Ladies, what are your best tips for how to find time to work out as a mom? In our survey I noticed that a lot of women, like me, were struggling to find time to work out. For my $.02, I know that I tend to have an all-or-nothing approach to exercise, and it isn’t doing me any favors! In addition to it being a bad idea from a calorie/consistency/crazy perspective (I like to do cardio to “keep the crazies away”), it turns out my mom body really does not like to do nothing for weeks and then try to do a kickboxing workout or a dead lift. I have a few ideas on how to find time to work out as a mom (below), but I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

In just the past few weeks, I’ve made a huge shift in my thinking. I’ve always thought of exercise as something to do to help my mood and to look better in clothes — I liked high intensity things like running, kickboxing, spinning, swinging kettlebells, lifting heavy weights, and more. Since getting pregnant with my second son I’ve been in and out of PT for years — first to mitigate my SPD pain while pregnant with H, then postpartum PT for my hip flexors, then PT again after my ACL surgery for general knee rehabilitation. I’ve now found myself back in PT because of lower back pain, which turned out to be because of weak transverse abs. (I also kept making my hip flexors angry after I tried to go running, possibly because one knee is still weaker than the other.)

how to find time to work out as a mom - the shortest workouts!I’m now realizing my core, trunk, and back are huge priorities for me just for general health and happiness — not something to think about as a “last 10 pounds bikini body push” — and I’m making sure I do exercises every day to support those. (I’m also hoping it will help improve my posture.) I know that as I get older, weight-bearing exercises like walking are more important (and, dare to dream, maybe one day I can get back to running), and I also know that strong muscles are very important, so I’m going to be trying to work in bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups since I don’t trust myself with weights right now. In theory, I have time for all this, but forming the habits (like planking after I brush my teeth, or doing wall squats while I’m waiting for water to boil) is tricky.

If you’re already feeling great postpartum (or you have older kids) and are just struggling with a timing issue, know that there are a ton of short but GREAT workouts you can do in under 20 minutes. I know readers have noted that even Peloton has classes that are 5–20 minutes! (Just be careful not to overdo it as a newbie.)

Some of the short workouts that I’ve looked into include:

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Quick Workouts for Busy Moms (Even You Have Time for These!)

The Best Busy Mom Workouts | CorporetteMoms2017 Update: We still stand by these quick workouts for busy moms — but you may also want to check out our most recent discussion on how to find time to work out as a mom

I was talking with someone last week about how moms have no time for working out, so I thought I’d round up a few of the methods that I’ve found over the past few years.  I still find it really, really (REALLY) hard to take the time for myself (and away from kids, my husband, my business… there always seems like a better way to spend the 20-60 minutes!), but this time around, postpartum, I’m forcing myself to take the time, both to regain my strength, be healthier for my family, exercise the crazies out, and, hey, lose some weight. I forgot how much better I feel — everywhere, in every way — when I work out, and I hope the benefit in my mood and energy, at least, helps the family.  SO! Without further ado, here’s my list — readers, what do your workouts look like, post-kiddo(s) — when do you do ’em, what do you do?  Moms with older kids, was there ever a magical time when you felt you suddenly had time to workout? (Oh — and I only JUST tried this, but man it made a difference: if you wake up feeling exHAUSTED, try a bit of peanut butter or almond butter before bed — it stabilizes your blood sugar or some such so you get better sleep.)

(Psst: Still pregnant? Check out our discussion on prenatal exercise…)

Quick Workouts for Busy Moms If You Seriously Don’t Have Time:

  • SuperMom app.  This iTunes app is actually designed to help you get a workout in when you’re caring for your baby — squats to do during bathtime, etc.
  • Get Your Body Back.  Six minute workouts, people!  I find the instructor to be a bit grating, but I used this a lot with my first baby, when I wasn’t quite sure how long he would stay asleep, etc.

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