How To Find Time To Exercise As A Busy Mom With A Baby
Helpful tips on how busy moms find time to exercise and workout after just having a newborn baby, a busy toddler or who have busy schedules that center around multiple kids activities.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Have you been living the busy mom life with a jam-packed schedule and can’t find time to exercise after having a baby? Or maybe you have a busy toddler that requires all your attention. Or maybe you have multiple kids with several afterschool activities that take up all your free time.
I know that mom life can be really busy. There are days when you don’t even have time to sit down or even go to the bathroom for a much needed potty break.
That’s why I wanted to help you by giving you these suggestions on how to manage your day and fit in a quick, yet effective workout without missing a step in your normal mommy routine.
1. Get Up Early To Exercise
If you find that your day is full with no break between each scheduled activity, then you may want to consider waking up early before the kids do. This way you can have devoted workout time, uninterrupted, where you can get an intense workout in and finish up with a cool shower to start your day. If you have trouble waking up to the sound of your alarm then you will definitely enjoy these tips to help you stop hitting the snooze button.
Baby Tip: If you have a newborn baby, your goal would be to try to get him on a sleep schedule as early as possible. I recommend starting as early as 3 to 4 months of age. Once your baby is on a sleep schedule, then you will be able to fit in a good workout during nap time. Also, once you are well rested, then you will have more energy to devote to your workouts.
2. Workout In The Evenings When The Kids Go To Bed
If a morning workout sounds dreadful to you, then you would probably do better working out in the evenings when the kids go to bed. Have a strict bedtime routine for the kids, the same consistent time every night, and then you won’t have to worry about the kids coming down the stairs interrupting your workout routine. Explain to your kids your expectation of them: that they cannot leave the bedroom once you say goodnight. Mommy is working out and you should be sleeping”. Be stern and don’t give in. Have a consequence ready for when your kids don’t follow the rules.
Baby Tip: As mentioned earlier, you want to start getting a good sleep routine going with your baby, as early as 3-4 months of age. Whatever time you decide as the bedtime routine, keep it the same time and be consistent in the way you do your bedtime routine. An example may be starting your bedtime routine at 7:30pm: bath, lotion, dressed in pj’s, read a book, sing a lullaby, sound machine turned on, lights off and baby down in bed after a kiss goodnight. Once your baby is on a good night schedule, you’ll have plenty of time to workout.
3. Exercise During Nap Time
Along the same lines of having a consistent bedtime routine, you should also implement a regular nap time that is scheduled at the same time every day. Kids love routines, and they feel comfortable knowing what to expect in the day (less room for meltdowns). So with that, they should understand that nap time is also the time that mommy gets to workout. So, again, explain to them that they are not allowed out of their room during nap time because that’s when they should be sleeping. Hopefully your kid’s nap time lasts 45 minutes or longer, just enough time to workout and get a shower.
Baby Tip: Nap time during the first year of a baby’s life can be really inconsistent and constantly changing. Sometimes naps only last 30 minutes at a time. If that’s the case, try to get a quick workout in during one of the breaks you get while your baby is napping. You should also try to get a nap yourself during another scheduled nap time. You won’t be able to get a good workout in if you are exhausted, so take care of yourself and get some rest to counterbalance your workout. I recommend having your baby take naps in his crib or cradle from the beginning (age 0 months!)
4. Workout With The Kids During Play Time
If you have a time during the day that your kids get free time to play, this is a great time to play with them, by incorporating your workout into their free play. Have them do the same exercise as you, or maybe they can crawl on your back when you do a push-up. See who can hold the plank the longest and have a mini competition. Get some new music that the kids will enjoy having a dance party to. Be creative and have fun while you work out with your kids. Again, set an expectation at the beginning to let your kids know that you have 30 minutes to workout and they need to find something to do during that 30 minutes (whether it is working out with mommy or playing independently).
Baby Tip: If you have a baby, this is the perfect time to wear your baby for a mommy and me workout using a baby harness or carrier. Babies absolutely love the movements and the closeness they have with their moms. If you don’t have a baby carrier, you can definitely do many exercises with your baby in your arms, or lying on the floor with you over top of him (like a push up as an example).
5. Exercise During Your Lunch Break
If you are a working mom, then working out during your lunch break is probably the best option for you. It might be a quick workout, but you can get a high intensity workout in and get all the benefits from it in a matter of 20 minutes, head back to work while eating your lunch on the go and back to office you go! If you are determined, you can do it!
Baby Tip: A lot of moms who are working and just had a newborn baby need to take the time during their lunch break to pump. If this is the case, then you are definitely in for the challenge. Hey, what mom doesn’t like a challenge?
I would recommend you finding some exercises that you can do while you are pumping. My favorite would be calf raises. If you have questions about what exercises you can do while pumping, comment below!! I can always write another blog post about this topic if you’re interested.
6. Intermittently Throughout The Day
This is probably the workout that might not feel like a real workout, but it still counts. If you are just too busy and you can’t find any time that will work best for your schedule, then you may want to block off 5 minute intervals throughout the day to do a set of exercises. Set an alarm 4-6 different times throughout the day (which will equal a 20-30 minute total workout). An example may be like this:
8 am = 5 minutes jumping jacks and push-ups
10 am = 5 minutes planks and high knees
12 pm = 5 minutes of mountain climbers and side planks
2 pm = 5 minutes of squats and crunches
4 pm = 5 minutes of lunges and calf raises
6 pm = 5 minutes of wall sits and oblique twists
Baby Tip: If your baby is not on a nap schedule and he is really keeping you awake at night, this is the way to go when it comes to exercising. You are probably half asleep before you even hit the bed on most nights. And the days are filled with you constantly nursing the baby, changing your baby’s diaper, laundry, washing bottles and so on.
I recommend you find ways throughout the day to do a quick exercise or two. Your baby should be really into playing on the floor and doing tummy time. That’s a great time for you to do a few superman’s as he is doing the same! Or try doing mountain climbers as you talk to your baby.
Make it fun, and it won’t even seem like you are getting a workout in. I recommend breaking it up into 3 times a day (morning, noon and night) for when your baby does tummy time and other play time.
Best Tips For Finding Time To Working Out As A Busy Mom
- Set a reminder on your phone to alert you when to workout
- Keep the workout time consistent every day you plan to workout
- Make a schedule, so you are working out the same days every week
- Start with a 20 minute workout and add 5 minutes every week to your workout duration
- Make sure to schedule in time for hygiene afterwards: time for a quick shower, freshen up with a quick make-up routine, maybe some dry shampoo or deodorant wipes will do the trick.
- Have your workout gear all in one central location including a ready to go water bottle and athletic shoes.
- Get an accountability partner to keep tabs on you! If you are just having such a hard time doing this on your own, find someone you know that will encourage you to keep at it. Being a busy mom is hard work and some days it feels like just being a mom is a workout, but don’t let that be your norm. You can still find time, if you are determined, to get a real, high intensity workout in that can increase your heart rate and give you the cardiovascular benefits that you want in a good workout.
When Do You Find Time To Workout As A Busy Mom?
I can’t wait to hear how your workouts are going and if you found that ideal time to fit your exercise routine into your busy schedule. Starting a new fitness journey with your kids is so exciting and rewarding. This is one of my favorite moments in my day; working out with my kids by my side. It’s a great time to bond. Since I currently have a baby, I enjoy doing mommy and me workouts.
I think you’ll enjoy reading this next: 15 Mommy and Me Exercises for your Postpartum Workout with Baby.
And be sure to check out my Mommy and Me Babywearing Workout that includes 17 of the best exercises you can do while wearing your baby! There is a great video included for your to watch, also.
Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
*It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Perform exercises at your own risk.
About Dr. Jena Bradley
Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey. She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visitng her ABOUT page.