So, you finally have the motivation to jump into a new workout routine and lose the baby weight. Good for you! There’s just one, little problem… your little humans. You’re a mom. I don’t think I have ever met a mom who wants to add more to their already hectic schedule. Whether you work in an office or stay home with the kids, life is crazy enough without trying to squeeze a workout in your daily routine.
The challenge lies in the fact that not taking care of yourself physically can make that hectic schedule of yours, even more difficult to maintain. Even if you’re not looking to lose weight, staying physically active can provide you with the energy you need to make it through a grocery trip with an active toddler, or a late night with a colicky newborn.
Can it be done?
You have to make fitness a priority, you know you do, but you just can’t find the time. Lucky for you, I have mastered the art of making time where it does not appear to exist. If I didn’t, I would never get anything done! Between maintaining my home, caring for my one-year-old son, and managing a blog, time is a very precious resource. Even with all that I have going on, I’ve made my health a priority using these methods and it has led me to not only lose the baby weight (finally) but to look and feel drastically better than my first few months as a mom.
Want more time management strategies? Read Simple Time Management Strategies for Stay at Home Moms
7 Ways to Squeeze a Workout in Your Daily Routine as a Busy Mom
Before I get into these 7 tips, I want to mention one really important factor in succeeding in your path to a healthier lifestyle. Your efforts to squeeze a workout in your daily routine are only going to work if you want them to. You have to make a decision to make your health a priority. If you’re just going through the motions, you will most likely give up relatively quickly. Trust me on this one – I’ve been there many times. Additionally, you are not likely to look or feel much better if you don’t accompany your new workout routine with a healthy diet. I know it feels like doing so will add a lot to your plate, but with a good meal prepping system in place, you could actually save even more time. Okay, the lecture is over 🙂 Let’s move on to the good stuff…
Check out: Meal Prepping for Beginners
Tip #1. Start Early
Historically, I was never a morning person. I love sleep and the thought of not only getting up earlier but being active immediately after waking up used to sound absolutely crazy to me. But I tried it anyway. I did it for a while before I had my son when my husband and I were trying to lose weight for our wedding, and I discovered that it made my entire day so much better! Not to mention, I slept better at night.
Now, this was when I was still working so I had to get up and get ready for work anyway. As a stay at home mom, it’s tough to make yourself get up any earlier than you have to. If your little ones are still sleeping, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that and catch some extra zzzz’s? If you would have asked me this a few months ago, I would have said absolutely yes, but now that I have changed my ways, I can’t imagine going back.
One of the greatest discoveries I have made as a stay at home mom thus far, has been the fantastic benefits of becoming an early riser. Not only can I squeeze a workout in, I can get in a long peaceful shower, a nice cup of coffee and a head start on some daily tasks. What’s not to love?!
This one is for the stay at home moms. If you’re home with a little one all day, you know how precious nap times can be. I used to dedicate nap times to getting all of my other daily tasks done, leaving no room for a workout or a shower to follow. Nowadays, If I don’t get my workout in first thing in the morning, I make sure to squeeze one in during nap time, and here’s why…
When I am working out I like to be able to truly focus on the task at hand. I’m no expert but it seems to me that being highly focused on the exact muscle you are working or the intensity of your cardio seems to make the workout more effective. Which is precisely why I have found that it is much easier for me to complete other tasks when my little one is awake than it is to workout when he is awake.
Need to do dishes? Get out some Tupperware and let your little one go to town while you quickly clean up the kitchen. If you have a young enough kiddo, you could even strap on the baby carrier and get some chores done, baby in tow!
3. Lunch break
Whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom, a lunch break can be a great time to squeeze a workout in. When I was working, my coworker and I used to speedwalk around the business complex like a couple of old ladies. It was great! Not only did it give us a little cardio boost for the day, but it allowed us to vent about work in privacy and go back after our lunch break feeling a little less frustrated about the challenges of our morning.
As a stay at home mom, I love mealtimes. My son is in his high chair and happy! That means I can do something without chasing him around. Any time where I don’t have to chase him around is a relief these days. While he is eating, I can do some squats, pushups, crunches, you name it! Seeing as how it takes him approximately 4 hours to eat 3 pieces of food, I can fit my lunch in after my workout too.
4. Independent Play
My little guy only recently started playing independently and I am so thrilled that implemented an independent play schedule early on. Every morning after breakfast when my son is well rested and well fed (AKA Happy), I set up the play area and let him loose! He may cling to me for a couple minutes, so I’ll give him some love, but before I know it he’s off doing his own thing. I know that during this time, as long as I am nearby and he can see me, I can squeeze a workout in. If he needs some attention while I am in the middle of my workout, I try to make it into a game. Squats can turn into peek-a-boo, I can make silly faces every time I come up when doing crunches or I can do lunges around the parameter of his playpen while he follows along.
How to start independent play
If you’re looking to incorporate more independent play for your little ones, I’m no expert on this subject, but I can tell you what has worked for me. The key is routine. I started encouraging independent play at the same time every day sometime around my son’s first birthday. I would play with him for a few minutes and then once he was occupied, I would stay close but step aside and focus on something other than him.
At first, he would only play independently for a couple of minutes at a time, but eventually, he started to enjoy being on his own for a bit. I’ve noticed this is when he really explores new ideas. If I interrupt his exploration, he will often stop whatever new task he is attempting so I try to pretend I’m not looking when I notice him discovering how to put his
5. Make it a family affair
Another great option for adding fitness to your day is to include the whole family! Or at least whoever is around at the time. If you work during the day, you could do a family hike in the evening. If you are a stay at home mom, maybe you and your toddler can do some yoga together. Obviously, this makes the workout a little less structured which is a challenge for me, but if you are a go-with-the-flow type, this could be right up your alley!
6. Incorporate it into other daily tasks
When all else fails, combine your daily tasks with your workout. Need to cook dinner? No problem! While you’re waiting for the water to boil or the oven to preheat do some squats. On your way out the door to run errands? Grab the jogger stroller and walk/run to the store if you can. If you take your little one to the park on a regular basis, you could easily fit in a workout while you’re there. That is if it doesn’t bother you to workout in front of others. I know I would feel a little self-conscious doing that myself. At the very least, you could walk/run/bike to a park that is far enough away to provide a sufficient workout and then take a breather while you are there.
7. Use your resources
Are your parent’s begging to see their grandkids more? Bring them over and squeeze a workout in while they are there! If you have the funds to pay for a gym membership with childcare, by all means, do so! And if your only resource is your spouse, and you just can’t seem to squeeze a workout in during the day, see if they can be on baby duty for just 30 minutes a night so that you can get moving!
Are you ready to lose the baby weight? Take the Sane Momma 2018 Lose the Baby Weight Challenge – It’s free!
How do you squeeze a workout in your daily routine? Let me know in the comments!
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