Are You A Busy Mom? Fitting Exercise Into Your Routine Can Be Tough — Here's How To Make It A Priority

Apr. 14 2021, Updated 4:56 p.m. ET

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Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside of the home, there is no "off" switch in your day. So, how do you find the time to exercise

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Don't fret: you are not the only one trying to figure this out. One article from Parents features five moms struggling to fit some form of exercise into their days, and if you Google "how to find time to workout as a busy mom," you will find numerous articles and videos on the subject. 

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If it's so hard to figure out how to exercise as a mom, why should you even worry about it? Salma Dinane, in an article for YMC, explains that she doesn't know about anyone else, but exercise makes her "a better mom." In her article, she lists nine ways exercise benefits her, including that it gives her more patience, motivation and energy — and it even helps her manage her depression.

Exercise is important for anyone, including moms, but it's time to get down to the nuts and bolts. How do you actually take a breather from your kiddos?

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Exercise During The Day

Moms are often sleep deprived. Just the thought of waking up early is enough to keep you from ever working out. But what if the answer isn't to wake up early, but to find a time within your day for fitness? 

One mom who works outside the home, Eliza Belle, explained in this Parents article that she sets aside a short amount of time in the middle of her work day to climb the stairs or do push-ups. That way, when she gets home, she can focus entirely on her kids while also knowing she took care of her body.

If you are a stay-at-home mom, how do you fit workouts into the middle of your day? One way is to keep your fitness regimen short— finding one whole hour to workout might be hard, but doing 15-20 minutes of cardio when the kids are busy, happy or napping might work. Another idea is inviting your kids to join you in the workout, or better yet, if they're toddlers, use them as weights!

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Find Other Moms To Workout With

Another mom in the Parents article, Charne Green, said that joining a group of Stroller Strong Moms and meeting up with them several times a week to exercise allowed her to work on her fitness routine. She takes her kids along, either to ride in the stroller or to play with other kids at the playground afterwards. She explains that “finding moms with similar goals helps you hold each other accountable.” 

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Spend Time With Your Kids First

This tip will have moms everywhere nodding their heads. Every mom knows that if you spend time with your children, filling their emotional cups and needs for attention, you will reap rewards. You can do this by getting on the floor with your children and playing with their toys, or by going on a walk with them, or even simply eating breakfast together and telling jokes and stories.

One of those rewards is that your kids will be happier and more willing to play by themselves for a time while you exercise. Alena Gerst told Parents one of her top tips for fitting in exercise as a mom was to "be with the kids first." 

"I try to get on the treadmill after we’ve spent a lot of time together. That way they’re less likely to come looking for my attention," she explained. Here, too, short workouts are key.

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Pick Any Two lists 20 reasons moms ought to work out. Number nine on the list really stands out — "To show our body the respect we know deep down it deserves." Choosing to take time to care for your body shows that you value yourself. At the end of the day, isn't that reason enough to get creative and find a way to move your body?

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