4 Tips For Working Out When You Don’t Have Time To Work Out

I know so many moms who gave up on working out after having babies because they didn’t think they had time for it.  But you don’t have to give up! If you make the mental commitment – and follow these tips – you can squeeze a workout into your busy working mom life.  

  1. Make working out like brushing your teeth: a habit. Pick a time that you can commit to – before work, during lunch, or before bed – and stick to it.  You have enough to worry about; make your workout a no-brainer. I squeeze in my workout around 6-6:30 am. (Almost) Every. Single. Weekday. (On weekends, I actually have time to take a class outside the house).  No brainer. Wake up and get it done.

  2. Pick an efficient workout, like HIIT.  HIIT means High Intensity Interval Training.  Basically, you alternate short bursts of high intensity workout with breaks. Yes, you get to rest and get a great workout, and, if you do it right, you can get a sweat on in as little as 10 minutes.  My favorite HIIT workout for the weekend is Shred415. (Orange Theory is another example of a HIIT workout class). During the week, when I have to squeeze in my workout at home, I do interval runs on the treadmill (alternating bursts of speed with walk breaks) and some floor work like push-ups, planks, burpees, and squats.  When you are a busy mama, efficiency is key!

  3. Consider working out at home.  If you don’t have the equipment or space for a home gym, don’t worry.  A simple jump rope works great for cardio bursts. You can also do burpees, speed skaters, and squat or lunge jumps to get up your heart rate.  For strength training, push-ups, tricep dips, squats, lunges, and wall-sits are some of my go-to’s. There are endless possibilities for simple yet effective at-home workouts.  And, when working out at home, you have literally no excuses, like weather, finding a sitter, finding your keys, or making yourself presentable. Just roll out of bed, have a few sips of coffee (or water), and get to it.  There are also a lot of apps that will guide you through the workout of your choice (like Peleton, Nike (free!), and Sweat). You can even incorporate your baby into your workout.

  4. Lose the guilt.  Too often we feel like we need to spend every single non-working waking moment with our kids.  But, to be the best mom you can be, you also need to attend to your physical and mental health.  Working out is key to my physical and emotional well-being. Regular exercise can be your therapy, religion, hobby -- everything  -- if you make it a priority. Just don’t let your kids (or your partner) make you feel bad for taking a little time for yourself.  Even 20 minutes a day (if you do it right) can make a huge difference in your physical and emotional health.

So, no more excuses; make the commitment to yourself and create a program that you can execute on a daily basis.  Just like brushing your teeth.