Exercise and the Busy Mom


A mom exercising with her young son. Finding the time to fit exercise into the busy mom lifestyle can be extremely challenging. Wait, no… MAKING the time. Because we all know time is not magically “found.” We don’t casually walk down the street, look down and find an extra hour in our day as we would maybe look down and “find” a dirty penny between two cracks in the sidewalk.

We make the time. We get in our groove, but the inevitable happens. Someone (or everyone) in the family gets sick, work suddenly picks up, or we go on vacation, and all our motivation gets thrown out the window.

Does this sound familiar? It’s happened to me many times, and I’m sure it has happened to you too. Therefore, I’d like to share some out-of-the-box ideas I’ve used to make time in my day. This has, in turn, kept me consistent in moving my body over the last several years.

1. The 5 a.m. workout.

This is not the most popular option, but some people do this! They get up in the wee hours of the morning before everyone rises, and they get their exercise in. In all honesty, this is 100% NOT me. And that may not be you, either. But I swear I’ve heard it works for some people. Power to you, my friends! (Insert fist bump emoji here).

2. Physically schedule your day hour by hour and see if there are any holes in your day.

Oh, you have nothing going on from 11-12 today? Do you see a window of opportunity tomorrow around 3 p.m.? Then, pop in a workout video with your baby, watching you sweat to the oldies or go outside for a stroller walk or run.

3. Get your children involved or exercise while they are awake!

Having them witness you moving your body and caring for yourself can benefit their health too. It’s fun to do something active with the whole family. 

Be prepared for multiple interruptions with this one, and make peace with that before you exercise, which will save you from getting frustrated at your little barnacle for trying to attach themselves to your leg while you try to clip into your bike. I’ve been on the exercise bike before and have had to cut it short because my baby was crying in the glider beside me. I would often give my baby his bottle while I was on the bike or have him in the Pack-and-Play next to me. I have fond memories of intensely pedaling and tossing cheerios or toys into the Pack-and-Play to get another minute or two into my workout!

An added bonus is pushups while a 20lb toddler climbs on your back. This most certainly is a great way to tone up your arms!

4. Figure out your partner’s schedule and get them involved in staying active.

For instance, if I head out to run at 9 a.m., my husband is in charge of the kiddos. Then, when I get home, I cool down and stretch while he goes off to do his workout. It’s a win-win for both.

5. Utilize the daycare center or babysitting service at the gym.

One perk may be a gym daycare option if you are paying for a gym membership. If that’s the case, you can bring the littles along with you. They have fun in the playroom, and you get your adrenaline fix on the bike or lifting weights.

6. Workout in the evening.

If you are a mom to young kids, you are probably familiar with an early bedtime. My kids are either in bed or winding down around 7 p.m. If I cannot get my activity in earlier in the day, sometimes I opt for a later (and usually shorter) workout session at home. This makes me feel like I was still productive, but it doesn’t necessarily cut into my quiet evening and the winding down I enjoy before bedtime.

7. Find a stroller exercise group or get a group of ladies together.

At our local park, we have a woman who comes to teach classes and always incorporates a stroller into the exercises.

8. Partner up with another mom to share childcare duties.

If working out with your child seems utterly insane to you (oh, and it can be!), you could reach out to a friend. Try alternating childcare. One day you watch her kids while she works out, and the next, she helps you out.

I hope these out-of-the-box and somewhat unconventional ideas help you achieve your exercise and movement goals.

What was your favorite idea? I’d love to know in the comments.

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Catherine lives in the Crestwood section of Yonkers. She and her husband moved there in 2015 from the Bronx shortly after they married to start their family. Catherine is the mom to three boys, making her well-versed in anything baseball, dinosaur, or car-related. Before kids, Catherine studied at Pace University to become a Registered Nurse. Catherine has worked in several hospital settings over the past decade and now finds herself in the next phase of life, returning to work full-time since all her kids are in school. When she is not working or spending time with her family, she can be found out for a run or painting and refinishing furniture in her home. Catherine even has a fun Instagram account - @thefurniture_rn. Navigating life as a boy mom has presented many joys, challenges, and laughs! She looks forward to connecting with you and sharing her experiences.