Fitting in time to exercise for anyone is a struggle. For busy moms with young kids, it may seem near impossible. You barely have time to go to the bathroom by yourself, how are you supposed to carve out time to exercise? Listen, it’s not easy (nothing good ever is) but, the result will far outweigh the work. Here are 8 workout tips for the busy mom:
1. Get It Done Early
Schedule your workout early, preferably before the kids wake up. We all know, as a busy mom, things rarely go as planned. Finding time to fit in a quick workout before the kids rise ensures your workout is done for the day in case unexpected issues come up (which they will). You will also find other benefits of an early workout as an early workout is a mood booster which will give you more patience and enthusiasm to take on the day.
2. Make A Plan
You’ve found the motivation to exercise. . . now what? Write out your exercise plan in advance the day before. This way you don’t waste valuable time figuring out what you’re going to do that day and you can get right to attacking it.
To get the most ‘bang for your buck’ be sure to focus on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style so you can build lean muscle and burn fat at the same time. AMRAP’s (As Many Rounds as Possible) are perfect for doing just that! Here’s how to take on AMRAP’s:
- Choose four different exercises that incorporate total body and cardio. Bodyweight only exercises are great to start with then add dumbbells as you progress.
- Set your individual exercise time goal. A good time example would be 40 seconds of work then 20 seconds of rest per exercise.
- Set your total time goal. How long do you have to work out? If you have 30 minutes then you’ll repeat the above until you’ve reached 30 minutes.
3. Make It A Team Effort
Planning on a nap time workout but instead finding yourself in the middle of “no nap day?” Avoid using your kids as an excuse to skip a workout and include them instead! If they are old enough to join in, try creating an obstacle course with resistance bands or a BOSU ball. Alternatively, encourage the kids to cheer for Mommy every time she completes a set. You’ll be amazed at how much fun they’ll have at the same time. Even more important, watching Mommy become strong is a great example! If they are too young to take part, remember that push ups and squats can be done from anywhere!
4. Get Outdoors
Grab the stroller, pack a few snacks and drinks for the kids and go for a walk or jog. Consider increasing your intensity by adding some squats, lunges, or bench push-ups every block or every other light post.
5. Split It Up
Can’t seem to find more than a few minutes at a time? No problem! Split up your workout throughout the day. Pick two exercises and challenge yourself to get in 100 reps of each before the end of the day. Do as many as you can before you need to move on to the next task at hand.
6. Create A Reward System
As a last resort, when all else fails, I say there’s nothing wrong with a little bribery! Let them know that if they let Mommy have a few minutes to exercise, there will be a fun reward for them at the end. It’s a WIN-WIN for both of you!
7. Find A Partner In Crime
Having an accountability partner will get you through those days that you “just don’t feel like it.” Set reminders for daily check-ins with a friend and make sure you are both staying on track. Even consider creating group challenges you both attempt to conquer each day.
8. Celebrate The Victories
Some days you might feel like a superhero because everything went your way. You got your planned workout in, the kids took naps, and you had a healthy day of eating. There will also be days that life happens. There will be sick days and tantrums. Fit in whatever exercise you can that day. Give yourself a high-five and celebrate each day as a victory. Know that you did the best you could!
At the end of the day, you are exercising and eating healthy to be the best version of you. Consistent exercise and healthy living allow you the energy to run around with your kids, be there for them, and motivate them to do the same when they get older.
1. Squat Curl Shoulder Press
Stand with legs wider than shoulder width, toes pointed slightly out. As you squat down extend arms all the way down, palms out. As you stand up curl arms and slowly transition into a shoulder press.
2. Dumbbell Pull Through
Start in straight arm plank position with one weight placed outside your right arm. Using your left arm reach under the right arm, pick up the weight and move it outside where left arm started. Repeat with right arm.
3. Lateral Lunges with Press
Holding one weight at your chest, stand with legs wider than shoulder width, toes pointed slightly out. Laterally lunge to the right side, keeping the knee behind the toes. As you lunge, push the weight from your chest directly out in front of you at shoulder height. As you come back to center bring weight back to chest. Repeat on left side.
4. Half Burpee Punch
Stand with legs shoulder width apart, in a squat position, keeping knees behind the toes. Holding a weight in each hand, punch across the body two times at shoulder height. Quickly drop into a straight arm plank position with weights still in hands. Jump feet back to hands position, stand up and repeat.
5. Reverse Lunge Twist
Start with feet together, holding one weight at chest height. Step back with left foot into a reverse lunge. As you step back, rotate to the right (same direction as front foot). Return to center and repeat on left side.
About Jenn Labonte
Jenn Labonte is a full-time Marketing Director and certified personal trainer, certified group fitness instructor, certified boot camp instructor, and Peloton enthusiast. She lives in Ormond Beach with her husband and son, age 15 (daughter, age 19 is attending Kennesaw State). For more fitness and health tips, workout plans, uplifting accountability and motivation, follow @JENNLABFIT on Instagram or Facebook.
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