How to make Time to Exercise when you are a Mom

We all know exercise is important, but if you are a mom you may struggle to fit it in. How can you make time to exercise when you are a mom?



It might feel impossible, but it isn’t! What it does require is a little bit of creativity and planning.

For a long time I’ve been what you might call an “on-again, off-again” exerciser. I’ll exercise for awhile, and then life gets in he way and I put it on the backburner.

But the older I get, the more I can’t function well without my daily exercise.

I think the first thing that helps us make exercise a priority is realizing it’s not a luxury, but a necessity for many of us. I can’t be the best mom I can be if I don’t feel great, and I don’t feel great if I don’t exercise.

That way of thinking has helped me with feeling guilty about exercising. It seems silly that any of us would feel guilty for working out, but mom guilt is a real thing and any time we take time away from our family and for ourselves it’s easy to feel selfish.

But, it isn’t selfish to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. It’s actually a wise thing to do.

What I have found is that I tend to get more done on the days I exercise than when I don’t. It’s because I have more energy and motivation, can focus more on the task at hand, and don’t get easily distracted.


It’s no easy feat, and it isn’t just moms.  Both moms and Dads alike can struggle.  Exercise is so important, so what can we do?

Life is busy, so how as moms can we fit in exercise to our daily routine? Depending on the phase of life, I’ve discovered different tricks that have worked in that season or me. So I’m going to share them with you in the off chance they might help you.


Exercise in 15 minute increments

When the kids were really small and needed me all the time and often at the drop of a dime, I’d exercise in 15 minute increments, multiple times a day. The kids could often entertain themselves for 15 minutes at a tim, but would never make it an hour.

During this time my daily attire was yoga pants and a tank top. I’d put my running shoes on when I woke up. This allowed me to jump on my treadmill at any time during the day without having to get ready. There was no tim for that!

Exercise during nap time

Another time you can use to exercise is nap time if you have little ones that sleep. This will give you a consistent time every day to get your workout in. 

I know they always say to nap when the baby naps, but let’s be real, we’d get nothing done if we did that.  There were times I DID nap when the baby napped, but it was few and far between.  Surprisingly, exercise can give you that same energy boost that a nap would, maybe even better!

Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day

I’ve always struggled to get an hour of exercise in a day with kids. Even now, as my kids are older, there’s just too much to do it homeschooling and extra-curriculars, getting an hour in feels impossible.

I used to get really frustrated with that until I realized that 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is still 150 minutes a week of exercise which is the recommended amount.

But even if you don’t have 30 minutes, do 15 minutes.  Build up the consistency and eventually when the seasons in your life change you will probably have more time to exercise and it will be easy to stick to because you’ve already developed the habit.

One day when the kids move on I’ll have more time to get an hour workout in, but for now, 30 minutes is extremely beneficial and it’s what works for my schedule.  I remember a time I couldn’t even get 30 minutes in, so I’ll gladly accept that a half hour is all I can do right now.

Exercise with the kids

Maybe there really isn’t any time in your day to leave the kids to their own devices and do your own thing. Why not exercise with them?

Go outside with them and take a walk, or have them do your Pilates or yoga workout with you. It could be an excellent way to bond with them!

Do a workout 3 days a week

If your schedule is so busy getting a Daly workout in seems impossible, aim for three days a week. Pick the days that are a little less busy. Remember, something is always better than nothing. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach.

Exercise in the early morning

You don’t have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to exercise but it’s best to do in the morning sometime.

Why? Because as the day goes on you’ll find it harder to fit it in. Your to-do list will take over and more than likely you’ll find the first thing you let go is any personal time you have for yourself which includes your exercise time.

Plan a workout in the morning and you will probably find you will be more consistent.

Do a workout at home, not the gym

Going to the gym is awesome, but it’s going to take extra time.  Driving to the gym will take precious minutes from your day that you may not have.  In this season of life consider exercising at home.  You’ll save on travel time.  There’s tons of exercise videos on Youtube and so you’ll find no shortage of routines to follow.  I personally love the HASFIT channel, as well as Jessica Valante Pilates.

If exercise videos aren’t your thing, you can purchase some weights or a treadmill or both.  It’s definitely worth the money and you really don’t need a treadmill with all the bells and whistles.  As long as you can walk and run on it, it’ll help you get into shape!


I know there’s times in my life where I thought, “forget it, I’ll just go back to exercising when my kids move out!”  But let’s be honest, that’s a really long time to not feel our best.

And there really is a way to always get in SOME exercise, even if it isn’t to the level we’d rather be able to workout to.  Remember, some movement is ALWAYS better than no movement. 

Whether it’s walking to the store, dancing in the living room with the kids, or running up and down your stairs a few times, there’ always something you can do.


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