As a busy mom, every second of your day is filled. With a to-do list as long as your arm and little ones that rely on you to do it all, time is crucially important. But often we sacrifice our own health and self-care in the pursuit of productivity.
But the truth is it doesn’t need to be a compromise. You don’t need to sacrifice your health and fitness as a busy mom, and similarly, you don’t need to dedicate all your time to staying fit.
This guide will show you how to easily find time in your busy to take care of your health and fitness. Even if you only have a couple of minutes to spare each day, these easy tips and tricks will work for you, keeping you fit, healthy and happy.
A day in the life of a busy mom
Of all the people on the planet, Moms truly know the meaning of the word busy. Every day is filled with tasks, chores, appointments, meetings and, if we’re lucky, just enough downtime for a 4-second power nap.
A poll conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 25% of women rated their stress levels as extreme, and it’s clear why…
As a busy mom, your day starts with your little ones lovingly waking you up at 5am. With no time to snooze, a hectic morning of getting yourself and your little one washed, dressed, fed and ready for the day begins in a frazzled rush.
Your day is then filled with grocery shopping, doctors appointments, play time with your little angels, cooking meals, all while trying to keep the house from looking like a war zone.
When the evening rolls around, we feel stressed and guilty for not getting our 8-foot long to-do list completed. We lie in bed, running through the never-ending list of things we need to get done, get very little restful sleep, then wake up the next morning to start all over again.
Can you relate?
We’re on a dangerous road to burn out and exhaustion. It’s time to stop, take a breath, and find a solution.
The vital benefits of fitness and exercise for busy moms
The idea of adding exercise to your already crammed day might sound ridiculous. But regular exercise actually gives you more energy, makes you feel happier and less stressed, and adds years to your life.
Not convinced? Here are the top reasons why exercise should be a priority in your busy schedule:
1. Reduces heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
Your little ones need you fit and healthy to be the best mom you can be. Regular exercise will reduce your risk of some major diseases.
2. Reduces stress
Regular exercise is the perfect way to blow off steam and let go of all the stress you’re storing in your muscles. Who doesn’t want to be a happy, relaxed mom for their little ones?
3. Promotes sleep and boosts energy
You’ll sleep better at night if you exercise regularly and have more energy to tackle busy days with ease.
4. Teaches your little ones good habits
The last thing we want is for our kids to see us stressed out and exhausted. Our mood significantly impacts theirs, so it’s important we are as happy and healthy as we can be. What’s more, our kids learn by mimicking our behaviors. If we can’t find the time to keep fit and healthy with good nutrition and exercise, they will follow in our exhausted footsteps. Instill some good habits in them by implementing a fun, easy fitness habit today.
The best part is to see the benefits of regular exercise, you don’t need to spend hours in the gym or go for hour-long runs around the neighborhood. A simple, quick routine is all you need to see the wonderful benefits.
Fast and efficient fitness exercise routines you can use anywhere, anytime
5-minute Tabata Training
The main excuse we hold onto when avoiding exercise is we don’t have enough time. But with this particular routine, all you need is 5 minutes to begin to feel incredible results.
Tabata training is also known as the ‘4-minute miracle fat burner’. You don’t need a gym, just a small space in your living room will do. Do this one while your little one is having a nap, or set your alarm for 5 minutes earlier and get it done first thing in the morning.
- 1 minute of burpees, followed by 10 seconds of rest
- 1 minute of squats, followed by 10 seconds of rest
- 1 minute of skipping, followed by 10 seconds of rest
- 1 minute of mountain climbers, followed by 10 seconds of rest
If you find this routine tough in the beginning, extend the rest period to give yourself time to catch your breath.
Busy mom 1-minute workout
This workout was created by fitness guru Jillian Michaels. Her slightly terrifying but motivating mission is to help busy women get in shape. She created a simple, 1-minute high-intensity workout that’s quick enough for any busy mom’s schedule.
- 10 seconds of Jump jack squat
- 10 seconds of skaters
- 10 seconds of squat jacks
- 10 seconds of surfer get ups
- 10 seconds of Everest climbers
- 10 seconds of lateral burpees
If you’re unfamiliar with these exercises (we definitely were), you can follow along with Jillian on her app. She has a huge variety of similar workouts to help you keep things interesting.
This is a short workout but packs a punch! If you spend a few minutes a day scrolling through Instagram, you definitely have time to fit this workout in.
Short bursts of activity
If you simply find it impossible to dedicate time to an exercise routine every day, Working Mother has a unique solution.
Instead of doing a dedicated exercise routine, commit to upping your overall activity throughout the day in short bursts of movement.
Here are some examples to get more exercise during a busy working day:
- When you’re on the phone, walk around or do squats, leg lifts or toe raises.
- Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth.
- Power walk around the park while your little one is playing.
- Park further away from the grocery store and walk a little further.
The more you get moving while doing your everyday tasks, the more of a habit it will become. You’ll be amazed at the difference to your energy you’ll feel by squeezing in short bursts of activity throughout your busy day.
Make it a fun mission to find innovative ways you can add extra movement to your usual daily activities. And yes, we support you dancing around the grocery store!
5-Minute HIIT training
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and focuses on short workouts with repetitions of high-intensity exercises.
Rob Fletcher, the creator of America’s Next Great Trainer, says you can burn 20 calories a minute using HIIT and the afterburn effect lasts for up to 48 hours. So although these short workouts are tough, you continue burning calories long after you finish.
Here’s one of Rob’s 6-minute weight loss HIIT workouts:
- 1 minute of running in place
- 15 seconds rest
- 1 minute of jumping jacks
- 15 seconds rest
- 1 minute of burpees
- 15 seconds rest
- 1 minute of push-ups
- 15 seconds rest
- 1 minute of mountain climbers
If you find the workout too tough in the beginning, extend the rest period between exercises and build your way up. The main aim to get through the entire circuit, so slow it down and extend rest periods as needed.
Want more quick workout routine ideas? Check these super fast exercises that you can use right now.
10 fitness tips and tricks
Don’t think of ‘getting fit’ as a chore on your to-do list. Instead, think of it as a new, healthier way of living that’s going to improve your quality of life with your kids. Here are some easy tips and tricks to help you get started and stay on track:
Get your little ones involved
Getting your kids excited about exercise is a great way to stop it feeling like a chore. Get them to do some star jumps and squats alongside you. Race them across the park. Teach them how to do push-ups. The more you can make fitness fun and enjoyable, the more likely you are to keep it up. Plus, your kids will learn some great habits to carry into adulthood.
Make chores fun
Chores are a perfect way to get in some exercise. Vacuuming, polishing, scrubbing the bathroom and sweeping are all high-cardio and will help you burn calories. Again, get your kids involved and turn chores into a fun game. You’ll get some exercise in while keeping the house clean and tidy – that’s a win-win!
Find something you love
If you loathe running and it fills you with dread, don’t even try to make it part of your routine. If you force yourself to do a routine you hate, you won’t keep it up in the long run. Instead, find something you love. Maybe it’s walking around the park, doing a morning Yoga routine, or doing a fun workout with your little ones. If you enjoy your exercise you’ll look forward to it, rather than seeing it as another chore on your list.
Start with just 1 minute a day
Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you don’t exercise now and you decide to commit to an hour-long fitness routine every day, you’re going to burn out fast. Instead, start with just 1 minute a day. Wake up and do 10 squats, or walk the dog a little faster to build up a sweat. Small changes make the biggest impact and are sustainable to build on.
Add time to your day
Give yourself a little me-time in the morning by waking up 15 minutes earlier than usual. It might seem impossible at first, but once you’ve done it for a week, you won’t notice the difference. Plus, beginning your day with just a few minutes of quiet time where you can focus on yourself and your fitness will set you up for a positive day.
As well as finding time for exercise, improving your eating habits is a big part of your overall fitness. The best way to stick to healthy options when you’re a busy mom is to meal prep. On a Sunday, batch-cook some chicken for the week and chop up a big bowl of salad. Maybe boil a week’s worth of eggs as a snack or chop up some celery ready to have with dip. Having these easy options sitting in the fridge will help you make healthy choices when you’re feeling the exhaustion mid-week.
Drink more water
This is an incredibly easy way to improve your fitness with minimal effort. Did you know the minute you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Staying hydrated is a vital part of fitness, so upping your water intake is an easy way to improve your overall health. Get yourself a large water bottle and get into the habit of sipping throughout the day.
Lack of motivation is a sure-fire way to avoid prioritizing your fitness. So find some motivation to keep you on track! Think about sticking a motivational quote or picture on your bathroom mirror so you see it every morning. Or find a positive affirmation you can recite each morning to get you in the right frame of mind. Do what you can to keep yourself motivated on those tough days.
Do it your way
Just because Lisa across the street goes to 4 fitness classes a week and runs every morning, doesn’t mean you should feel guilty because you don’t. Fitness is completely individual and unique to you – do it your way. If all you have time for right now is 5 squats when you roll out of bed, start there. Don’t compare yourself to others, just be you.
Give yourself a break
Some days, it’s all you can do to keep your children fed and alive. And that’s ok, no one is perfect, no matter how many perfect looking pictures you see on Instagram. Some days you won’t have the time to exercise and you might reach for the takeout menu rather than a healthy salad. Give yourself a break. Put that day behind you and wake up fresh and ready to make better choices the next day.
Need some more inspiration and ideas? Check this awesome guide here.
Bonus: 80 top working moms blogs you should follow
If you’re feeling burned out, stressed, or overwhelmed as a busy mom, this bonus is for you. This extensive list of working mom blogs is packed with tips, tricks, and advice to help you navigate life as a busy mom. Find the best resources on health, fitness, life balance, organization and so many other helpful topics, plus some great community to connect with other like-minded busy moms.