How to Find Time to Workout as a Working Mom

A mom laying down on a yoga mat, performing an ab exercise as part of her fitness plan built by her personal trainer

Finding time to work out and stay on top of your health is a challenge for working Moms, even on the best of days — I get it!

I also know that adopting some form of movement practice is possible for every Mom with the right approach and understanding.

With your super busy schedule, it may feel like the barrier to entry is overwhelming. But there are ways to make it happen. It might mean you need to seek out a coach or find a community for support. It might mean you find other Moms with similar goals that become your friends. Or it could mean that you research how to do this on your own.

Find Your “Why” then Work on the “How”

To make exercise a part of your busy Mom life, start by asking yourself why.

For me, the value of movement trickles into every positive part of my existence. Everything good in my life flows from my ability to stick to a regular fitness routine. And I mean everything from my attitude, moods, energy, and ability to be a good family member. My “why” becomes the positive effect that fitness has on my entire life.

Moving and connecting to my body brings me back to a state of homeostasis, so on a certain level, for me, it really is that simple to make time to work out. This has been the main ingredient to finding ways to make time for fitness when it hasn’t seemed possible.

Choose Movement that You (& Your Kids) Love

Here’s a hint to help busy Moms find fitness motivation: Find something you love and use your quick workout as a way to give back to yourself.

Exercising in a way that feels good will keep you engaged and increase the chances that you’ll carve out the time to move your body. Here are some lovely ways to fill your soul cup and solidify your fitness habits:

  • Make it social — Find ways to connect with other working Moms or friends with children. 
  • A learning experience — Use it as a way to learn something new for you and your little ones. 
  • Nature bath — Get outside for your fitness by taking your kids for a mellow hike or going solo.
  • Have a party — Put on your favourite tunes and dance while you fold laundry, take a coffee break, or mow the lawn. Multi-task and crush your fitness goals.
  • Incorporate it into your lifestyle — Can you start commuting to the office on your bike without messing up your schedule? Start with one day a week and see how you feel.
A woman running outdoors on a pathway trying to lead a healthy, active lifestyle

Have a Goal in Mind

Your goal doesn’t have to be a race or something massive. It can be as simple as, “I want to be able to do one pull-up or 10 push-ups in a month from now.” With these small but reachable goals, you can easily adapt your schedule to work towards them. Even with a full-time job, you can carve out 20 or 30 minutes of physical activity. 

It’s not uncommon to second guess our abilities as Moms, given that we are always trudging through new territory. Challenging my body and pushing my comfort zone is always a great reminder of what I am capable of. Getting stronger and pushing boundaries is something that I can always come back to. It helps me feel more in control when, let’s be honest, our kids have this beautiful ability to do the complete opposite. So to reach your goals, you’ll need to build a strategy with two criteria.

  • Block out the time. 
  • Plan ahead and be willing to adapt. 

Juggling a household and raising kids means you will forever be pulled in a million different directions. Unless you set the time aside in a calendar, something “more important” pops up: the kids get sick, the dishwasher is leaking, rides to playdates, helping with homework, being the referee between siblings, work interruptions. This list is all too familiar. 

Block off the time, commit, and adjust accordingly. Of course, things will come up, but if you keep reminding yourself that your fitness is necessary enough, you’ll make it happen.

Stick to Your Strategy

So, how can you take one small step today that will lead to completing that first pull-up one month from now?

Think of it less like accomplishing a pull-up and more about how it will help your Mom life. This way, building a strategy gives you something to keep in mind that I care about. Maybe the pull-up itself doesn’t mean much, but by crushing that goal, you become a stronger mother who can keep up with your kids both mentally and physically.

If you look at the bigger picture and visualize how you want to feel, you’ll be invested in chasing that result day in and day out, sticking to your strategy. And when time is the most significant barrier, check out this infographic for a few other tricks: 

10 Tips to Stay Fit When You Have a Busy Schedule

1. Work out before the day gets away from you. Get up before everyone else and get it out of the way before other things come into play.

2. Have a plan for how you’ll sweat. Write it down. Bookmark some short exercise videos on YouTube. Know where, when, and how you’ll make it happen.

3. Designate a place for fitness in your home. Store all your equipment in one place (like the living room or your basement) to save time and simplify.

4. Dress for success. Wearing active leisure clothes makes moving easy, no matter where you are. So wear clothing that allows you to move at any time. Plus, putting on your workout clothes often helps boost motivation to actually do the exercises.

5. Break it up. Fit in 10 minutes here and there whenever you can. For example, while folding laundry and tidying up, you can do squats, push-ups, or sit-ups between tasks. A few minutes can go a long way!

6. Include your kids. Get on the floor with your little ones and play with them. Or challenge your older ones and get everyone involved.

7. Make the jungle gym your boot camp. A jungle gym or playground can easily become an adult’s makeshift gym. How much fun!

8. Keep it spicy. Make it fun! Switch it up by trying new exercises or pumping up the music to get your heart rate going. 

9. Make the most of your time. Instead of spending 10 minutes scrolling Facebook, use that time to squeeze in a mini workout. 

10. Make it worth it. When all you have is 30 minutes at the gym, give it all you’ve got—you know how precious your time is!

Fitness You Can Hit Anywhere

Don’t know where to start with your movement today? Here’s a quick bodyweight AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workout. Set a timer for 21 minutes and move through the series below as many times as you can with the most intentional reps. 

  1. Push-up + squat + sit-up
  2. 7 x push-up
  3. 14 x air squat
  4. 21 x sit-up
  5. 14 x lateral lunges on the right
  6. 14 x lateral lunges on the left

You’ve got this!

What Did We Learn?

When you understand your intentions and reason for wanting to get in shape, sticking to a workout program and doing it on the tough days makes it more likely to happen. Think of it like getting your baby to sleep at night or encouraging your teen to build good habits—you know that having a regular routine and schedule can help make that happen.

Approaching fitness with intent and purpose is empowering. If you want to feel good, have energy, and be able to contribute to your family and life goals, exercising and taking care of yourself will allow you to do everything better. It has for me.
If you need some motivation from our expert trainers, we’re always here to help. Get in touch with EverFlex’s personal trainers in Calgary and schedule fitness into your busy Mom calendar!

Michelle Nichol

Personal Trainer

Michelle Nichol

Michelle practices holistic fitness — and nothing is off-limits. She’s an adventure-seeking yogi who’s always looking to push the edge and explore boundaries. When you train with Michelle, be prepared to step away from your comfort zone and learn to cultivate awareness of your body and mind. Michelle’s training focus is constantly expanding. She offers kettlebell skills development, bodyweight exercises, gymnastic skill training, yoga, mobility, nutrition coaching, and recovery. She’s a fashion lover, a nutritious food enthusiast, and a proud wifey and mama to twins.

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