Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm a busy mom! How can I find time to exercise?

You're busy.  I understand - I'm busy too.  I have three young children, an adult dog, a puppy coming home next weekend, activities every day of the week.  Let's not forget the part time job, work-from-home job and teaching.  Oh, did I mention I am starting an at home, 11 month nutritional study/Health Coach certification program this week?  How can we find time to fit exercise into our schedules when we have so much going on every day?

We've heard it before.  "Take the stairs instead of the escalator/elevator."  "Park further away from the store entrance."  But, how many of us really do that at each opportunity?  I will admit I don't always, but I should.  When I take the stairs, my heart rate accelerates.  That's a good thing!

Here are some other things we can do to increase our heart rate and burn a few more calories in our day:
  • When bringing in groceries, carry one, maybe two bags at a time.  Don't be Super Mom and carry 8 bags at once.  Yes, it's nice to get them all into the house in one trip, but 4 trips will get your heart pumping a bit faster.
  • Do you fold your laundry on another level of your house - or even down the hall from the bedrooms?  When you're putting clothes away after folding, take one pile at a time to whichever room those clothes belong in, and why not make a lot of piles so that you can take a few more trips?
  • Do you work during the day?  Get a short workout done during your lunch break.  Walk around the perimeter of your office several times.  Wave and smile at the folks siting at their desks as you stride by - and you never know, a few people might join you next time (how's that for paying it forward?) Walk outside if the weather is nice or take fifteen minutes to walk the stairs in the stairwell.  You can keep a pair of socks & sneakers under your desk or bring them in a bag each day.
  • When you take your kids to the pool, instead of sitting on the chair reading a book, how about playing in the water too?  Throw a water ball back & forth, help your children swim, let them jump into the pool while you catch them and help them swim back towards the ladder.  Better yet, have a jumping contest with them!
  • Go for a walk after dinner.  If your kids run, run with them or jog along side them while they ride their bikes.  Bring the dog, make it a family event.  What a great example to set for your children.
  • When cleaning the house, put on some fun music and dance or bop around while cleaning.  Sounds silly, I know, but have you tried it?  You can't help but smile.  So, now you're not only exercising a bit, but you're in a great mood as well - that's a two-fer right there.
  • While watching your favorite TV show, do jumping jacks or push ups (modified on your knees if need be) during the commercials instead of skipping them with your DVR.  How many can you do in an hour-long show?
  • Walk briskly.  My husband walks like he's got a fire under him.  I used to joke "get out of the way before Daddy runs you over".  I often say that he walks with purpose.  Quite honestly though, he's burning more calories when he's walking around than I am.  I need to pick up my pace, even if just around the house.
  • Exercise in ten minute intervals a few times a day.  Fit it in when you can.  Push ups, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, standing crunches, leg lifts, bicep curls and many other exercises can be done in intervals or sets throughout the day if need be.
Don't wait for exercise to find you when you have a busy day.  Add it as a task on your to do list.  Make it mandatory, as if it's a requirement for your job.  Find the time, make it fun.  If getting it done first thing in the morning is the only way you can ensure to do it, then wake up half an hour earlier.  If waiting until the evening is better, make sure you set aside that time and don't do anything else until your workout is completed.

Last week I met some friends at a park playdate for our children.  While pushing my girls on the swings, I did squats, push ups and lunges.  I spaced them out and did sets when I had a few minutes.  A man walking his dog called out "Nice form!"  It might not be the ideal setting for a brief workout and it might look strange to passersby, but that's how I fit it in when I have a busy day ahead of me.  You can do it too.  I'm here to support and motivate, so don't hesitate to comment or email me.  Now, get to it!


  1. Another good one for folding laundry is to put the laundry basket on the floor. Squat and hold it while you pull out an item fold it, rise up and put it on the bed. It gets trickier as the basket gets empty, because you have to squat lower to reach the clothes!!! Sounds easy at first, but do this for all your loads of laundry each week and you'll like your progress.

  2. That's a GREAT tip Stacey!!! Thanks so much for sharing! :o)


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