Mom exercising with baby

Tips to squeeze a sweat sesh into your busy schedule

Whether you work full-time or part-time, in a cubicle or at home, leaving work and going straight into mom-duty is no easy feat. You give 110% to your family and job, and because of that, you’ve probably faced the same obstacle that most working moms do: finding the time (and energy) to work out.

Seriously, how do you find time to exercise with kids? The key is getting creative with your schedule and keeping your workouts attainable. If that means doing squats while you brush your teeth, lunges as you fold laundry or incorporating some desk exercises into your work schedule, so be it. To establish and maintain an exercise routine, you have to start small. And by small we mean two sessions per week if that’s what works for you––change the internal narrative from “I didn’t exercise enough” to “I made it happen, and I’m on my way.”

Keep in mind that while being able to slip back into your pre-pregnancy jeans is an amazing feeling, the benefits of regular exercise are more than just weight loss. Working out can improve your mood, boost your energy levels and promote better sleep. (Newsflash: sleep deprivation is real). Use these tips to sneak a busy mom workout into your routine.

Workout at Home

At-home workouts are all the rage––just scroll through Instagram and you’ll see tons of super-fit trainers using chairs and pillows instead of benches and cables! In today’s digital age, it’s never been easier to find a quick workout you can do in your living room.

One of our favorite Instagram fitness queens is Dana Landgren, a personal trainer who specializes in women’s health and fitness. All of her workouts can be done at home with minimal equipment, and she offers pregnancy and diastasis recti modifications.

Sweat at Your Desk

We were serious about those desk exercises. Depending on how busy your office is (and how comfortable you are), there are a lot of simple and effective exercises you can do. From lunges to tricep dips off of your chair, get a great office workout without having to leave your desk.

If you’d prefer to be more discreet, try to work in some calf raises or “leg planks” under your desk. To do a leg plank, lift your legs off the floor and hold them in the air straight out in front of you for 30 seconds. It might sound easy, but once you engage your lower abs you’ll really feel the burn. At the very least, squeeze that tush to work your glutes while you sit.

Block Out Your Calendar

Before you get pulled into another meeting, block off 20–30 minutes on your calendar as “Busy.” Use this time to take a walk, get the blood flowing and clear your head. It’s hard to sit still and be productive for eight hours straight, and taking a few minutes for yourself to get outside will help you come back to your project with fresh eyes.

Take your meetings outside. If you have a regular check-in meeting, suggest heading to a local coffee shop or a spin around the block as opposed to your conference room. It is a great way to get out of the office, connect with your team and add a few extra steps into your day. Even if you’re only walking for ten minutes, getting up and moving is better than nothing!

Plan a Gym Date Night

It might not be that glamorous or romantic, but using your date night to hit the gym or a yoga class is smart planning. If you and the hubby have been struggling to find time to workout, hire a sitter to look after the kids for an hour or two so you can hit the gym and grab a bite.

Most studios offer first-time students a free class, so use your night off as an opportunity to try something new. Orangetheory Fitness and Flywheel both offer a free first class and CorePower Yoga offers new students a free week of unlimited classes.

Keep it Simple

Look for small pockets of time in your daily routine that you could convert into a mini sweat sesh. You brush your teeth every day, so use those two minutes in the morning and night to exercise your legs. Alternate between squats and lunges as you brush, and follow it with some pushups against the sink as you wait for your shower to heat up. Get creative! Sometimes, all you need is one minute to work out.

Finding time to exercise with a baby at home is all about being flexible, and we don’t mean physically. Work within your schedule to find what you can manage and work out where you can. Don’t beat yourself up when you can only squeeze in eight minutes after the baby’s bedtime and before yours. The goal is to get moving and make a little time for yourself each day.