First-time moms, moms with toddlers, working moms, and all other moms have one thing in common: a busy schedule that seems to leave little to no room for self-care and fitness.
It may feel like getting fit is another item on an endless to-do list, an unattainable luxury amidst the chaos of motherhood, and something you simply don’t have time for.
However, research has shown that even a modest 30 minutes of exercise each day can significantly improve your health, mood, and energy levels (2). All you need is a workout for busy moms that fits into your packed day without adding extra stress.
Here, we’ll share practical tips and simple exercises for the ultimate Mom Workout 101 guide. Here’s what every busy mom needs to know about fitness.
How Do Busy Moms Find Time to Work Out?
Busy moms find time to work out by following the golden rule of prioritizing self-care. It’s not easy, but it’s essential to take care of yourself first before you can be fully present for your family. As with how you prioritize the needs of your kids, you must make time for your own health and well-being.
Here are six ways busy moms find time to work out:
They Plan Workouts Like Appointments
One of the most effective strategies for ensuring that a workout happens is treating it like any other important appointment on your calendar.
This means penciling the busy mom workout schedule into your planner or digital calendar, just as you would with doctor’s appointments or parent-teacher meetings.
Once it’s in your calendar, it becomes a non-negotiable part of the day. This approach can be particularly effective for implementing a 30-minute mom workout schedule.
They Leverage The Morning Workout Benefits
Many moms find that working out first thing in the morning, before the rest of the day’s demands set in, can be incredibly beneficial.
Not only does this capitalize on morning workout benefits such as increased energy levels and improved mood throughout the day (9), it also ensures that the workout is completed before other responsibilities can push it aside.
The popular 7-minute workout routine can be a great option for busy moms to start their day with as it only requires a small window of time and no equipment.
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Why Does The 7-Minute Workout Work?
The 7-minute workout is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise routine that includes 12 exercises, each of which is performed for 30 seconds with a 10-second rest in between.
This particular workout is based on the principle of circuit training, which involves rotating different exercises without taking breaks in between.
It’s an effective workout due to:
Efficiency: The 7-minute workout is a high-intensity circuit training (HICT) routine. Research has shown that HICT routines are highly effective for improving aerobic fitness and muscular endurance (4). In other words, you get a lot of bang for your buck in just seven minutes.
Convenience: No specialized equipment is required, making it perfect for busy moms. It can be done at home, in a hotel room, or at the park while your kids play.
Flexibility: The brevity of this workout means it can easily fit into even the busiest of schedules. You can do it before your kids wake up, while they nap, or after they’ve gone to bed. Also, if you have more than 7 minutes to spare, you can repeat the circuit a few times for a longer workout.
Consistency: The accessibility and convenience of the 7-minute workout make it easy to stick to. If an exercise routine is manageable and doesn’t disrupt your day, there’s a greater likelihood of it becoming a habit. Consistency is also the key when it comes to reaping the benefits of exercise.
Variety: As the 7-minute workout includes a variety of exercises from jumping jacks and wall sits to push-ups and crunches, it works a variety of muscle groups, which can result in a more balanced fitness routine.
They Create a Home-Based Mom Workout Plan
Having a mom workout at home routine eliminates the need to travel to and from the gym, which makes it easier to fit into a busy schedule.
It can involve purchasing some basic gym equipment, such as a yoga ball for an ab workout, or even using bodyweight exercises in a quick mom workout.
What’s a Good 30-Minute Workout for Busy Moms?
A good 30-minute workout for busy moms that can be performed at home without weights includes a mix of cardio and strength training. Here’s a simple routine:
- Warm-Up (5 minutes): Start with 5 minutes of light aerobic exercise to increase your heart rate. This could be jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, or fast-paced walking around the house.
- Circuit Training (20 minutes): Repeat the following circuit four times, resting for 1 minute between each circuit:
- Squats (1 minute): Stand with your feet hip-width apart and go to a depth tht your mobility allows with good form.
- Push-Ups (1 minute): If standard push-ups are too challenging, do them on your knees or against a wall.
- Lunges (1 minute): Alternate your legs for a full minute of lunges.
- Plank (1 minute): Hold a plank, either on your elbows or hands, keeping your body straight from head to feet.
- Cool Down (5 Minutes): After the circuit, take 5 minutes to stretch and cool down with simple stretches such as toe touches, shoulder rolls, and neck rotations. Focus on the muscles you exercised (quads, chest, glutes, and core).
They Include Their Kids In Their Workouts
For moms with little ones, including their kids in their workout routine can be a game-changer.
These workouts for moms with toddlers can involve activities that are fun for the kid and also good exercise for moms.
For example, a mom can hold a plank while the toddler does a puzzle between her hands.
They Join Mom Workout Classes
Joining mom workout classes is also an excellent way of staying fit. These classes often offer childcare facilities, which solves any babysitting concerns. In addition, they provide a community of other moms, who can provide both motivation and camaraderie.
They Use Running Postpartum as a Fitness Tool
For those who enjoy outdoor activities, running postpartum can be an excellent fitness tool.
It’s a simple activity that requires few resources, it can be done at any time of day, and it allows for flexible intensity levels.
In addition, it’s an opportunity to get a little fresh air, which can be a welcome break for any busy mom.
How Do I Find Time to Work Out With My Child?
To work out with your child, you could integrate physical activities into your everyday routine and make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. Here are four practical ways of doing this:
Make Playtime Workout Time
Transforming playtime into a workout session is a fun and efficient way of getting exercise done.
Activities such as jumping on a trampoline, playing soccer in the backyard, or engaging in a dance-off to their favorite songs can be both entertaining for the child and a good workout for the mom.
We recommend choosing activities you enjoy so you actually look forward to exercise time.
Use Baby-Wearing Workouts
We can’t forget the all-time mom classic: wearing your child while you get stuff done. It sounds crazy to work out in this way, but baby-wearing workouts can be a lifesaver when you’re a mom with a baby or toddler.
Pop your little one into a comfy and secure baby carrier and you’re good to go. Whether you’re doing a few squats, lunges, or taking a quick power walk around your neighborhood, you’re sneaking in some exercise while also bonding with your baby.
It’s also a brilliant way of keeping them entertained. Just remember, safety first – make sure your carrier is high quality to give your baby the comfort and security they need.
Stock Up on Some Fun, Active Toys
If you want to get a good sweat session alongside your little one, you need to consider active toys. These are a total game changer. They will keep your child entertained while also giving you a chance to squeeze in some exercise.
Here’s a handy list of active toys that you could consider adding to your stash:
Balance Bikes: These are seriously cool. They help your child learn to balance and steer, but the best part? You can jog alongside them while they ride, making an ideal brisk morning workout!
Jump Ropes: These are a classic. Remember skipping ropes when we were kids? Now, it’s your child’s turn. You can even turn this into a fun mom-kid activity. It’s also a great cardio workout for you!
Inflatable Balls: These are perfect for a game of catch. They’ll get your heart rate up and your little one will also have a blast!
Hula Hoops: They’re not just for kids! Hula hoops can be a fun and engaging way of getting your body moving.
Scooters: Kids love them and they’re perfect for fast-paced mom workouts. You can either tag along on your own scooter or use this as an opportunity to grab a quick run.
Trampolines: Yes, a trampoline is a great investment! They offer endless fun for kids while also being a fantastic way for moms to sneak in a workout.
Incorporate Exercise into Routine Tasks
Everyday tasks can provide an abundance of exercise opportunities – you just need to be creative. For example, housework workouts can burn a surprisingly significant amount of calories. As you’re vacuuming, you’re actually using up a fair amount of energy.
Grocery shopping can also be a fantastic way of getting moving. Make it a point to park farther away from the store so you can add a brisk walk to the journey.
Rather than taking the elevator, take the stairs. If you’re waiting for your child at their piano lesson or soccer practice, you can also use this time to squeeze in a quick walk or run.
Every bit of movement counts. Research has shown that hitting 10,000 steps each day can significantly improve your overall health and fitness levels (5). So even if you can only manage to fit in short bursts of exercise throughout the day, it all adds up.
If you wish to free yourself from all the extra pounds that have been weighting you down for way too long, start using the BetterMe app and overhaul your entire life!
How Can Lazy Moms Lose Belly Fat?
Lazy or not, the logic behind shedding this stubborn fat is relatively straightforward: you must consume fewer calories than your body burns (11). Our yoga ball ab workout article explains this in more detail.
A calorie deficit compels your body to dip into its fat reserves for energy, thereby resulting in weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that you cannot spot-reduce fat. When you lose weight, you lose it all over your body, not just from your belly. Here are some things you can do to lose belly fat:
Move More: Incorporate more physical activity into your day, whether this is a brisk walk, yoga, or a quick mom workout. Every bit of movement helps!
Eat Mindfully: Practice mindful eating. Listen to your hunger cues, slow down your eating speed, and savor every bite you take.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This can help keep you feeling full, boost your metabolism, and support optimal digestion (6).
Cut Down on Sugar: Excessive sugar consumption can contribute to weight gain (10). Opt for fruits rather than sugary snacks.
Eat More Protein: Protein can help keep you satiated and boost your metabolism, potentially making weight loss easier (3).
Get Enough Sleep: A lack of sleep can mess with your metabolism and lead to weight gain (8), so make sure you’re getting enough ZZZs.
Manage Stress: Stress can lead to emotional eating and weight gain. You need to find healthy ways of managing stress, such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises (12).
Embrace Whole Foods: Whole, unprocessed foods are healthier and generally lower in calories than ultra-processed foods. They’re also generally more filling, so you will consume less total calories (1).
Strength Training: Incorporating strength training into your workout routine can help build lean muscle mass, which can increase your metabolic rate and help accelerate fat loss (7).
Try HIIT Workouts: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can burn a great deal of calories in a short amount of time and even keep your metabolism elevated for hours after the workout (4).
Remember, consistency is the key. It isn’t about overnight results but rather a journey to a healthier you. Keep going and over time, you’ll start seeing the results you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I be a fit mom?
Being a fit mom involves incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. This can include home workouts, walking or jogging with your baby in a stroller, or using your baby as a workout accessory. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are all crucial for maintaining fitness.
How do working moms spend time with their kids?
Working moms can spend quality time with their kids by dedicating specific times of the day to interaction, such as during breakfast, after work, or before bed. They can also involve their kids in daily tasks and hobbies, organize family game nights, or plan weekend outings.
How can a busy mom lose weight?
A busy mom can lose weight by incorporating regular physical activity into her day, adopting a balanced diet, and ensuring she gets sufficient hydration.
Engaging in mindful eating, reducing sugar intake, prioritizing sleep, and effectively managing stress can also be effective. Making these healthy habits part of your lifestyle can lead to sustainable weight loss.
How do stay-at-home moms work out?
Stay-at-home moms can work out by taking advantage of their kids’ nap times to perform quick workout routines, pursuing baby-wearing workouts, or exercising alongside their kids using active toys.
They can also incorporate physical activity into their routine tasks around the house, such as cleaning or gardening. Online workout videos or fitness apps can also provide guided exercise opportunities at home.
The Bottom Line
Working out as a mom involves making a commitment to physical health, despite the complexities of their busy schedules. It’s about finding creative solutions and being flexible with the way you exercise.
Ultimately, it’s about making workouts an integral part of your lifestyle as a mum. Remember, it’s not about having time, it’s about making time.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A Whole Food Plant-Based Diet Is Effective for Weight Loss: The Evidence
- Benefits of Physical Activity (2023,cdc.gov)
- Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss (2020,nih.gov)
- Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective (2021,nih.gov)
- Effects of 10,000 steps a day on physical and mental health in overweight participants in a community setting: a preliminary study (2016,nih.gov)
- Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss (2016,nih.gov)
- Resistance training – health benefits (2022,betterhealth.vic.gov.au)
- Sleep deprivation and obesity in adults: a brief narrative review (2018,nih.gov)
- The Benefits of Morning Workouts (2021,umiamihealth.org)
- The Dose Makes the Poison: Sugar and Obesity in the United States – a Review (2020,nih.gov)
- Weight loss and women (2021,womenshealth.gov)
- You Guessed It: Long-Term Stress Can Make You Gain Weight (2023,clevelandclinic.org)