How to Squeeze in Exercise as a Busy Mom

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/7/2012 10:00 AM   :  8 comments   :  13,375 Views

Do you feel more like a chauffeur than a parent? We all know that exercise is important for us to stay healthy, but between cooking, cleaning up, budgeting, homework help, and—oh, yeah—sleep, who has the time?

Next time you feel too busy to exercise, try squeezing it in to your schedule with these tips.

During Drive Time
Try some isometric exercises: Squeeze your glutes, contract your abs, and work your calves by raising your legs up on your toes at red lights. Park far from your destination so you have to walk farther. Arrive early to your event, if possible, to allow time for a brisk walk.

At Programs, Practices, and Games
Walk around the facility before or after the event; look for chances to combine a class or activity with those of your children. For example, take aerobics while your daughter has basketball practice at the YMCA.

While Keeping House
Shop at big stores where there’ll be lots of walking; do meal prep and cleanup with a little music and dancing. Clean to music, and shun some of your labor saving devices (like remotes). When doing yard work, keep moving! Use your leg and glute muscles (instead of your back) to shovel, rake, move dirt, etc.

When doing laundry, do squats to pick up unfolded laundry from the basket, and take fitness breaks during homework time, such as stretching or jumping rope for a few minutes. (Your kids will love it too!) Become your dog’s best friend—most dogs are always ready to play or go on a walk!

For Play Dates
Keep in mind the old adage that children live what they learn. If you don't want your kids to be couch potatoes, be a good example. Walk to the library for story hour; plan regular play times at the park or pool; when snow keeps you home, go play in it. By making physical activity fun, you'll lay the foundation for your kids to have healthy, active lives. What’s more, you’ll rediscover that activity can be fun—not just another item to check off your grown-up list!


Poll: How do you squeeze in exercise?




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Comments

  • 8
    I am a single mom of 2 kids, and I work full time. I'm one of those all or nothing type people, where if I didn't do a "full" workout, I feel like I did nothing. I decided today to work on that mentality. I have a desk job, so in between phone calls, I do short Spark videos (there are plenty for every body part plus cardio.) So no excuses! Today I realized that 10 minutes is better than nothing, and if I do 3 or 4, that is a "full" workout! Great article! - 10/8/2012   12:51:56 PM
  • 7
    I do squats while emptying cutlery from the dish washer. There's usually 20-30 knives, forks and spoons w/ ea load. So rather than lifting out the entire holder, I do a squat for each item. - 10/8/2012   12:34:05 PM
  • 6
    I thought by having a child with so much energy the weight would melt off, than I took her every where to run, play, exercise and weight still did not come off. I am doing all that plus regular work outs now so we will see. - 10/8/2012   10:33:50 AM
  • 5
    I have the assume the title of the article is a mis-print. It was actually meant to read "How to squeeze in exercise as a busy parent" - 10/8/2012   10:22:32 AM
  • 4
    I wake up at 5:30 am almost every weekday morning to exercise either on the treadmill or using an exercise video. If my son wakes up before I am done-I ignore him and tell myself that he has a father who can take care of him too. I don't have to do it all by myself. I don't allow much to get in the way of exercising once I have gotten into my groove. - 10/8/2012   8:56:39 AM
  • 3
    after everyone is in bed, I steal at least a half hour on the elliptical and some time with weights or exercises. Since my nights are so often interrupted, this helps my stress level too; but I have a private rule to not exercise after 1am. I try to make it up the rest of the next day. Squats and leg lunges are sometimes good exercises when I am brushing my teeth or showering. - 10/8/2012   2:17:12 AM
  • 2
    I bought a used jogging stroller from a friend and run with my daughter along for the ride once a week. Then after they all (finally!) go to bed at night my husband and I work out 5-6 days a week. - 10/7/2012   5:37:26 PM
  • KAMILLAVIRAG1
    1
    First of all, I commit to it by paying for a class within my budget. On Mondays, Wednesday and Thurdays I have an appointment, I have to show up and life has to be sorted out in order not to clash with this appointment. On other days I take any leftover time - 10min videos, more time goes for running or Insanity, and while doing chores or cooking I do push ups. When I hit the bed, I do sit ups. - 10/7/2012   11:16:15 AM

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