Mom life is busy — and that’s putting it lightly.
You have your own to-do list to contend with, but you also have to make sure your kids are taken care of, too. All of that combined leaves very little time for you to do things for yourself. That’s ironic, considering what you deserve is a bit of time to refresh yourself and feel good.
If things are too hectic to block out a stretch for some you time, then consider this: You can sneak some exercise in throughout the day. Breaking a sweat makes you feel good, and you don’t have to have ample free time to make that happen.
Try these six tips and see for yourself.
1. Take the Long Way
A major part of mom life is running errands. Whether you’re going grocery shopping or dropping the kids off at soccer practice, you are doing lots of driving, parking and walking in and out of places.
You can make these to-dos into a burst of exercise. Park as far back in the parking lot as you can and walk. Those few minutes on your feet will be a nice little exercise break and, if you do this all day, your step count will really add up.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, apply this principle to elevators, too — ditch them for the stairs. You’ll get even more of a workout when you climb, and if you do so multiple times a day, you’ll build some seriously strong legs.
2. Capture the Early Morning Hours
Have your kids grown out of their break-of-dawn wake-up times? If so, take advantage of those quiet, early-morning hours with a quick workout.
You don’t have to do anything major to reap the rewards of exercising first thing. Even just a simple stretch or gentle yoga session will open your mind and warm up your body. You can also get creative – do squats while you brush your teeth or lunge in place while cooking breakfast.
Some parents might be night owls, as opposed to morning people. If you’re one of them, wait until your kiddo hits the hay, then work out. You might feel like you’re too exhausted to break a sweat, but remember all of the mental and physical benefits of exercise — you deserve that moment to yourself.
3. Work Out at Work
If you’re in an office job, you may feel tied to your desk or office space during your eight-hour workdays. However, there are so many clever ways to move while you’re on the job.
For one thing, you can schedule walking meetings. Rather than sitting with your co-worker in a conference room, take a lap around the office and chat. Do this when you meet up with mom friends, too – why sit with your coffees when you can sip them while on a walk?
On that note, you can do little exercise moves while you’re at your desk — they’re called deskercise routines. You can squeeze your glutes for 10-second stretches to tone the booty or use desktop tools — like your stapler — as resistance in a bicep curl.
4. Make the Most of Nap Time
Whether your baby naps for 30 minutes or three hours, you have to take advantage of their snoozing schedule. You already know this, and you probably tackle lots of household to-dos while they’re asleep.
However, you should set aside 10 minutes for a quick workout. You can strengthen your abs or tone your arms with regular routines. Then, you can get back to your household chores before the baby wakes up.
5. Make the Playground Into Your Gym
Wear workout clothes the next time you take the kids to the playground. As you watch them from a nearby bench, you can squeeze in an effective workout.
The seat makes a great base for tricep dips, step-ups and incline pushups. Hold onto the back of it while you pulse a straight leg, toning your booty. You can also stand next to the bench and squat or lunge in place.
These moves are tough, and you’re sure to feel the burn. The longer your kids play, the more of an intense workout you can have, too. Encourage them to go wild at the playground, and everyone will get to blow off some steam.
6. Join in on Playtime
Your kids come in from the backyard sweaty and pink-faced from playing. Get on their level by joining in next time.
Playing tag or hopscotch or hide-and-seek will get you on your feet and help you break a sweat. It’s about more than just exercise — you also get to spend quality time with your kiddos, and they’re not going to forget these little moments with you.
Be the Best You
These six tips can help you slip exercise into even the busiest day. Jot down when you are able to exercise in the weekly planner above to track your progress, and work toward building a workout routine that works for YOU. When you do, you get so much in return — a healthy body and a clear mind, both of which make you a better mom and person. You’re worth that effort, so start sneaking in your workouts and feeling as good as you deserve.