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6 GYM-FREE WAYS FOR BUSY MOMS TO FIT IN A QUICK WORKOUT
Some days just taking a shower marks a major accomplishment, never mind actually working out. And gym memberships with excellent daycare can be really pricey.
So how do you fit in a gym-free workout when you can’t even find the time to put on real clothes?
MOTHERHOOD MAKES WORKING OUT REALLY DIFFICULT
While the internet is full of super fit moms who claim that being a busy mom is no excuse to workout, the fact remains that it’s genuinely tough.
When trainer Jillian Michaels became a mom, she issued an apology to moms for being so hard on them about not making working out a priority.
“Parenting is not for sissies,” she said.
I had just become a mom and found these words so incredibly validating. I had spent the previous 14 years (since I was 15) exercising several time a week. I spent years working out in gyms several times a week and had run several half marathons and even a couple full marathons.
Though I was dropping my gym membership, I bought P90X and a nice running stroller. I was sure I’d continue to exercise all the time. I mean, it can’t be that hard to do, right?!?
Motherhood threw me for a loop. My body and my time was not my own any more. So it forced me to get creative with how I could fit in a workout.
And pretty soon, I found myself pregnant with my third child, mother to a 1 and 2 year old. AND working full-time. It was full-blown nuts.
And surprise, surprise: I rarely worked out. For the first time since I was 16 years old, I completely stopped working out.
AND I FELT TERRIBLE.
After my 3rd daughter was born, I vowed that I would never let that happen again. Still without a gym membership, I needed to get creative and be determined.
And I’ve worked out at least 3-4 days a week ever since!
I know all about having to look in the margins of my day to find space for a good sweat. And I’ll tell ya what: with a little determination and a lot of flexibility, even the busiest mom can fit in a daily workout.
Luckily, with a little creativity you can fit in a daily workout despite your chaotic mom life. A regular workout is totally possible. Even with a bunch of little kids.
BUT FIRST, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING…
Okay, I’m going to give it to your straight: No matter how genius the advice, it all means nothing if you aren’t willing to put in the work.
Is it easy to workout regularly with little kids? Nope! It takes serious planning and dedication.
But if you first decide that no matter what you are committed to working out and making changes to your health, the changes will happen. If you keep getting up each time you fall, you will get there.
That’s how I lost serious weight after having 4 kids in less than 5 years (check out my story here).
So before you make any plans, first decide that you will do what it takes and not give up.
Once you’ve determined that your health is important and you want to reap the amazing benefits of regular exercise, you’re ready to find ways to fit in a quick workout!
Here’s what you can do:
1) WAKE-UP BEFORE YOUR KIDS
I know, girl. You are perpetually tired. This seems impossible. I’ve been there.
But trust me on this. Working out before your kids wake up will be like giving yourself a gift every day. Breakfasts will be calmer and happier if mama has gotten her sweat on.
(For tips on waking up early check out these 9 tips for waking up early.)
If your husband is home, you can go for a run. If you have to stay home, there are a million at-home workouts on instagram and Pinterest. Or there are a bunch of awesome workout videos out there.
T25 is definitely my favorite. A fun and killer workout in just 25 minutes? Yes please!!!
2) GET A RUNNING STROLLER
My kids love going on runs with me. Investing in a running stroller was well worth it. We load up the double BOB stroller with kids, a couple toys and snacks, and I can usually get in a quick 30 minute run without any problems (I’ll add intervals to make it more intense).
Here are a few ways I use the running stroller to fit in runs:
- End the run at a park: This definitely sweetens the deal for my kids. I stretch and they play.
- Run to park playdates: I’ll just leave 20-30 minutes before we’re meeting friends at the park and get in a quick run.
- Literally “run” close errands: I’ll sometimes run to a nearby store for quick errands. I just use my stroller as my cart. I get stares, but 99% sure that is because I am dripping sweat.
Oh man, the possibilites are endless with a running stroller!
3) DO IT WHILE THEY EAT BREAKFAST
If I don’t wake up before my kids, for whatever reason, this is my go-to backup plan. While they are eating, I’ll throw on a T25 workout and get my sweat on for 25 minutes. It is the perfect workout for busy moms who want an amazing workout in less than 30 minutes.
You can do a workout video, a quick bodyweight circuit, or invest in some weights and do a weighted circuit. Check out my Pinterest Board full of at-home workout ideas.
4) USE NAP-TIME
I know that nap time is sacred. It’s the time to jump on your smartphone and decompress.
But if you can quickly get in a 30 minute workout in at the start, you’ll have the rest of the nap to catch up on Instagram, watch The Bachelor, or clean your kitchen.
You know you will be so much happier once you’ve exercised.
5) HAVE A DANCE PARTY
This is a great way to sneak in a quick workout while having a blast with your kids.
Using iTunes on my cellphone, I’ll pair it with my portable bluetooth speaker and we can have a dance party anywhere in the house. I’ll throw in squats, lunges, and tossing my kids around and it’ll definitely break a sweat.
Make it a cleaning dance party and not only will you burn calories and bond with your kids, but your house will end up cleaner. It’s trifecta of awesome.
6) WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS: ENLIST DAD’S HELP!
If you couldn’t wake up early and then spent the rest of the day simply trying to keep everyone alive, then you need a plan z.
When dad gets home, he needs to take over for a half hour so mama can have some alone time and recharge her batteries. Go for a run/walk and get your heart rate up. You’ll be refreshed and ready to handle the crazy when you get back.
YOU CAN DO IT!
You are a busy mama. But you definitely CAN fit in a daily workout without a gym membership. With motivation, planning, and about 20 minutes you can feel the burn and lift your mood. You deserve health.
You’ve got this, mama!