Exercise has so many physical and mental benefits, but how do we fit it in with everything else on our schedule? I asked other Knoxville Moms contributors for their favorite workout tips and they had some great ideas.
Here are a few ways for busy moms to build a more consistent workout routine:
1. Find something you love.
A few years ago, a personal trainer friend said something that has stuck with me since: “The ideal workout is something you enjoy and will actually do.” If it feels like a chore, you will never do it, so finding something you enjoy that gets your body moving is the best workout. That could be chasing the kids, walking the dog, dancing, fitness classes, barre, weights — whatever gets you moving. It doesn’t have to be perfect or all-or-nothing.
“I love my Peloton. We have the bike and tread, and both have been the best purchases. The on-demand classes are fantastic and the trainers are amazing.” — Stephanie
“I have Jazzercise on Demand at home and love it! When I’m dancing, it feels less like I’m working out.” — Beth
2. Find a time that works for your schedule and put it on the calendar.
As much as I love the way exercise makes me feel, if I don’t write it down on the calendar, I won’t do it. That’s the only way I have found to prioritize exercise and make sure it doesn’t get pushed down to the bottom of my list.
“I go [to the gym] between getting off at 3:30pm and daycare pickup around 4:45pm. We also do shifts on Saturday and Sunday where I go and then my husband will go…I truly just have to make time…” — Kailey
“As soon as I get home from taking the kids to school, I work out…” — Beth
3. Involve the kids.
Sometimes it isn’t possible to get in a workout alone, so you can involve the kids. I like to run or take classes with my older children, but my toddler requires a bit more creativity. When we need to move around, I turn on some music and dance around with him or use him as a weight and do some squats. A few songs worth of that and he’s entertained and I’m tired!
“We have a workout room with a TV, so my 2-year-old will sit in there with me and play with cars and watch shows. I save my longer workout days for when he’s at preschool.
I also enjoy running with our BOB stroller. It’s a tougher workout pushing it, but my youngest actually begs to go on a run.” — Stephanie
4. “Work” it out.
If you are working from home or outside the home, try combining work and exercise. Walk during lunch (or use an on-site gym if offered), sit on an exercise ball, take a stretch break, or try a desk treadmill.
“For me, the only thing that works ‘consistently’ is my walking pad under my desk.”– Haley
5. Mix it up.
There are so many great workout videos and apps out there to mix things up and keep exercise from being boring. Some of my favorites are: Les Mills, Fitness Blender and Larie Midkiff (@FitbyLarie on YouTube) and of course, the Peloton app is a fan favorite!
“Seconding the Peloton and on-demand classes! For a free option, I also love the FitOn App. It’s got options to upgrade, but in general, you can have full functionality without paying for upgrades. They have a big on-demand class list with some amazing trainers, including a few celebrity trainers and big names in the industry. It got me up and moving in 2020, and I’ve loved being able to mix and match classes to suit my mood and energy levels.
For lifting weights, my husband and I like the Strong app. I have the free version, so it limits how many routines you can create, but otherwise it’s great. It allows you to build lifting routines with rest times, and I used it to build routines that I worked through to increase my lifts.” — Rachel