Top 25 Fitness Tips for Busy Moms

By Kim Summers, ACE-certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor

Now that the kids are almost back in school and our calendars are filling up with their Fall activities, we wanted to offer up some suggestions on how to find the time to keep us Mom’s healthy and fit too.

When I first became a mom I had no idea how I was supposed to take care of a new baby (who did not come with a manual), work, do the house work, cook dinner, and make it out of the house with a shower, much less workout!  As the super power that comes with being a mom slowly surfaced, I realized that I needed to get creative.  I needed to practice what I preached to my clients. Yes, my daily 1.5 hour workouts were a thing of the past (and that’s OK), but being active was still a part of who I was and the family life I wanted to create.  I began hitting the pavement (or joined the mall walkers) with my stroller and giving eskimo kisses to my son during pushups.  As he got older, the challenges changed and I adapted accordingly, but being fit remained a priority and a measure of my creativity.

Here are 25 tips that keep me in shape, healthy and a happy mommy in this sometimes overwhelming, but amazing life!

1. Put Yourself on the Calendar

Every weekend sit down and set times to workout throughout the week. Pre-planning gives you time to make adjustments and make it work!

2. PLAY with Your Kids

The towels can sit in the basket a little longer, get up and be the tagger!

3. Workout at the Park

The park is an outdoor gym waiting to be used! There is nothing like getting in some step-ups, tricep dips and push-ups at the picnic table.

4. Keep a Resistance Band in the Car

A resistance band is the perfect addition to the half of your house you take in the car. You’ve got 15 minutes until practice is over – why not!

5. Pre-Plan Your Workouts

Know what you want to achieve each week, making sure you have a balanced workout.

6. Use a Fitness DVD

Especially with little ones, there are days when you just don’t make it out the door. Have a couple workouts that you like and can pop in during nap time.

7. Pack Your Lunch Too

Pack your own healthy lunch so you can avoid the fast-food run during your lunch break.

8. Create a 30-Minute, At-Home Workout

The unpredictibility of the day sometimes presents little windows of opportunity that we didn’t expect. When it does, be prepared with a workout that is ready to go.

9. Play Date for Kids = Fitness Date for Moms

While it may not run as smooth as a group fitness class in a gym, it gives you the opportunity to workout with friends. Milestones and gossip can all be discussed during sets of squats and lunges!

10. Embrace the Plank

One of the best exercises to work your back and abs and all you need is yourself. Learn how to perform the Front Plank in the ACE Exercise Library.

11. Don’t Indulge in your Children’s Snacks

Leave the cookies and macaroni and cheese for the kids. A few handfuls here and a few bites there leads to unwanted pounds here!

12. Develop a Support System

Surrounding yourself with people who encourage and support your fitness goals is crucial to your adherence.

13. Get Your Z’s

Setting a bed time for yourself can be the difference in being a happy and healthy, energized mommy.

14. Use Weights

Lifting dumbbells is not going to make you look like He-man. Resistance training is key to being toned, reducing body fat and increasing bone mineral density.

15. Find a Gym with Childcare

If finding a sitter is what keeps you from working out, sign up at a gym that offers it.

16. Find What Motivates You

Maybe it’s your 20-year reunion or the competitor within, know yourself to move yourself.

17. Maximize the Housework

Scrubbing is no easy job, put some muscle into it and keep it continuous for a squeaky clean workout.

18. Challenge the Kids

What kid doesn’t want to do something “better” than mom? Set up an obstacle course in the yard or put on your helmet and “tour de France” the neighborhood.

19. Do What You Like

Incorporate activities that you enjoy! If you enjoy it, you will find a way to keep doing it.

20. De-Stress

Don’t laugh, it is possible! Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. Looking for something more – try some Yoga or Tai Chi.

21. Use Your Baby

Incorporating your baby into your workout provides some extra resistance for you and fun for them!

22. Set an Example

Monkey see, monkey do. Don’t be surprised when your kid(s) join in your living room kickboxing workout and have a blast.

23. Invest in Your Shoes

Whether you are jogging, walking or taking a class, wearing the proper supportive shoes for the activity will help prevent unnecessary injuries.

24. Set Goals

Whether you want to get in 3 workouts this week or complete a 5k, setting goals will keep you on track. Hang your chart next to the potty chart, and you both get prizes!

25. Love Yourself

You have the most important job in the world and you are awesome! Believe it and feel it!

Kim Summers, M.S., is an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. She has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science as well as a master’s degree in Kinesiology. She has focused in fitness education as a former ACE employee, stroller fitness franchise owner, group exercise instructor and personal trainer, and an ACE Exam Development Committee member.