How to Find Time to Exercise

At a recent meeting of the MOMS Club, a speaker chatted with us about how to find time to squeeze exercise into our busy mom schedules.

Carrie Kukuda, a life coach and personal trainer, offers these tips for us busy moms:

Ways to Incorporate Exercise

  • Bring your sneakers to your kids' dance or soccer practices and workout (even if it's just a walk) while you wait.
  • Tape favorite TV shows and only watch them while you walk on a treadmill or do some type of cardio.
  • Go for a family walk after dinner. Even if it's not a vigorous workout, a stroll is better than nothing.
  • Add strength training moves to your play time with your kids. Do chin-ups at the playground, jump rope, squats and lunges at the park.
  • After age 30, it's important to add strength training to your schedule in addition to cardiovascular workouts. Building muscle not only has several health benefits, it decreases stress. Do it in bits and pieces if you have to. Do bicep curls while the toast is toasting, squats while watching kids in the tub, etc.
  • Circuit train to decrease workout time. Rather than resting between strength training sets, alternate cardio moves with strength training moves. Example: A set of squats followed by a minute of jumping rope. Or, alternate upper body training with lower body. Example: A set of squats followed by shoulder presses.

Find Your Best Time to Exercise

  • Follow your natural body clock. Our bodies have a natural clock, try to figure out when it's best for you to exercise by trying different times of day.
  • Morning is ideal because getting it out of the way means it won't weigh on you the rest of the day.
  • Try not to exercise right before bed as it can keep you awake.
  • Try not to eat a big meal immediately after working out. Your body needs time to recover and shouldn't be hit with a lot of carbs. Try fruit instead.

Log Your Time

  • If it's not possible to fit in a whole workout, try doing ten minutes at a time. Many people think if they can't work out for at least 30 to 60 minutes, it's not worth it. Before you know it, you end up skipping the whole week. Do 10 minutes at a time throughout the day and you'll end up logging 30-60 minutes a day.
  • Do some type of physical activity every single day. Try 30-minute blasts of interval training.
  • Carve out a time for exercise in your schedule, then stick to it. Once you skip it the first time, it's harder to get back into a routine.
  • Use a separate calendar as an exercise log. Write down what you do every day and challenge yourself to do more each day, week, etc.
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