If you’re finding it difficult to juggle work, mom life and fitness, then you’re not alone.
When you’re a busy mom, it can be really challenging to stick to a consistent workout schedule and stay active.
So what’s the best way to structure your workouts if you’re a busy mom?
Here’s my short answer:
The best workout schedule for busy moms involves small, consistent efforts each day with minimal equipment. Making the most of spare moments throughout the day can result in big changes to your physical and mental health such as waking up earlier, involving the kids, and finding an active mom group.
In this article, I’m going to share:
- A sample workout routine for busy moms
- My top tips to help you workout more efficiently if you’re a busy mom
Need a workout program? Get 3 free workouts on Fitbod right now.
Sample Workout Routine for Busy Moms
When you’re a busy mom you need a workout that doesn’t take too long but still results in an effective workout.
What does this mean?
It means that your workout should hit every major muscle group throughout the week, but also require minimal equipment and space, so that you can take advantage of spare moments throughout the day.
Below I’ve put together a sample weekly workout routine for busy moms that you can do.
It uses mostly bodyweight movements, with some options to include dumbbell training if you have the available equipment.
Looking for more bodyweight training resources, check out:
- Can Bodyweight Exercises Be Done Every Day?
- Can Bodyweight Training Build Muscle?
- Can Bodyweight Training Build Glutes?
- Goblet squat – 3×10 (hold a weight to your chest, whether it’s a dumbbell, kettlebell or something heavy you have around the house)
- Dumbbell Lunge – 3×10 each side
- Glute bridge – 3×15 (add a resistance band around your knees if available)
- Plank – 3x30sec
- Russian twist – 3×10 (each side)
Upper body – using dumbbells or two water bottles of equal weight
- Shoulder press – 5×10
- Lateral raises – 3×15
- Skullcrushers – 5×10
- Bicep curls – 5×10
Use this time to stretch or go for a long walk.
- Dumbbell Romanian deadlift – 5×10
- Walking Dumbbell Lunges – 3×15 (each side)
- Clams – 5×20
- Bicycle – 3×15 (each side)
- In and out – 3×10
Upper body – using dumbbells or two water bottles of equal weight
- Wide grip push ups – 5×10
- Single arm row – 5×10 (each side)
- Dumbbell chest flys – 3×10
- Bird dog – 3×15 (each side)
3 rounds for 40 seconds each, 20 seconds rest:
- High knees
- Side to side squats
- Jumping jacks
- Switching lunges
Related Article: HIIT vs LISS: Which Type of Cardio Is Better?
If you would like more training sessions, then download the FitBod app (click for 3 free workouts).
FitBod uses the information that you give it, such as your fitness goal, the types of workouts you want (HIIT, bodyweight, dumbbells only, etc) and the space and equipment you have on hand to generate a customized training program for you.
There are also 600 exercise video demos to ensure you’re performing the movements with the right technique.
Tips To Schedule Workout Time
Now that you have a workout program, you need to find time to do it. If you’re a busy mom trying to find ways to schedule in workout time, then here are some tips on how to do so:
Wake Up Earlier
Waking up earlier is a simple yet effective way to fit in consistent workout sessions.
Typically, early in the morning is when moms will have uninterrupted time for themselves.
Everyone in the household will be (hopefully) sleeping, errands haven’t started for the day and it’s a lot calmer than when you find yourself, let’s just say, in the middle of a chaotic afternoon.
Setting your alarm earlier can mean you have some ‘me time’. Whether it’s an hour long or even just half an hour, this extra time can serve as the time you dedicate to exercising without being interrupted.
And at least then, once you’ve done your workout, that’s one thing ticked off your list and you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.
Small Efforts Make A Big Difference
You don’t have to do one, long training session to achieve an effective workout for the day.
Sure, it can be easy to just do it all in one go and get it over and done with so you can go about the rest of your day, but unless you have a big space of time to actually do this, it’s not that easy for everyone, especially moms.
Fortunately, if you can’t do long, consecutive training sessions, you don’t have to. Instead, find little spaces of time throughout your day that you can dedicate to physical activity, even if it’s just one or two exercises at a time.
Something is better than nothing and if you accumulate all these short bursts of activity, you’ll find that at the end of the day, it actually can equate to one long session at the gym.
So don’t underestimate the small, consistent efforts that you can put forward as you go about your day. This will still make a big difference in the long run.
Keep It Simple
We know that it’s so easy to get caught up into all these fitness trends you see online. With all the different types of equipment and accessories, it can feel like you just don’t have the equipment or space to have an effective workout.
However, this is simply not true. Fitness is best kept simple and doing the exercises that you do with good form.
This will get you further than weird exercises you may see on Instagram or having fancy equipment. Items like resistance bands, weights such as barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells are versatile gym equipment that you can easily keep at home and use for your training.
However, if you don’t have any of these, then even just using your bodyweight is a sufficient way to keep moving and improving your fitness. Keep it simple.
Related Article: Burn 500 Calories Working Out At Home (30-Min Workouts)
Involve the Kids
When you’re a busy mom, it can be hard to have your ‘me time’, aka time that allows you to workout.
However, why not incorporate some of your gym time, while you’re with the kids. Kids are typically very active and have lots of energy, so they’ll be great workout buddies for you.
There are many activities that you can do with the kids that’ll give you some quality time with your children while still fitting in exercise.
Go for a walk together around the block. You’ll be outside with the fresh air and sunshine and still be on the move.
There are also many moms out there that go for a jog with a stroller. This will also incorporate some strength training into that cardio.
If your kids have grown out of the stroller, then invest in a bike or scooter or roller skates so that they can stay active and have some quality time with you as well by riding alongside you as you jog.
Other ideas could be to make use of playground equipment.
While your kids are playing in the playground at the local park or backyard, use the equipment to your advantage.
You can use the monkey bars for pull ups (just bring a resistance band if you’re unable to do a bodyweight pull up) and hanging leg raises, the benches for tricep dips, and bulgarian split squats and the open space for squats, lunges or burpees.
Find Something You Enjoy
Exercise doesn’t have to be all about the gym. It doesn’t mean you should only do weights or run on the treadmill. There are so many different ways to stay fit and active.
The key to keeping to a consistent routine is to find something that you enjoy and can fit in your schedule. So if you’re unable to make it to the gym consistently (and you actually don’t enjoy it), then try another activity that you actually like and you can realistically do on a regular basis because if you don’t, then you won’t stick to it. This may be doing an online pilates or exercise class in the comfort of your own home or meeting up with other moms to go for a walk and chat.
You’ll find that if you find something that you genuinely enjoy and want to get better at, you’ll be more likely to stick with it, so try out different things and see where you end up.
Related Article: 1 Hour Outdoor Workouts That You Can Do Anywhere
Find an Active mom Group
Being part of a community can help keep you motivated and accountable.
If it feels as though you have people rallying behind you, and you’re able to do the same for others, it can really make a difference in sticking to your workout schedule.
And being part of an active mom community is even better, so you’re bonding with people who not only want to prioritize being healthy and active, but those who will also understand the same struggles that come with being a busy mom.
An active mom community who wants to band together to be the best moms they can be while still remaining physically active, is a great way to stick to a regular exercise program. You have people that you can workout with or even just to send you a supportive message every now and again.
Fit Fitness Into Your Life
Another way of fitting physical activity into your life is to add it in without having to upheave your life too much.
A great alternative is to get a treadmill desk for when you’re at the office. This way, you can also exercise while still working.
If getting machines isn’t going to work for you, then just make do with what you have.
Do squats or lunges while catching up on your favourite TVshow or stretch and do some yoga if you’re looking for something less intense but still want to move.
Challenge yourself to do 10 burpees during the commercial break or 30 sit ups. You don’t need to completely unroot your life to fit in activity. Instead, fit fitness into your life.
Related Article: 3 Leg Workouts To Build Muscle Without Weights
Increase Your NEAT
If at the moment, you’re unable to commit to training sessions and just want to find a way to move a bit more throughout your daily life, then focus on increasing your NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
This is a great way to do more steps on a day-to-day basis and just get some extra movement in your established routine without having to change too many things.
There are plenty of ways to increase your NEAT such as:
- Walking or cycling to work. Or if you live far away from your workplace, then parking further away from the office and walking more.
- Standing while on public transport instead of sitting.
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift or elevators.
- Getting a treadmill desk or a standing desk.
Remember, little things can make a big difference so start with these small changes.
Looking for a workout program? Try using the Fitbod App, which will design your program based on your logged training data and goals. The workouts will adapt automatically to your levels of recovery and rate of progress. With over 600 movements and exercises videos, you can be sure to perform the movements correctly for optimal results. Take the guesswork out of your workouts. Try 3 free workouts on Fitbod.
Don’t feel guilty about ‘rest’ days, especially if you’re still active being a mom.
These days are important to allow your body to heal and recover.
In fact, without allowing your body this time to repair itself, you will be doing more harm than good.
So, schedule in some workout days that are just for recovery and your body will thank you for it.
Remember Your Nutrition
Eating nutritious foods that give you the macro and micronutrients your body needs to function properly is pivotal.
This means focusing on filling and nutritious foods that keep you satiated. Not fueling your body correctly will make you feel bloated and fatigued and run down.
So, you’ll find that prioritizing your diet to your body’s needs will also give you more energy so that you’ll be able to stick to your workout schedule. It can make a difference to your energy levels as well as physical results.
Check out some of our nutrition-related articles:
- Eat More To Lose Weight: Yes, It’s A Successful Strategy
- How To Eat When You’re Not Working Out (Step by Step Guide)
- Does “If It Fits Your Macros” Work For Weight Loss?
One of the best ways to stay healthy when you’re busy is to find a workout program that fits your lifestyle.
If you’re a busy mom, you likely need short, effective workouts. The best place to start would be to check out Fitbod and customize the app based on your personal preferences (goals, equipment, and workout duration).
Then, let the app program workouts for you, and as you progress, the workotus progress too.
Try Fitbod and get 3 free workouts when you sign up!
About The Author
As a health and fitness writer, Emily combines her two passions—powerlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under her belt, she spends her mornings lifting weights, her nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between.