Exercise and Motherhood

Updated on September 04, 2012
A.F. asks from Bellmore, NY
9 answers

I have one daughter, almost three and a half years old. Before she was born, I used to workout I wouldn't say a lot but definitely a lot more than now. What I miss the most is the group fitness classes at the gym. Now I'm working full-time so I try to go to the gym here and there after work. On nice days, I find it difficult to get myself to the gym to use the treadmill and stair master. My gym is literally in walking distance of my house!

I think since I've become a mom, I have become complacent with exercise. I don't have a sitter to stay with Alyssa to go to the gym on a consistent basis (my husband works odd day and night hours) and this summer she gave me a hard time going to the kids' club.

I know I am making excuses not to exercise and I could do DVDs at home but I find it hard to get motivated. Any advice? Thanks.

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answers from Columbus on

What motivates me is doing something I really enjoy, which is kickboxing. I think that if you find something you really like (people seem to love Zumba), you'll look forward to going. When I used to do the treadmill, I would read (I was power walking), so knowing that I would get time to read stuff I would never spend time on otherwise was motivation for me.

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answers from Norfolk on

Could you get a jogging stroller and run or walk with your daughter? A bicycle with a trailer or a bike seat so you could bike together?
It is really hard to get (and stay) motivated to exercise. If you make a committment to an exercise regimen, you'll be a great example for your daughter and will increase the probability of sticking around for many years to see her grow up and have a family of her own. So by exercising, you are not only helping yourself, you are helping her grow into an active, confident, healthy girl, then woman.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

After 5 kids and a husband leaving me for a younger, more fit woman (more to it but it was a motivator) I started because I was sad and it was for my husband but now I do it because I feel amazing in my clothes and I feel good being able to walk around in a skirt or shorts (I have not worn shorts since PE class Freshman year of HS and only then did I ever wore shorts). I've never worn dresses because I didn't think I looked good in them but now I can embrace them. I was always skinny, 5'5" at 120 lbs but now at 130 lbs and 32 I feel better about my body than ever. Do it for yourself. If you exercised before and you miss it, you need to just do it. Find time for yourself, I use the P90X DVDs and I also run while the kids play at the park (I do circles around them so I'm never out of sight). I made excuses before about not having time being a mom but mom needs to be happy and if being in shape makes you happy, get a motivational quote online and keep with it. It's helped me lots to read those motivational photos on Pinterest. I know lots of people say you can exercise with the kids but I like having it as my downtime after taking care of the kids but do what works for you. I'm sure taking a class with people would be encouraging but I just keep telling myself: Do I want to suffer for an hour a day or suffer my whole life? Do I want to feel good eating for 5 minutes or feel awesome all day having eating well?

Eat healthy, exercise, feel good.

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answers from Dallas on

It's hard to get back into a workout routine once you've gotten out of it. I used to have a solid routine, got out of it, and was never able to really get back to it. I think it's harder to re-start than it was to ever start to begin with, if that makes sense.

We mommies also contend with the guilt of taking time to ourselves and away from our child (especially since you've already been away from her all day at work). And not even so much guilt, but you just would rather be with your daughter than at the gym!

I think maybe find ways to exercise that involve your daughter. Mommy & me classes are a good way for both of you to be active. Taking her to the park for a walk (with the stroller for when she gets tired). Bike rides, etc.

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answers from Boston on

Try signing up for an event that you have to train for - a 5K, and obstacle course, a Zumbathon, something. I found that once I committed to races (esp with a friend) I was more likely to exercise even at weird hours because having a firm date in mind and the imagined humiliation of not being ready motivate me to get out on the road TODAY. FWIW I have participated in at least give 5K runs, 2 triathlons and a 10K and still can't run three miles without stopping to walk for a bit so you don't have to be a super athlete to participate in things and there are plenty of other beginners. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or other fall 5K and when your husband is home, throw on your sneakers and go jog for a half hour. Forget about the treadmill at the gym.

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answers from St. Louis on

Put her in a stroller and go on a walk with her 3-4x a week. That way you are doing something together (or get a jogging stroller) or one of those covered things you can pull behind a bike. We put the elliptical in our living room - not becasue it looks great, but because I'll do it if it's staring me in the eyes. And usually the kids watch 1/2 hour of TV at night so I get on it and we are 'watching' cartoons together. If I don't do it then, I get on when I start my 'relaxing/watching tv once the kids are asleep' time.



answers from Sacramento on

What about going to a short class during your lunch break (perhaps something quick like CrossFit?) or even just taking a half hour walk at lunch every day? I fit in my gym time during my lunch break on weekdays.

The key thing is to make it a routine. I can very easily become a sluggish couch potato if I get out of going, but once it's a routine for me, I enjoy it more and stick with it.



answers from New York on

Yes, you need to find the right DVD for you. Some are very "girly, girly" and others can be too difficult. Figure out what kind of exercise you like and find a video for it. Some cheap videos are really good. Even if you find a video on YouTube it will help. You really don't need to knock yourself out. I like "Kick Butt Kickboxing" and "Cardio Kung Fu" and am a closet Richard Simmons fan. (Love the music and the dances are simple enough for me to do.) There's a great video on YouTube of a group of women dressed in red tank tops and black bicycle pants doing a dance exercise to Lady Gaga's "Telephone." It is a lot of fun to do, and they look like average people with good bods, so it's not intimidating. I don't like the videos with the skimpy outfits on.



answers from Chicago on

The best part of my day is the gym fitness class. I understand!

I go 3 times a week (and run at night after they are in bed and husband home). DVD's @ home or even going to do the equipment by myself does not push me like a class. Mine are 1, 3, 4 and 6 (and a 5th on the way). They go to the Kid's Club. It's not something I'll argue about. I do pack each a fun snack to motivate them (food is allowed).

I did work the preschool schedule to my advantage, meaning I can get most out of the house anyway. But if you go in the evening, preschool then probably isn't an option.

I'd say you might just have to go in the evening (and go at least 3 times a week), and your daughter will have to accept it. Maybe the Kid's Club needs better toys, etc? Is management open to suggestions?

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