Finding Time and Ideas to Exercise

Updated on January 26, 2011
V.R. asks from Bridgeton, MO
15 answers

I feel so out of shape, even though I am chasing my 2 little ones all day. I work part time 30+ hours a week in retail so I'm constantly on the move there. Then once at home with the kids I chase them everywhere, clean the house, do all the other house, wife, mom duties. So clearly by the end of the day I'm tired!! How/when do you find time to exercise and what do you do?? I'm not looking for anything too elaborate, just to tone my tummy and arms primarily. Thanks!

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answers from Kansas City on

I understand. I was never a workout person, but after baby #3 (he's 16 months) I am not getting back in shape! I started walk/running in the mornings before people got up, just for 10-15 minutes, but then winter came. Now I've been doing the 20 minute shread video which I like, the kids make it tough at times, and I'm much better at doing it in the mornings, if I wait, it doesn't get done. Sometimes my kids watch me, sometimes they play, sometimes they try to do it themselves, and if I'm really lucky my husband is home and I can do it by myself. I like it because it's only 20 minutes, but you feel like you've worked out, and it 3 minutes strength (arms and legs), 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute abs (3 times), so you don't do anything for long, and I get bored exercising so that works well for me.

I agree, using netflix or asking friends to find a video you'll like helps. I'm ready to get outside again, and maybe get a little more exercise without it seeming that way (walks to the park, etc.)


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answers from Columbia on

I use netflix and I found this 10 minute Pilate video that I really liked. I only use the tummy, leg and arm part and I don't do the same one very day. I like them a lot because they are quick and you feel the burn. The slight ache I have the next day keeps me motivated.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I exercise on my lunch break. In an hour, I can do 1/2 hour of cardio or weights, take a shower and be back at work. I'll be changing jobs within the next year and so will have to go back to getting up early to use the elliptical and weights we have at home. It is SO hard to get up when you want to sleep, but if you can get moving first thing in the morning, you'll feel better all day long. Good for you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

How about hula hooping? I have been doing it for a month and it has tightened up my tummy a bit. I find that I need to do more than that to get a well-rounded workout, but when I am tired or not really feeling like working out, it is the perfect thing because I do it while I watch a show on tv, or listen to some music, and then after about 30 min, I am warmed up and usually feel like going for a jog or doing a workout video. I use light (2-3 lb) arm weights while I do it. The hoop was $15.00 at Big 5 sports.

Promise yourself you will do something active for at least 20 minutes a day. Netflix offers workout videos and its a great way to try em out and see which ones you like enough to buy. Pilates and yoga dvds are also great for the arms and tummy. I like AM Yoga for Your Week with Rodney Yee, also any of Ellen Barrett's pilates videos. Or go for a walk with your kids. Or play a few rounds on the Wii or Kinect. Start off small and within no time you will have the energy and desire to work up to something more challenging. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

night yoga may be a relaxing excersise 30 min prior to bed to relax.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm not sure about arms and tummy, but my main exercise is taking the kiddo and the dog for walks when the weather is nice enough. I cant wait for spring, the dog and I are both starting to look a little too round in the middle, and she really cant afford it. I know she's a weiner dog, but we dont want a sausage one. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm a fitness junkie, so I probably do more than the average person. I do kickboxing, step aerobics and weight training (some heavy, some circuit style). The trick is finding something you like to do that doesn't make you bored. Do you like to dance? Run? Something more athletic, like bootcamp?

I work out at home, because I can't stand going to a gym. (I use Cathe Freidrich and TaeBo, primarily). I hate, hate, hate treadmills.

Keep in mind that if you give it a chance, exercise will give you MORE energy, so you won't feel as tired.

I alternate between getting up between 4-4:30 every day to do it before work, or coming home early to do it before our nanny leaves for the day. I realize the latter is a lucky circumstance for me.

Otherwise, do it at night after the kids go to bed. You have to make time to do it. Plain and simple. And for me, once I started seeing results, it was enough to keep me going.



answers from Kansas City on

I like the previous suggestions of working out in the morning before everyone else gets up. I love having that done and being showered and dressed when I get my kids up.

I just wanted to recommend that you not over look running outside, even in winter. I love running in snow, it makes me feel like a like a little kid. Just make sure you bundle up with lots of layers and watch your step. My husband feel once while running in the snow because he stopped paying attention to his surroundings.

Good luck!


answers from Boston on

I second the Yoga at night - SO Relaxing ! and Pilates too !!! It's amazing how much doing these Tone your body and just make you FEEL GOOD !!!


answers from Rochester on

How old are your kids???

Depending on what phase we've been in, I've really liked workout DVDs, especially the 10 Minute Solutions, because I can do one complete 10 minute workout before all hell breaks loose, or if I have enough time, I can do several and get a good 20 to 40 or 50 minutes in. If you can afford a stability ball, it is really nice to use for sitting around the house, at the computer, watching television, etc. It works your core muscles just balancing on it and it is great for workouts, too. (Depending on how old your kids are, this can become more dangerous than not--my boys often launched themselvs at mine when I was in awkward positions and we would all tumble down--they finally accidently punctured it.)

Invest in some basics like hand weights and a therapy band if you don't have them. I used to use water bottles with sand or rocks when I was younger and didn't have spare change. I like doing arm exercises when we're watching a cartoon or relaxing in the evening. When I'm not pregnant I like doing abs on the floor, often with my kids balanced on my feet, which adds to the core work and my fight for balance, not to mention the weight if I'm doing leg presses with them on me. I also printed out some basic yoga poses from some health websites and used to do those in the morning while I was making coffee, just a few to wake up my deeper muscles and also make me feel more alert. These aren't your target areas, but my boys also love wrapping their arms and legs around me from the front while I do squats and lunges (again, when I'm not pregnant--I feel like I can barely pick them up right now). So basically I only found time either when my kids were napping, on my lunch breaks at work, or combining safe exercises with other things I'm doing anyway, like watching a show, anything I could do standing while washing dishes, etc.

I had a co-worker recently ask if anyone wanted to join her in doing 20 push-ups a day for a set amount of time and at the time I hadn't done one for most of my pregnancy but I wanted to give it a shot. I did the "girl" ones on my knees and started out at 5 at a time, but I got up to doing all 20 at once, which I thought was pretty good for 7 months pregnant. Set some kind of mini-goal like that to do in the morning and then you've at least done something really good for yourself, and push-ups are great for your arms and chest anyway. =)


answers from Santa Fe on

I think you should sign up for a pilates or other exercise class one night a week! That is starting small and you can branch out and do more on your own if you want. At least you will be doing something! For myself, I do a mommy n me type yoga class and go to an evening exercise class at the ymca. One morning a week I meet up with a friend and we take turns watching kids and each going for a run. Good luck getting started!



answers from Las Vegas on

get a pedometer and truly begin to measure how many steps you are taking. ..this is a good start.. now, once you know what you are doing already, then you can build from there. example, use stairs instead of elevators... park farther away at parking lots (when safe to do so of course)
as for weights.. I have weight under my coffee table (in yr case, with two little ones) you may need to store somewhere else.. anyway, when watching t.v. I pull the weight out and do some reps.. they are just 7 lbs weights.. but do the trick for now.. you can do it when or if you little ones are napping. start out with say 15 reps and build from there..

also.. while for example in the kitchen... when I am cooking and for example warming something up, take the time to do about 20 squats.. if you can fire up those leg muscles , I do believe you ll burn more calories..
these are just little simple things.. but if you do them for a couple of weeks, you will notice a difference..

I prefer the weight watchers pedometer. It tells me steps, distance, time, etc.... it tracks miles for about 5 to 7 days... so that u can see your progress... I think you might like it, I def have enjoyed using it..

best of luck


answers from St. Louis on

I try to work out within the first 1/2 hour of being home. I put on my work out clothes right when I get home and since hubby has the kids all day, I let him have some 'me' time while I play with the kids. I play with them for about 20 mins then pop in a Tae-Bo or walking DVD and do that while they play in the same room. If the younger gets fussy my husband will take care of him. I only make myself work out for 20 minutes (sometimes longer) but just by telling myself I only have to do it for 20 mins makes it easier! Yesterday I only got to do 10 mins and my son was fussy so I stopped. Even if you can get in 10 mins right after work and 10 mins after dinner, that is still more than nothing! Once it's nicer, I'll run around the yard for 10-20 minutes or take my kids on a walk in the stroller.



answers from Topeka on

Check out Turbo Jam. They have some 20 mintue exercises on there and then some longer ones if you find a day when you have more time. I'm using it and several of my friends are. It's a great way to shed some pounds and tone up.



answers from St. Louis on

I will agree that yoga at night would help you tone and gain core strength without revving you up too much to sleep. I love that private time to feel good about me and stretch out some tension from the day.

I don't know if your kids are old enough, but we got the Wii fit game for kids with Dora, Diego, backyardigans and Kai Lan and we play it together. :). Kids need to be at least 2 to really attempt the moves, though.

Here's to our health!

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