How Do You Fit Exercise In?

Updated on May 16, 2012
K.G. asks from Livermore, CA
24 answers

I am desperatly trying to get rid of 30 pounds. I have lost only 5 pounds and 8 inches in the last 5 weeks. I'm getting discouraged. I have completely changed the way we eat. The change in food so far has not been too much of an issue.

My biggest hurdle is exercise. I have Wii fit and for a while I was doing it every day. I do the 30 minute steps and watch Dr Oz or something while I'm doing it. I don't belone to a gym, and would love to. Problem is I don't know when I would go. I am NOT a very good, get up early and exercise person. I have kind of gotten bored with Wii fit, it's also a bit difficult to do with the little kids around.

My day is full of children and homeschooling. Nighttime is for my husband.

I received a double jogging stroller and would love to learn how to jog. Again, when?

My last pregnancy was 4 years ago and I had twin girls. I gained 38 pounds. I lost it all right away and then some when I was nursing. After we finished nursing it all came back and more. *sigh* I'd like for it to hit the road now. I know the only way to do it is to get in more exercise.

When and how? Thanks.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everone for your kind words and great advice. I now have a bunch of new ideas to try. I appreciate the time you each took to write me.

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answers from San Francisco on

I love Jillian Michaels (Biggest Loser) 30 Day Shred workout DVD. It's 30 min (warm up to cool down) and a great work out. It's 3 levels and when I went from level one to level two I lost 5 lbs in two weeks and 5 inches.
I also use to track my food and find support as well as ideas and information. I work out while my daughter is napping. My friend works out after her kids go to bed. With only 30 min needed I think almost everyone can find the time. I also work out "with" my daughter, so to speak, she tries to do the work out and I think it's a great example for her.
Best of luck!



answers from Washington DC on

I have 3 kids and exercising at home just does not work for me , I go to a gym that has childcare. My eldest goes to school all day and my middle goes to preschool until 12 and I have my youngest at home , I take my daughter to preschool and then go straight to the gym , I do this 3 times/week , sometimes 4 if I can fit it in , now that the weather is getting nicer and I am getting myself a bike with a seat on the back for the little one and am planning on going for a ride when the other 2 are at school.

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answers from San Diego on

First off: 5lbs in 5 weeks & 8 inches is KILLER. Good job! and that's weight that will STAY off (and hopefully the 8 inches means you've actually lost a LOT more weight, but have replaced some of the fat with muscle). Weight added fast, or taken away fast tends to magically reappear. (I can lose 12lbs in a day, but it'll be right back with a few friends the next week). So awesome job. 1-2 lbs per week is perfect, you really don't wanna go faster than that. IF you somehow kept that up... that would be 52 lbs in a year. MOST people's bodies don't work that way though. The lose a little weight... plateau (I think of it as my body waiting to get "used" to it's new shape & caloric needs... just check to see if this is the norm or if it should hoard)... then lose a little more, plateau, lose, plateau, lose, plateau. So in a year at the same rate it would be 30-40lbs instead of 52.

We've incorporated exercise into our HS'ing. ((Our HS motto is "Mens sana in corpore sano.")) If I had to somehow have kid-free time in order to exercise... it just. wouldn't. happen. The few breaks I get I DO NOT have the urge to expend energy, but rather to soak into a corner of the couch and revel in peace, quiet, and not having to think.

Some of the ways we incorporate E into HS'ing:

We pull out yoga mats and do exercises before school (not yoga, because I don't know it, but stretches, situps, handstands, etc.)...

Any day we're doing school at home (aka fall or spring, see below) we break at 1130 for a "get outta the house" time: walk the dog, go to the park/ beach/ library/ community center for basketball/ local pool for swimming... aka all active stuff (okay, okay, the library isn't active... but walking to it IS)... Then we come back and have a late lunch.

In the winter and summer we do family sports (aka swimming/sailing and snowboarding) during the week. They're things we do together. Kiddo's ADHD... so he's in near constant motion... and I nowhere near keep up with him, although I'm adhd as well (ahhhh... kid's limitless energy)... so he does team sports as well... but as much as possible, we try to be active together.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You have already gotten a ton of great answers (like finding a gym with child care hours that work for you... my local gym didn't ) and comments (like a pound a week is rockin'. Remember the numbers you see on "The Biggest Looser" are people working out 4 - 6 hours a day).

How I found time was during my daughter's swim practice (45 minutes). Rather than staying and watching the kids during their enrichment classes, try a "couch to 5k" program after walking a month. Or, as they are still little, use the jogging stroller or a burley bike trailer (got mine off craig's list) on a local bike trail. My daughter is now 7 and claims she is MUCH too big! The bike bruised my butt so I had to start with short distances and work up to longer times. That said, towing 60 lbs of pure love in "the giggle express" burns calories! I have noticed most kids can't resist a nap in a stroller or bike trailer, and at 4 they like to think they don't need naps.

I also found I loose more weight when I track my calories at and when I take a couple "days off" from tracking because I am eating something too complicated to track? Mysteriously about 3 pounds creeps back!

NetFlix is a good source for work out DVDs, but I have trouble with my daughter crawling on me during them. Also, while I can jog over a mile (and my regular workout is a jog/walk of 3 miles M-W-F and cycling 25-30 miles at least once, if not 2 or 3 times a week) that Jillian Micheal's shred DVD beat me up. Could be I was using too much weight (in my hands) or really going for the gusto on the squats, but my hamstrings were sore for 4 days!! (At first I thought it was the 26 mile bike ride I did that night, but then I remembered I had done it 2 weeks before with no issues, so it wasn't the hills... my training log revealed the issue!) Some people are motivated by getting beat up, other people get discouraged by feeling they are out of shape. I know I am motivated by feeling strong and capable. I now look at that DVD as a way to push my intensity to "the next level" but I can't recommend it for "easing" into working out.

Getting home equipment like a stationary bike to plunk down where you watch TV works for some people. (I got a recumbent bike, and while it worked for a while and really well for one friend I loaned it too, it really didn't push my heart rate enough to burn a lot of calories. However it's gentle, better than sitting on the couch and watching TV, and if you already have shows you know you will make time for.....)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I don't have a "regular" exersice routen... I have been over 200# for about 12 years, I lost about 35# after loosing my job last July (my employer closed their doors). We cut out almost all fast food & I started cooking at home all the time. I knew I was loosing weight, but didn't know how much till I went to the doctor for a check-up because I wasn't feeling well in November... which is when I found out I was expecting.

For me to get exercise... it is usually chasing my 3 kids (2 1/2, 4 1/2 & 6) - lol. But we like to go for family walks in the local parks... our Metro Parks have a fall hiking spree (you have to do 8 - 2 mile walks within 2 months & get a walking stick your first year & little metal badges to put on your stick after that) and just found out they are doing a spring walk spree (you have to do 5 - 1/2 mile walks within 2 month - they are shorter cause most people in this area don't get out much in the winter). But the walks which we try to do atleast a few times a week are good for the family cause it is family time, our kids ask us about the plants & animals they see - so it helps to educate them about our areas nature, plus it helps them to exercise & run off some of their energy.

Guess my only advise is if you are having a hard time fitting it in - make it a family thing. Cause honestly - the kids need the exercise too & it's never to early to start teaching them about being healthy.

Also, just becuase I was over 200# - it didn't mean I wasn't healthy. My doctors have always been shocked about my stats & blood work has always been super. Somepeople are just ment to be a little heavier then others... and some skinny people are acutally more unhealthy then "fat" people.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Yuba City on

Hi K.,

Have you heard of Baby Boot Camp? It is stroller fitness for parents/caregivers. You bring your child in a stroller and get a full body work out. I own a Baby Boot Camp franchise in the Yuba City area and my moms love it. You spend time with you kids and get an awesome workout. All of my moms have found friendship too which is a bonus. My son knows the first hour is mommy's time and then we go to the park with all the kids and play. It's a great way to get some "me" time! Check out and see if there is one in your area.

good luck, the weight will come off with time and determination which it sounds like you have!




answers from Flagstaff on

I agree with what everyone else said, you are doing AWESOME! I cannot motivate to work out on my own which is why I go to Stroller Strides class- I'm there 5 days a week. With Stroller Strides you bring you kids with you in the stroller, so you never have to worry about sick kids in the gym daycare or trying to work out when you can find childcare. But probably the best thing about Stroller Strides is accountability- people notice when you're not at class & they ask about you. It's great to be with another group of moms that all know exactly what you're going through. The location I got to here in AZ also offers a class called LEAN where you meet once a week for 2 months & learn healthier eating habits etc. & I know that class really helped me lose the last 10lbs.
They have locations across the country- check out their website at



answers from San Francisco on

I do baby boot camp, you take your kids in the stroller and make it work! Google it and see if there is one in your area, I really like it maybe you will too!



answers from Providence on

The only thing I seem to be able to find time or enjoy doing is getting out and walking.Some times I walk to the store...the post office ...its tough the down fall I seem to have is eating healthy on crazy days the unhealthy stuff seems to be the easiest and most convenient...By the way great job in the weight loss so far!!



answers from Houston on

pilates for weight loss dvd Susan Deacon from amazon and Access Bars to maximize your workout. I home-school my children and work from home and now I am a fitness instructor thanks to the Access Bars



answers from Stockton on

We have an almost 4 year old son and 2-1/2 year old daughter. I am a full-time stay-at-home mom. This is what works for me; I get up early and get on the eliptical for as long as I can handle it and then in the afternoon I do one of the 10 minute workouts that is on Comcast On Demand. Great workouts for 10 minutes! I am not one to walk or go to the gym. Also, my husband and I do fitness boot camp every Thursday evening at one of our local community centers (we have our babysitter come over).
It takes time and consistency so don't get discouraged!



answers from Sacramento on

Hi K.,

Congrats on the weight loss-that's awesome!

As far as finding time--you just have to make time, or rather schedule it in. For me, I can't workout at home--there's too many other things that I could (or should!) be doing. Instead, I belong to a gym and go 2 evenings a week after my son goes to bed (around 8) (and also 1 weekend day during his nap). It makes for a long day since I also work full-time and am up early, but I feel worse if I don't go. Exercise is my "me" time and a stress release for me. I know you said that evenings are spent with your husband, but if you're the kind of person that can exercise in the morning, see what he thinks about it. I think my husband acutally enjoys that hour of peace and quiet to himself!

As far as jogging--just start with walking, then brisk walking, and work up to a jog. That's all you really need to do. To begin, you probably want to alternate walking and running, and make sure you have some decent running shoes. Running on asphalt will be easier on your knees than cement.

Good luck! Sounds like you are off to a great start!



answers from Los Angeles on

I had weight loss issues after my second son was born as well. I joined the gym, in addition to doing Jenny Craig, and made it part of my routine to work out 3 times a week. 2 times after work during the week and once on the weekend. My oldest son goes with me and loves to play at the Kids Club and my youngest stays home with dad. It's only 1 hour, 3 times a week and I lost all the weight and more. I don't do Jenny Craig anymore and with working out I have been able to keep the weight off. I also make it a point to do something active every day, I walk during lunch at work 2-3 times a week, take the kids to the park and walk, walk at the beach, etc. You just have to make it part of your daily routine.



answers from Detroit on

I am a mother of six, we work out together. We have races, play hide and seek, jump rope, tug-o-war, and I even use them as weights. I enjoy having fun with them as they compete with me. Plus it tires them out too. Get games to the Wii that you can play with the kids like bowling. That way you don't have to think about when to work out, they will keep you motivated.



answers from Philadelphia on

I joined the YMCA with my family and it's been the best thing we've ever done for our family. I work full-time and always found it impossible to fit time in to exercise but joining the Y gave me more motivation and the fact that they provide free care for my son for 2 hours/day is great. He loves the Kids Zone and I get to squeeze an hour in for myself most days.

The great part about the Y is that there are things there for your whole family. Our Y has free movie nights, open gym and swim time, and other activities. Sometimes when we go on Sat or Sun and the childcare is closed my husband & I take turns working out. One of us plays with him in the gym or playground while the other exercises & then we switch. For awhile, my husband and I were doing yoga classes together there.

In order to fit it in you may have to sacrifice or make gym time something you and your husband do together so many nights a week. It's important not only for your health but I think being active sets a great example for your kids.

Since you are homeschooling, maybe you add a physical activity to your curriculum so you and the kids can be active together.



answers from Pittsburgh on

O. thought is forget about making an "exercising routine" and just increase activity any way you can WITH your kids...walk at the park, Wii active games, bike ride together, etc.
Also, I know you like your nighttime to be "for your husband" but what time is for you? Surely you can do the Wii Fit twice per week after the kids are in bed for a half hour? Good luck!



answers from Grand Junction on

Don't know if you have heard of or tried shape up shoes, but I wear them and they have done wonders for me. I wear them everyday all day long around the house, shopping, and when I walk in the evenings. They have definitely made a difference in how I look and feel. Beebe Gliders are the the best shape and tone shoes I have worn. They are really light weight and comfortable. I bought mine here.



answers from Sacramento on

First let me say that your weight loss so far sounds like a good amount. I think Drs recommend about a pound a week weight loss as ideal. I think a lot of women would be thrilled with a 5 lb. and 8 in. loss in five weeks time.
As for the exercise, you say you are busy with kids all day. Let that be your clue. Do things with them. Go outside and play with them. Take walks with them around the neighborhood. You don't say how many children you have total, but I'm guessing that with the youngest being 4 yo twins, you could easily control the children on a walk without additional adult help. If not, ask a neighbor to go on the walk with you, or perhaps you and your husband walk with the children in the evening.
When in the house, put on some lively music and get the children started in a silly dance routine, and you dance with them. Make it lively so you are all getting in some good exercise. I've even done floor exercises with the children in my childcare. They love it!
Most of all, I think you need to try not to be discouraged over your rate of weight loss, but celebrate what you have lost and realize that it may be a slower process than you would like it to be.



answers from Sacramento on

Well first off, 5lbs in 5 weeks is totally awsome. The recommended weight loss is 1 to 2lbs per week if it's going to stay off, so you are right on track. As for when to exercise, that's a little harder. For me the only way I can do it is to belong to a gym that I can take the kids to while I work out. I tried getting up early and jogging but my husband didn't like that. Now that the weather is getting better you might try using your jogging stroller during the day sometime after breakfast. You also might try to invovle the hubby by taking the whole family out for a walk in the evening sometime after dinner a couple nights a week. The longer days are really helpful for that sort of thing. You might also try to purchase some workout DVD's. I really like the Power90 series ( and my mom really likes Jillian's 30 Day Shred. You can do those while the kids are doing some independant school work for 30 minutes a day.


answers from Fresno on

Hi K.,
I hear you loud and clear! I think this is an issue for most moms, actually. What I finally discovered about myself is that if I don't have a sense of accountability, I just won't do it. I don't really love exercise (even though I know it's good for me and I need to do it).

So, what I finally did was sign up for Adventure Boot Camp. I go to the one in Fresno, but I think there are a couple in the Bay Area too. It's an hour a day (I chose the 5:30am session, which is EARLY and I'm not a morning person, but I just make myself go). Wow, do they get results. It's something different every morning so I never quite know what to expect, and I don't ever get bored. Plus, since you are there every morning with the same people, you can encourage each other, and the coach will keep you on track with your goals. Since the coach takes roll every morning, I feel like I have to be there and I'm accountable to her. It has been a very positive experience for me.

Granted it's not cheap, but I thought about it this way. My cholesterol was getting high, and women with fat around the middle have a higher risk of heart attack. My doctor was going to put me on cholesterol meds if I didn't get the weight off and lower my cholesterol. My prescription co-pay is $20. So in 1 year I would pay $240 for meds, plus quarterly checkup co-pays, which is another $80, plus quarterly lab co-pays, another $80. That is almost 3 months of boot camp right there! Plus now that I am healthier (cholesterol is down 100 points, no kidding) I feel better and can keep up with my kids.

So that's my suggestion! If that's out of the question, maybe you can get some friends together and run or walk early in the morning.



answers from Honolulu on

What is very effective, is interval training.
Meaning, doing something in a ramped up high intensity manner... then lower intensity. Do each one for like 5 minutes, or 3 minutes... do the whole routine for even 20 just minutes, or half hour if you can. Believe me, its not easy and not a wimp workout. Do it so that your heart-rate increases within an appropriate range.
You might also want to get one of those strap on exercise heart-rate monitors... to make sure you are in the zone... unless you get your heart-rate up into a cardio zone, losing weight or increasing fitness or challenging your current fitness level will be hard.

This kicks up your metabolism and stamina... and weight loss/inches/fitness level.

Interval training is the real key. Many many "experts" say this is the most effective way to utilize time (if you don't have much time) for exercise. It is not about the length of time you exercise... but the quality/intensity of the exercise and interval training.

You can even do this with the Wii. Which is what we do. Or, simply doing jumping-jacks or jogging in place (at high intensity bringing your knees up to waist level)... then drop it back down to a lower intensity like jogging or walking in place... then kicking it back up again with intense jumping-jacks and so forth. This can be done anywhere anytime, in front of a tv.

Good luck,



answers from Sacramento on

Hi K. - I was in the same predicament as you—I wanted to exercise and lose weight, but when and how?!? I started off going to the gym and just walking on the treadmill, increasing the elevation and speed every 2-3 minutes for a 30 minute workout. I squeezed these gym runs in as often as I could, aiming for 4 times a week. Since you don’t have a gym membership, but you do have a jogging stroller, try taking the kids on walk for 30-minutes, making sure to try and push yourself a little harder each time. I soon found myself seeing results (after a stagnant month, the weight finally started coming off) and wanting to get in more exercise. Bottom line, when you are really motivated, you find the time. I enrolled in a 5 week to 5k class (If you’re in Sacramento it’s called Live for It All Fitness, the pounds continued to drop off. That was one year ago, and two weekends ago I finished my first half marathon! That said, my son is in bed by 8:00 so I go to the gym after that, or some nights my husband gets him ready for bed and I go a little earlier. I NEVER used to go to the gym that late, but have made it a priority b/c I will not get up at 4:30 to go in the mornings. Good luck to you, if you have the right mindset (which sometimes takes a few tries) you can do anything and you will figure it out!! : )



answers from Los Angeles on

I think you're doing great with all that you have on your plate. I do Jillian Michael's "last chance workout" and after 20 minutes it's kicked my butt. I think that's a worthy goal is to just do 20 minutes at a time (with my son that's all i have time for) but make them COUNT - i.e., difficult workout, nothing too easy. And if you do it consistently it does make a difference. Also, maybe on the weekend hubby can watch your children while you go for a hike, walk, or jog. Sometimes mine watches our son on Saturday or Sunday so I can go to the gym for a half hour - a great way to get away.



answers from Orlando on

First of all 5lbs and 8 inches in 5 weeks is AWESOME! Give yourself some credit :-) - I do a workout dvd that is only about 24 minutes. It's called Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. It is really awesome. You wouldn't believe the workout you get in only 20 minutes. If you want to switch it up and try something new but don't have time for a gym (I don't) then you could try a new workout dvd.

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