Too Exhausted to Exercise, Any Suggestions?

Updated on November 14, 2010
L.D. asks from Great Neck, NY
25 answers

I've been trying to fit exercise into my daily scheudule and it seems impossible. I work full-time (desk job) and in the evenings after I finally get my son to bed, I have about an hour to myself. I usually like to read, watch some TV and collaspse. I was walking over my lunch breaks at work but now the weather is getting colder. I have a Wii Fit and a stack of workout videos but I'm simply too exhausted at the end of the day to work out. I would be happy if I could get myself to do 20 min. of yoga a day even. I've also tried getting up early and it doesn't happen. I need something realistic for my schedule otherwise I know it won't happen. What works for you moms out there? I need some motivation for the winter! Thank you.

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So What Happened?

Thanks Ladies for all the awesome suggestions! I am going to try the Walk at Home videos which seem to be so popular and drag out my stepper and Hulu videos. :)

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answers from Detroit on

Leslie Sansone Walk at Home videos are so easy you can do them while making dinner and the kids can participate, too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I have one of those exercise balls, or whatever you call them.
I got it because I have shoulder issues and can't lift weights and my back needs a good stretching. I just love rolling on my tummy or laying on my back and flexing, kicking off with my feet. I usually do it before bed. I like it and it really feels good.
With my work schedule, I am on my feet all day and walk, walk, walk, until my legs would love to fall off some days.
The ball and the no impact stretching and crunches and arm strengthening really help me and feels relaxing, actually.

Just a suggestion.

Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I know I'm responding a little later. I have a wii fit also and got a stepper platform (raises it a few inches). Every night after the kids go to bed I do 10 or 20 minutes of the wii free step and watch TV while I do it. I also get up at 5:20 every morning and do 30 minutes of either a workout video or elliptical machine. But you can just start with the wii stepper and it's great because you can still watch TV while you do it.

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answers from Austin on

If you tell yourself that you are too exhausted to workout, then you'll never do it. I find actually getting dressed to exercise is a huge motivation drain; the more tasks/preparations that you have to do, when you already aren't feeling prone to doing it, are big influences on whether exercise actually happens. I suggest that you change your clothes as soon as you get home (orbefore you leave work) so that, as soon as your son is in bed, all you have to do is hit the start button on your DVD or Wii. Same idea in regard to having the exercise equipment/whatnot ready. The less you have to do beforehand, the better the chance exercise will happen.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Yep, like others have said, I've had to just get up earlier to fit exercise in. I also work full-time and exhausted at the end of the day after working, then chasing my toddler/infant, etc. I walk on our treadmill in the mornings for 30-60 minutes, depending how early I can drag myself out of bed! Even if I can only get in FIVE minutes, I will do it, because I believe keeping up the habit is as important as anything. Sometimes it can be unmotivating when you think about getting ready to do a whole 20+ minutes of exercise. Start by just doing five minutes of exercise a day, and begin to form the habit. Once you are in the habit, a longer routine might form itself without you even trying too hard.

I also have to say, if you have a treadmill, get yourself a laptop set-up in front of it and watch Hulu TV while you're on the treadmill. Sadly, the only way I can endure my whole exercise routine some days is by watching the most recent episodes of my favorite TV shows!

I also TOTALLY agree with the poster who said that getting dressed/ready to exercise can be a motivation drain. When I get on the treadmill, I just get on the treadmill. I walk/jog in whatever I happen to be wearing - my pajamas, my jeans - sometimes just my underwear. Having one more "task" to fit in before exercising can just complicate things.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I work out first thing in the morning before my toddler wakes up. I work out to Leslie Sansome's walking dvd. I try to do the whole 5 miles, it takes about an hour and 15 minutes. It's a GREAT DVD!!! You can work out as much or as little as you want. A mile is about 12-14 minutes. Each segment works out a different body part, legs, abs, arms, etc. I have her other DVD's but this is by far my favorite. The DVD is perfect for winter, rainy days, etc. since you are working out in the comfort of your own home and you don't any any special equipment. Here's the link to it:

Good luck! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

There are many things you can do to get your heart rate up just a bit while sitting at your desk or even during your lunch break. There are those little pedals that you can pedal while sitting and it doesn't show since it's under your desk. You can look up stretches and integrate them during the day. When I worked at a call center for DSL I could not leave my desk. I got them to give me an extension for my headset and I would get up and move around often. I would put my back on the wall and stretch my arms out and flatten my back to relax the muscles. I would do stretches where I touched the floor with my legs straight, I could do knee bends, all kinds of simple, non bouncy exercises at my desk or right by it. I got a couple of 15 minute breaks throughout the day too and could walk a couple of times around the inside of the building after going to the bathroom.

If you think about it and just try to see where you can add something to the day you may find you are getting lots of exercise. You didn't say what kind of work you do so I am assuming it is something indoors and sedentary. You can find a way if you think outside the

If it is the mental part of exercise you are missing you may just have to do something on the weekend, the Wii could be something you and your son both enjoy and it will teach him about healthy lifestyles too.

When I am mentally exhausted and mentally needing a break I use simple relaxation techniques. I have CD's and tapes of Peaceful Ocean Surf, autogenic relaxation, all kinds of mental journeys that help me relax so I can rest better and feel better mentally. I have a "boom box" type cd/tape/radio player that I can sit by my bed. I turn it on very low and lay dawn with a towel rolled up under my neck. I listen to the instructions and tense and relax the body part they are telling me to focus on and then I visualize the scenario they are telling. It helps me take my mind off the stress of the day and refocus my mental energy towards being healthy mentally too.



answers from Chicago on

I would try to do something for thirty minutes in the morning. Also joining a gym and most have 5:30 AM classes that can get you motivated. I would try to do things gradually but commit to do something every day. Even if it is 10 minutes.

I also walk on my lunch break year round. I have found I actually prefer to walk in the winter. Even in 10 degree weather I am out there with snow pants, boots, and lots of under armour. Only if it is really windy I will try to walk indoors somewhere.

Another option is putting in a good hard core work out on Saturday and Sunday. Then maybe shorter workouts during the week.

It is not easy but you just have to commit it to your schedule. Whatever the capacity may be.

You can do it!



answers from Minneapolis on

I struggle with the same thing...I have to be at work before 7 and I'm just not a morning exerciser. After weighing a gym membership v. home exercise equipment, we just got a treadmill from Craigslist and so far I LOVE the flexibility of being able to run whenever I can fit it in (plus not having to put my daughter in the gym daycare after being at daycare all day). Good luck!!



answers from Los Angeles on

I know this is late, but I wanted to chime in. I think if you make your goal very small at first, you will start feeling good and it will be easier to do more later. I liked the suggestion about the pedal under the desk! My suggestion is to spend 5 minutes every evening, either before bed, or during TV time, just stretching. This will make you feel more supple and better, and then your body will want to move more too. Also, I have just started hula-hooping in the living room. It is so much fun, but I have to be careful not to do it on the easy side only or I feel lopsided. I did hurt myself a bit doing that, so stretching and then evenly hulaing is great exercise, and fun with music too. I made my own adult hoop. You can google it. Have fun!



answers from Minneapolis on

I learned to get up earlier in the morning. The exercise helps wake me up so I am ready for my day.
You need to be able to relax at night! People are not supose to exercise right before bed because of two reasons, one it wakes you up more and you will have problems falling asleep, and two your muscle get all worked up then you want to got to sleep but your muscles want to keep going and they will just get tight on you. Enjoy your son at night and relax!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Try exercising in the morning? Or it may be worth it to join a gym where you can go during your lunch break.



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm a Minnesotan, too. I walk/run outside no matter the weather, just dress warmly!



answers from Minneapolis on

keep walking in the cold..builds up your immune system,clears your head of cobwebs-re energizes walking my dogs alot more in the cooler still wearing shorts...


answers from Denver on

I have to agree with the majority here. Get up earlier! No one wants to, especially with cold weather coming.

I get up at 5 am, have some coffee, and then walk the dog for 20 minutes in the morning, 30-40 in the evening. She was cheaper than a gym membership! I also try to take the stairs at work. If I'm waiting for an elevator I have a ten second rule - if it doesn't come in 10 seconds, I take the stairs. Yuk Yuk and double Yuk. But I do it.

I really want to get that walking video as well. Good Luck!


answers from Los Angeles on

While you are reading and/or watching TV,
can you do some leg stretches and rotations?
And/or, can you do some abdominal or upper body exercises,
even while sitting down?
Do you commute to/from work by car or public transportation?
If by car, park a little further from the office, at least some of the time.
If public transportation, you can do some stretching while riding,
unnoticed by other commuters.
If you work in a building with stairs,
you could climb maybe 1-2 flights during your lunch time.
And then, after a few weeks, 2-3 flights, 3-4 flights.
When you wake up, if you have an extra 5 minutes
before you need to do everything else,
can you fit in 1-2 salutations to the sun?
Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

There are herbal tonics you can take to boost your energy, help you manage the inevitable effects of stress when you are a mom, and resist/recover from illnesses more effectively. I have been amazed at how helpful herbs can be for fatigue.
Let me know if I can help!



answers from Sheboygan on

The ONLY way I get my workouts in is in the morning. I go to the Y while my husband and kids are still sleeping. It stinks to have to get up so early, but if I wait till the evening, I would never see my kids--they "sleep in", so I am not missing anything by working out so early. I only have a few hours with them in the evenings, so working out then is not fair. I had to force myself to get into this routine again, but I sure feel better with that aerobic "high" starting my day.



answers from Bismarck on

I struggle with this very same thing. What seems to work well for my family is after my husband gets home and after supper is all finished and it's time to put the kids in their bath, I get my husband to sit with them for 20 minutes while they are in the tub. I run downstairs and do Jillian Michaels 30 day shred (as it's only 20 minutes, but still intense). It gives me a break from the kids and my husband doesn't really have to do anything but make sure they aren't drowning! Lol.


answers from Chicago on

what about going to bed 30 min earlier and working out in the AM before your shower?



answers from Green Bay on

I think that continuing to walk during lunch is the best option. If it is below 20 or is storming, then don't feel guilty - skip one day! If it is storming for a few days, then you'll have to exercise at night once. Pick a day of the week and schedule it on your calendar.

You can set a goal of walking twice during the week and exercising twice on the weekend. 4 times a week is fantastic!



answers from Philadelphia on

Set that alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier my dear! YOU CAN DO IT! Once you start back at exercising you will feel so much better and have so much more energy.



answers from Minneapolis on

I get up at 5:25 and am in the basement by 5:30 doing a 30 minute exercise video. Before I had kids I thought there is NO WAY I am getting up earlier just so I can exercise. Now, I find it’s the only way I can get in exercise since I work FT and have 2 kids under 3, I get some time to myself while doing something FOR myself, and I actually look forward to my workouts. I save some time by eating breakfast at work while my computer is booting up and reading my email so I’m only getting up 20 minutes earlier than I used to. I love Jillian Michaels workouts, they are quick (you can shorten some of them by not doing all of the circuits) and you don’t waste any time.

Walking outside even when it’s cold is still great! Just bundle up! And maybe you can fit in some stretching or yoga while watching TV at night. Good luck! You'll feel so much better!



answers from Wichita Falls on

A lot of people I know fit it in during lunch. I'm not sure what your career is, or if it is possible, but I wanted to throw that out there. Good for you for wanting to take care of yourself!



answers from Milwaukee on

I try to workout in the morning even if it is only 20 min. It is hard to work out at night this time of year..

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