Working Moms and Working Out

Updated on March 08, 2010
L.K. asks from Dallas, TX
19 answers

I'm a full time working mom of a 1 year old. I also am getting ready to go back to school full time and still take care of the home stuff too. I feel I have NO time to workout and get in shape. When do all of you working moms do this? Do you get up early? Stay up late? Also what kinds of workouts do you do since I'm always in a time crunch? I am in need of some serious help! Thanks Mamas.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of your advice! I'm totally not a morning person, but am too drained by the end of the day to exercise. So that leaves me with the forced earlier rise. Maybe once it's habit it won't be so bad. It's just the getting out of the nice warm bed that's the hard part!

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P.O.

answers from Jacksonville on

I dance to music with my kids - Before I take a bath I do 50 jump jacks(don't know if that's the right name) and before I go to bed sometimes, I lay flat and do stretches...I don't do it consistently, but when I do, those are the times that work for me.

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W.T.

answers from San Diego on

I wear my 4 month old while pushing the 2 year old up and down hills in the mornings. We aren't fast but my back and legs get quite the workout. My son learns about the world around us and I don't have to cheat him out of quality time.

My long runs and gym workouts will have to wait a while til the boys are older.

I personally can't work and then be gone for a workout too...robs me of too much time from my boys.

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R.M.

answers from Dallas on

Try workouts that incorportate time spent with your child. Since you will already be away from you little one for work and school, you need to make spending quality time with him/her and your spouse a priority. I have a fun "Baby/Mommy Fitness" DVD that I bought at Target and do with my daugther. We also go on walks (as often as the weather permits), as well as swim (in the summer months). Do you get a lunch break at work? You could try doing a 15-20 min. strength training routine right in your office (assuming you are in an office) three days a week, or if there is a gym close by, go there. If you don't work on the weekends, you could aim for those two days to be your 'for sure' workout days (while your child takes a nap do a quick strength training workout DVD), and then give yourself a couple days "off" during the week when you are already more busy. As an ending note, do your cleaning with a little 'kick': do lunges, squats, pushups, etc. between cleaning items. Do it quickly, and get in a little cardio. Due to your demanding schedule, you will just have to be creative. Remember sleep is as important to your mental and physical health as exercise, so you may not want to cut into that too much more than you already do to get everything accomplished. Not getting enough sleep will cause your body to crave less healthy food, run your immune system down so that you get sick and are not able to workout, and make you all around irritable. Good luck.

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M.K.

answers from Dallas on

I can sympathize! I can't get up early, and I don't want to take time away from baby in the evening to work out, so I work out on my lunch break. I take frozen meals to work, eat them while I work and then take my lunch hour around 1 or 2 to go workout. It's great, but you have to have a gym nearby or you will spend all your time commuting to the gym. I work within walking distance to the Y downtown.

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L.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm not a morning person so there's no way I could wake up early to work out. I have a lot more energy in the evening. I have a 2.5 yr old son and work full-time. So what works for me is to workout after I put him down to sleep for the night. I have a stationary bike and some weights in the garage so I typically get on the bike for 1/2 hr then do some light weights for another 20 min - about 3 times a week. Also on the weekends, I'll take a 1/2 hr or so to go running while my husband plays with our son.

But it really depends on what works best for you. If you're a morning person, get up a little earlier and work out then. Find something that doesn't require too much of an effort so that you'll stick with it. Good luck.

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W.W.

answers from Atlanta on

When my first son was born, I would work out before work because otherwise I wouldn't be able to get in a workout that would be intense enough otherwise. Once I got home from work, picked him up from daycare, ate and got him ready for bed, I had no energy to work out. Doing it first thing in the morning assured that time was just for me and I had enough energy since I had just woken up. BUT, you also need to give yourself a break and make sure you don't suffer from the 'supermom" mentality because you will burn yourself out really quickly. It's ok if the house is messy, that your pants are a size or two bigger than before the baby, and that you want to sleep in instead of work out. Once the kids get older, they can work out with you, although it might not be the workout you are used to. I'm finding that my exercise is a brisk walk a couple of times around the block pushing my 4 year old in the stroller while my 7 year old rides his bike. I do still fit in about 20-30 minutes of yoga in a couple of times a week in the morning, but I'm finding I'm much happier if I allow myself to sleep in a couple of times a week as well without feeling guilty. You might find that putting the baby in the stroller for a brisk walk may be enough for you at this time in your life.

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D.T.

answers from Atlanta on

I try to get up early to work out but that doesn't always work, I like to lay in bed too much. Good luck with working and going to school! I was in the same boat a couple of years ago and it was hard but doable. If possible get someone to help with the house stuff. My husband had to take over all the cooking and cleaning so I had time to focus on my work. At one point I spent nearly a month coming home and getting straight to work on my homework so I didn't see my daughter at all. When I finally had time for her she was really angry. Make sure your child and school are your first two priorities and learn to live with a messy house :)

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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

I just started a “Diva” Bootcamp… it is 1 hour 2 or 3 days a week (your choice). Tina, the trainer, is a fitness model and used to be a size 18… she is now a size 4 and she is an incredible motivator. I have honestly only been to one class but am SO sore, she somehow worked every muscle in my body.

I am a runner and not in bad shape… just overweight. I was shocked at the impact that 1 hour had! Let me know if you want more information :)

Good Luck! I also have a full time career with 2 boys and a husband and home to care for… it is hard to find time for yourself!

E.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I work out in the morning and my husband takes the kids to school. I go to work after I work out. You may also want to fit your workouts in on the weekend (Sat & Sun) and do two during the week. That way, you get 4 workouts in a week. Hopefully you have someone to help with your cleaning. I found cleaning took up a lot of my weekend time. Having the cleaning already done, I am able to work out and spend more time with the family.

My last suggestion is a lunch workout or workout at a gym close to your office before work and have your husband handle the morning routine.

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J.V.

answers from San Francisco on

I feel you! As someone who loves to workout (and have to do it for my sanity!), I make time. What has worked well for me is to put on a Jillian Michaels DVD (range from 20-40 min workouts) while my daughter takes her first nap of the day (or during any nap!). This usually works out, but sometimes she wakes up unexpectedly and I bring her out to play while I finish up. I also invested in a jogger stroller and take her on runs pretty frequently. She really loves the change in scenery and the vibration from the movement. That is something you can work in whenever you have time.
I also suggest a "weekend warrior" mentality: when your husband/partner is home, have him watch the babe while you go out for a jog. Make it your special time that you don't have to feel guilty about! ;)

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V.N.

answers from Chicago on

I work out in the morning before my son gets up. I will go to a gym that has 5:30 classes. If I want to sleep in I work out at home around 6:30. I also go to the gym on my day off.

I do two to three hours of strength training per week. Cycling/running/boxing (cardio) 1 to 2 hours per week. I also sneak in pilates/yoga anytime during the day that I am available to. I also walk on my lunch breaks for 40 minutes on days I don't make it to the gym. I feel this combination helped me to lose and keep my post baby weight off.

Good luck. Do the best you can, you have a lot on your plate. If you can do 20 minutes a day in the morning or at night that is a great start.

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

I have found that despite my greatest efforts, I just can't force myself to wake upearlier than 5:30, which is the time I have to get up to get to work. So, working out in the morning is not an option for me. As soon as I accepted this and realized that working out at night is not too bad, it became much easier for me. My rule is that my 2 year old has to go bed at 8:00. I usually start my workout between 8:15 and 8:30. I use the Jillian Michaels DVDs, which are shorter but very intense. You can burn the same amount of calories in 35 minutes as a less intense 60 minute workout. Immediately after my workout, I take a shower and get in bed. There is still some winding down time, but I am usually asleep by 10:30. That gives me 7 hours of sleep, and I am ready to face the day in the morning. I have found that I sleep much better after working out, so even if I don't get 8 hours, I am still refreshed. Finding the time to work out for a new mom is very hard. But, you can do it. I was obese when I started working out last January, and since then, I have lost 65 pounds. I still have 30 more pounds to lose, but I know I can do it. I have found that I have to be realistic. If I miss a workout (or two), it won't derail me forever. I just have to make the decision that even though I'm exhausted after 10 hours of work and hometime, I know I will feel better about myself if I choose to workout. Good luck!

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L.

answers from Dallas on

I get up at 5am and workout. I do P90X and also take classes at a 24hour fitness I belong to. I think getting up early and getting it done is the way to go, that way no excuses can be made as the day goes on. You can do it!

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

I was in practically the same boat after my first child. Full time employee outside the home, full time student, full time wife and full time (first time!) mom. I try to work the work-out into my daily routine by going for a 30 minute walk, utilizing stairs at my workplace, sometime during the day. When I was in school, I would also walk around the building/parking lot during our breaks to try and work something in. With a newborn, sleep was a precious commodity, so waking up early or going to bed late was not a healthy option for me. You could also try to pack the family up for a nice stroll in your neighborhood. Pushing that stroller around is a pretty decent workout!

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L.Z.

answers from Boston on

I also am an early riser, getting up by 5 most every weekday and working out, done by about 6:10. I usually get in anywhere from 50-60 minutes depending on what I do. I lift weight and work in cardio bursts twice a week, run about three times a week (roughly 4-5 miles each run) and do different things on the weekends when I have more time or when I can involve the kids. I am a morning person so this works for me... it is not easy by any stretch to get up that early, but sleeping until 6:30 now feels late to me, so my kids' early wake up times on the weekends don't hurt so much! I feel strongly that for me, personally, I have to get my workouts in to feel healthy and happy, so I end up being a happier mom by extension. Find what works for you, and remember, doing whatever you can is GREAT and will make you feel better in the long run. Don't be too hard on yourself - it's very hard to balance work with family, I know from my own full-time job reality!

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C.P.

answers from Albuquerque on

First of all, good luck! I'm in almost exactly the same boat! My girl is 15 months old, I work full-time, and my husband works out of town (is gone Sunday through Thursday)! I also live in a small condo, so no room for exercise equipment of my own! We do have a small exercise room in our complex, but what the heck do I do with the baby? Wake her up early and try to keep her occupied in the exercise room? Try to make myself go after work, commute, dinner, and playtime (I wouldn't have any energy left)! So, yeah, I'm interested to see what suggestions others have!!

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J.G.

answers from Amarillo on

Curves 30 min. workout. I've been doing this for nearly 6 mos,avg. three times a week,and I still don't believe how toned my body is becoming! Its cardio/weight training. Almost everyone can fit 30 min. into their schedule. AND its fun!

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

I get up early bc it helps me throughout the day, plus I feel like I am strongest for working out in the morning. I use a gym bc I got such a good deal a few years back--but I have other friends that use p90x or Insanity (which is like 30 minutes a day) from the comfort of your own home....hope this helps some! Just get motivated and you will make the time ;)

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

My husband and I decided that a gym membership would not benefit us so we invested in some fitness games for our Wii. We got the balance board and Wii Fit then Wii Fit Plus. Now we have moved to the EA Sports Program and I have the My Fitness Coach Game that allows me to get a good "woman" workout in for the time period I have available. It adjusts the level based on the time you have. My husband normally works out in the morning and then we workout when the little man has gone to bed. For the $350 you will invest in the Wii, Balance Board and Games it balances out with the gym membership and you can do it when it fits your schedule. It seems to work very well for us.

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