How to Squeeze in Exercise as a Busy Mom

By Nicole Nichols, for SparkPeople

Do you feel more like a chauffeur than a parent? We all know that exercise is important for us to stay healthy, but between cooking, cleaning up, budgeting, homework help, and-oh, yeah-sleep, who has the time?

Next time you feel too busy to exercise, try squeezing it in to your schedule with these tips.

During Drive Time
Try some isometric exercises: Squeeze your glutes, contract your abs, and work your calves by raising your legs up on your toes at red lights. Park far from your destination so you have to walk farther. Arrive early to your event, if possible, to allow time for a brisk walk.

At Programs, Practices, and Games
Walk around the facility before or after the event; look for chances to combine a class or activity with those of your children. For example, take aerobics while your daughter has basketball practice at the YMCA.

While Keeping House
Shop at big stores where there'll be lots of walking; do meal prep and cleanup with a little music and dancing. Clean to music, and shun some of your labor saving devices (like remotes). When doing yard work, keep moving! Use your leg and glute muscles (instead of your back) to shovel, rake, move dirt, etc.

When doing laundry, do squats to pick up unfolded laundry from the basket, and take fitness breaks during homework time, such as stretching or jumping rope for a few minutes. (Your kids will love it too!) Become your dog's best friend-most dogs are always ready to play or go on a walk!

For Play Dates
Keep in mind the old adage that children live what they learn. If you don't want your kids to be couch potatoes, be a good example. Walk to the library for story hour; plan regular play times at the park or pool; when snow keeps you home, go play in it. By making physical activity fun, you'll lay the foundation for your kids to have healthy, active lives. What's more, you'll rediscover that activity can be fun-not just another item to check off your grown-up list!

Parents: How do you squeeze in exercise with a little one?


Related links:

How to Fit in Fitness and Still Have a Life

10 Ways to Fit Exercise In

Habits of Fit People: Commit to Just 10 Minutes

SparkPeople is the country's largest health and fitness website. Learn more--and get a free fitness and diet plan.


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