How to Find Time For Your Workout Routine as a New Mom
Working out is a different struggle bus once you become a mom. I see tons of posts about finding motivation – I write those posts, too! – but for the many of us who love a good workout, motivation isn’t our downfall. It’s logistics!
Here are my best tips to create an effective workout routine that fits your life as a mama:
First things first: It isn’t selfish!
You likely never felt selfish or guilty for spending time at the gym, or heading out for a long run. Now, that’s different. It’s a big reason moms don’t workout; they feel selfish for taking time for themselves.
You are going to feel this way, and the only way over the hump is to push through the feelings. You deserve time to workout. It’s something you love, and you are a better mom when you take care of YOU. Yes, even working moms who have been in the office all day deserve this release!
To spend more time with your kids, and be consistent in your workouts, it’s imperative to be efficient.
Do what you want and need
When your time is limited, make sure your workout completely serves you mentally and physically. This starts by having clearly defined goals. Are you working out to train for a half marathon? To manage stress? To build muscles?
Know your Why and ask yourself if the workout you’re about to do serves it’s purpose. This is probably a different goal than before kids. I used to run 4 days a week, now I run when the weather is nice. I don’t want to use the treadmill, and running in the heat or frigid temps feels defeating. I’m not going to waste energy and time doing a workout just to do a workout.
Combination exercises and workouts
You want the biggest bang for your buck when fitting in your workouts as a mom. Spending the least amount of time, for the biggest results should be your number one goal.
Combination exercises were made for efficiency. In these, you are working more than one set of muscles in the same exercise, basically a 2-for-1. Unless you have very specific strength goals, I recommend primarily using combination exercises when strength training. You can get an effective full body workout completed in under 30 minutes this way.
Another way to maximize your time, is combining workout focuses. What I mean is, instead of choosing between doing yoga or cardio, try a yoga HIIT video.
Don’t even pretend you aren’t singing this right now!
Anyway, you never know when the opportunity to workout will present itself, so make sure you’re ready. To be honest, wearing workout clothes until you workout is not a bad idea, and don’t worry about looking out of place. It’s your new mom uniform.
If you’re working out at home, choose what workout you will do the night before. That could be writing it yourself, finding an online template, or video on YouTube. Have it ready to go so you aren’t scrambling when they go down for a nap, or your spouse takes over. Have your gym’s class schedule either on the fridge or saved on your phone or computer.
Timing is everything
Gone are the days of waiting for the temperatures to be their most ideal for a run, or going to the gym whenever you want. What a luxury it was to workout when it fit your schedule!
Now, your life operates on the baby’s schedule, and you need to fit in exercise around it. Don’t worry, you can do it! It simply takes some adjustment.
Break it up
You don’t have to do your entire workout at the same time to benefit. Break it up into 10 minute bouts throughout the day: Before the baby is up, during nap(s), during independent play and after bedtime.
Ready. Set Crush it.
Craft goals you’ll actually hit!
Get up early
You knew this was coming, didn’t you. I’ll give you a pass: Wait until you’re little one is sleeping through the night. Once your baby has a predictable wake time, get up and get it done before they even wake up. This serves two important purposes: check off your workout before the day gets in the way, start your day with a me-time endorphin rush.
Go at their best
Whether you are using the gym childcare, or working out with them in tow, go when they are at their best. This means, avoid pushing nap or bedtime, or rushing them out the door as soon as they wake up, and making sure they aren’t going to be hungry while you’re doing your thang.
Places to workout
Choose your gym wisely. If you aren’t a member of a gym, or attend one that doesn’t have childcare, look for one that does. Not only that, check it out or ask mom friends for their opinion on trustworthy gym childcare. As a mom, the childcare situation is as important as the treadmill selection.
Look, you do not need excess space OR equipment to get a quality workout. It could be as simple as pushing the coffee table aside, or as elaborate as creating a dedicated room. Definitely get yourself a yoga mat (you will use this for more than yoga!), optional items would be dumbbells (I like the adjustable ones like Bowflex SelectTech), resistance bands (super cheap, no space), treadmill (dream big).
I instruct with Fit4Mom Asheville and highly recommend finding a franchise in your area, or look up any mom-friendly workout programs in your area. These types of programs make it possible for moms to bring their kids with them to the workouts so you benefit from a professional instructor and the social aspect of exercising and meeting other mamas.
I love helping new moms figure out their new postpartum workout routine. Let’s figure this out together, and get your plan in place so you can feel awesome in your post-baby body! Schedule your FREE 20 minute discovery call to see how health coaching can get you on track!