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Exercise as a busy mom/parent: 5 tips to get you started!


Martine Chiasson, prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist giving tips on how to exercise as a busy mom
Exercise as a busy parent: 5 tips to help you get started!

Finding any spare time to do anything for yourself as a mom/parent is a task in itself. If you’ve been wanting to move your body or get back into your exercise routine but just can’t wrap your head around what to do, or where it will fit in your day, you are definitely not alone.


Being a mother is in itself, highly demanding on your physical, mental and emotional health. On most days, you’re running, carrying, lifting, prepping, adapting, soothing, all of the things. 


Committing to a fitness routine on top of all of this is quite… challenging to say the least. But it is possible, you just have to find what works for you, while honouring this season of life so that exercise is supportive, and not destructive. 


Below, I’m sharing 5 tips that will help you get started with exercise as a busy mom/parent while allowing you to thrive and be the badass that you are!







1. LET GO OF PERFECTIONISM


First, I want you to know that fitness looks different for everyone. There is no perfect way to exercise in motherhood because we are all out here doing our best.


It’s also important that we acknowledge the mental, physical and emotional demands of being a mother/parent and how much this impacts our day to day.


It is hard work, it is chaotic and very unpredictable!


And when it comes to exercise, I want this to be something that is supporting your life, not adding one more thing to the list. One way that we can achieve this is by letting your fitness routine look perfectly imperfect. 


The truth is, it’s not going to be easy.


You will get interrupted during a workout.

You probably will have to cut a workout short because something came up.

You might not have the energy to push yourself on that day. 

You will skip workouts, voluntarily or involuntarily.


It will be imperfect… and that’s very much OKAY!


2. RECOGNIZE YOUR BARRIERS TO EXERCISE


Exercise as a busy mom and fitness equipment. Martine is holding dumbbells in her hands while walking.
Exercise as a busy mom: Equipment barriers

Just as we want to let go of perfection, I also want to encourage you to practice recognizing what is getting in the way of you actually exercising as a busy mom.


Once you identify these barriers, it’s easier to work towards moving your body in more optimal ways. 


Some of the most popular barriers I come across are things like : 


  • Changing into workout gear

  • Not knowing what exercise or workout program to do

  • Not having a lot of time to dedicate to a workout

  • Kids interrupting during the session

  • Gym equipment not being easily accessible


Take a moment to reflect on a particular barrier that is making it extra difficult for you to get started. In which ways can you work with these barriers and not against them?


3. SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS


Now that you’ve identified what your barriers to exercises are, you can set yourself up for success. 


Again, we’re not trying to make working out as a busy mom or parent look perfect. We are trying to make it easier for you to make yourself a priority.


  • So maybe you don’t change into workout gear because that’s one extra step that will make it harder for you to get started. Instead, you can stay in the clothes you’re wearing and skip this step.


  • Find a workout video in advance or outsourcing a fitness program can be a really simple way to take the thinking out of it. (Click below for a FREE 30-minute workout video)


  • Adjust your expectations of time. Start flirting with the idea that a workout can range from 30 seconds to 30-minutes. You don’t need a big chunk of time to move your body and workouts can be split into small increments of time throughout your day.


  • Kids will interrupt your workouts. The more you accept this, the more it will become second nature to have them there, if that’s necessary. My best advice is to prepare all the snacks for the toddlers while repeating yourself endlessly. For the babies, you can try to interact with them throughout the workout so they have less tendency to fuss (hopefully).


  • Make your gym equipment accessible. Place it wherever you spend most of your time so that you don’t have to change rooms in order to access it. If it's in close reach, it'll be easier for you to get right into your workout!






4. BORING IS EFFECTIVE


I know you might think this is wild, but it’s true! Boring is effective, and makes exercising as a busy mom realistic.


The truth is to build strength , we need to load the body progressively and that means we need a strong foundation. Keeping things simple is the key to building a strong foundation. 


It’s not necessary to switch up your workouts every single time, in fact that might just be the reason why you aren’t exercising. Taking time to learn new exercises and techniques every single time you workout, is using up extra time you may not have. Plus sometimes this causes a lot of muscle soreness because the body is trying to keep up with all this new information.


Let’s keep it as simple as possible by keeping it boring. And by boring I mean let’s not have you trying to do new exercises every single time, or have you trying to do a bicep curl while you lunge and jump and twist all at once. The more realistic the fitness program is to support motherhood, the more often you’ll actually move your body.


So find two or three different workouts and keep repeating them for a few weeks. Not only will it feel more realistic to you, but your body will also thank you. 



5. PRACTICE BEGINNING, AGAIN AND AGAIN.


Ugh, this might be the hardest one yet. The reality of being a parent is that life is often unpredictable. A child can be sick, or is in the middle of a sleep regression, maybe you are solo parenting while meeting a deadline at work, or you're simply exhausted. 


There will be times when getting a workout in is quite challenging... and that’s OKAY. We’re all in this together!


Coming to terms with the reality that you will miss workouts, and you will digress from your fitness plan, is essential. 


Essential to your overall wellbeing and mental health. Because as we live in a world that has conditioned you to believe that if you miss a workout, it’s because you’re lazy, let me tell you now, IT IS NOT TRUE. 


Sometimes life gets in the way. 


Instead of resisting this, start practicing starting over, again and again. Honestly, it’s how you’re able to shift your mindset towards self-compassion instead of shame and guilt. 


Starting over, again and again, is not failure, it’s being brave and powerful.

If you want to start exercising in this busy season of mothering but you’re just unsure of what to do, my 4-week Strong & Simple Strength program was designed to be simple, yet effective, while navigating the chaos that is motherhood! 


You’ve got this my friend! 


Martine

Certified Kinesiologist (M.Sc) - Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist


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