Mom working out with her baby.

How to Make Time to Exercise as a New Mom [And Make it a Routine!]

Are you a new mom and ready to get into an exercise routine? This article will give you tips and encouragement on how to make time to exercise as a new mom and make it a routine.

Pinterest Pin How to make time to exercise as a new mom and make it a routine.

You may be ready to lose the postpartum weight so you can fit into your clothes and feel like yourself again.

Or you just want to focus on being healthier so you can feel more energized! 

Then it sets in. 

How in the world will you manage to make time to exercise with your already busy routine as a new mom?!? 

I totally get it! It seems daunting when you are starting from ground zero and you have a baby needing to be held or a toddler running around.  

However, it’s possible to work on yourself amidst all the chaos. And making the time for YOU is also worth it!

No matter if you are a stay at home, work from home, or work out of the home mom there is a solution for you. 

Here are some useful tips for how to make time to exercise as a new mom and how to actually make it a routine. Follow these tips and before you know it, you’ll be feeling more energized and stronger than ever!

Make a Routine

What good is it if you can make time to exercise, but you can’t stick with it?

If you want this new habit to become routine, then you need to make it work for you. This requires figuring out where in your schedule you can prioritize exercise. 

First step when building a routine is writing down what your day looks like on average. See where there are gaps that could be potential slots for you to exercise. 

Move things around to make your day more efficient or cut out the time sucking activities that don’t serve you and your goals. This might look like limiting social media or tv streaming time. 

If you work out of the home usually first thing in the morning, on lunch breaks, or in the evening after work is ideal. 

Getting exercise out of the way in the morning is a great way to make more family time in the evening and on the weekends. It also sets you up for a more successful, energized day. 

To make this transition a little easier for you, you may want to work towards an earlier bedtime. Getting enough sleep is essential to sticking to this new routine. 

If you are a stay-at-home mom your routine will depend on the kid’s sleep schedules and activities, as well as any other work you are required to do. 

Most moms will schedule their workouts around naps. If your kid’s no longer nap or have conflicting sleep schedules first thing in the morning before kids get up is best. 

If you don’t mind working out with kids, then you can be much more flexible with your exercise time. You could also see it as a great way to tire out the kids! Just be prepared to stop at any moment for a poopy diaper or quick nursing session. 

Once you’ve found where you can make time to exercise it helps to write it into your schedule. This will keep you accountable and serve as a reminder. 

Making it a routine is not going to happen unless you prioritize it regardless of how busy your schedule is. Whatever exercise time you choose, make sure you stay consistent with it.

Tips That Will Help You Make Exercise a Routine:

  • Set an alarm on your phone an hour before your scheduled workout. When your alarm goes off, you can tie up any loose ends, eat a snack, and mentally prepare to take a break and exercise. 
  • Pick out your clothes and fill up your water bottle the night before. The less you will have to think about and do right before your workout, the easier it will be to just do it.
  • Have a workout ready! Going in with a plan will also save you time and energy so you can just focus on getting it done. Give this Beginner Workout Plan a try!
  • Sign up for a workout class or get a workout partner. Having someone to stay accountable to will make it harder to find excuses why you shouldn’t work out and it will make it more fun.

Exercise with Your Kids

I know this isn’t for everyone, but sometimes it may be your only option and we must take what we can get! 

This might work for you if your significant other works long hours and you don’t have the option of childcare. It’s also a good option for you if you need to ease into exercise. If you are recently postpartum or just haven’t exercised in a while. 

Benefits to Exercising With Your Kids:

  • Offers consistency to your exercise routine which will lead to more results.
  • You don’t have to depend on anyone else and can be flexible with your own time.
  • It’s more convenient because you are in the comfort of your own home (aka you can exercise in your pjs). 
  • You are setting a good example for your kids by showing them that exercise is important to you.
  •  There are lots of bodyweight routines and free workouts on YouTube.
  • You could do a stroller work out and get some vitamin D. (Vit D is important if you are newly postpartum!)
  • You get to spend more quality time with your kids doing something active.

Disadvantages to Exercising With Your Kids:

  • You have little ones that want your attention, and it may take you longer to complete a workout. This can lead to frustration and just wanting to quit.
  • You will have to buy equipment depending on your goals.
  • It may be harder to progress with your fitness without access to more equipment.
  • For some it is harder to find motivation to work out from home.
  • You might not have the space to exercise or for the equipment.

Exercising at home or on the go with kids has its pros and cons, but what’s important is you are making the time for YOU. It’ll help you set a routine with consistency, and it will help you relieve stress and boost your mood. 

Tips for Make Exercising With Kids Easier:

  • Use this as their tv quiet time and let them watch a show.
  • Pick a time that they are usually in their best mood. This could be first thing in the morning or after a nap.
  • Make it so when it is time to exercise, they get to play with something they don’t normally play with. You might have a designated workout room. Keep toys in there that they will be excited to play with and they won’t get as bored as quickly.
  • If you are working out with a baby, carriers are nice, and you’ll be able to do a lot of dumbbell exercises.
  • Baby walkers, jumpers, or swings are another option that will allow you to be completely hands free for any type of exercise. 
  • Set up your space so it’s convenient to stop and care for whatever your child’s needs are. Make sure you have a diaper station, lots of toys, and maybe some snacks readily available.  

Get Creative 

As a mom sometimes days don’t go as planned and you think you can’t make time for your exercise routine.  Days like this you might have to get a little creative.

Just moving our bodies with the intent of putting a positive stress on it will give you the benefits of exercise. Simplify your definition of exercise and it will make it easier and less intimidating to fit it in.

Exercise doesn’t have to look the same every day. Some days you’ll be able to follow your plan and other days it could be a lot harder to make it a priority. 

Since there will be days that don’t go as planned, you’ll need to be equipped with how you will make it work. Ask yourself what can I do with my set of circumstance?

Tips For Getting Creative With Exercise:

  • Body Weight Exercises

Pick five or six exercises and cycle through them 3 times. You can do these exercises anywhere and anytime! Examples of body weight exercises you can do are jumping jacks, bridges, burpees, planks, mountain climbers, hip thrusts, skaters, squats, lunges, pushups, or dips. 

  • Be Resourceful

If you need to make the workout a little harder, then use what you have around you. Whether that’s cans, jars, a water jug, rocks, logs, or kids! Whether you are outside at a park or in your living room, there’s no shame is working with what you have to intensify your workout.

  • Utilize YouTube

When I was first trying to get back into an exercise routine, there were a lot of days I didn’t want to do anything. However, I knew just doing a little bit would make me feel better. So, I started with a 10-minute yoga video

YouTube is a great option because it’s free and there are so many different workout lengths and types to choose from. You could do them from your phone and from anywhere.

  • Outdoor Workouts

Sometimes just loading your kids into a stroller is a great option. You and the kids get fresh air, and you make time to exercise. There are so many options for stroller workouts out there that could give you get a killer leg workout. 

If stroller workouts aren’t your thing then just getting outside and doing body weight exercises with your kids is a win-win for everyone!

Are you taking advantage of the opportunities to exercise, or do you instead find excuses to why you can’t? I hope now you will start seeing the opportunities for exercise in your day!

Aim For Consistency, Not Perfection

This is probably the best tip for how to make time to exercise as a new mom and making it a routine.  

Often, we won’t make time to exercise unless we are guaranteed a certain result or it’s under the perfect circumstances. If we don’t see the result we want right away it’s just not worth it.

For many of us this comes from past experiences. We know what once worked for us or didn’t. We try our best to replicate the past and if we can’t we feel like failures and are left unsure of what to do.

However, our lives change and so we must evolve as well. The routine that worked for us in the past won’t always be sustainable for us now. 

This rings true for once we have kids. Making time to exercise is no longer something we can do on our time. 

And if we are waiting for the perfect time or circumstances – they don’t exist. We must work with what we have and make our current circumstances work for us.

It’s guaranteed that our journey will have challenges though even when we let go of perfection. We just need to be prepared with how to squash the excuses that hold us back from doing. Once we can do this we can focus on consistency. 

Common Excuses and How to Conquer Them

1. No Time

If you feel like you just don’t have enough time, then figure out what you can make time for. Try shortening your workout to 20-30 minutes. 

I started with 10-minute workouts because that felt doable with where I was at. From there I was able to increase the time I dedicated as I made more time and had more energy. 

Always keep the mindset anything is better than nothing on the days you feel you the time you have isn’t enough. Even as little as 10-minutes a day will be better than choosing to do nothing.

Making time to exercise is hard as a mom, but once you make it a routine it will become easier!

2. No Childcare

If you don’t have the option to have someone watch your kids then you can exercise with them. Another option is asking your partner if he can help by giving you some time to work on your goals. You may have to work with is schedule and exercise at times that you normally wouldn’t, but it is an option.

3. No Equipment or Gym

If you don’t have access to equipment or a gym start with bodyweight exercises and use what you have. You can still get a great workout in. Then when you are ready you can invest more.

4. Need a Workout Partner

Share your journey on social media, recruit friends or family to join you, or start your own accountability group.  

5. Not Ready or Insecure

If you are self-conscious or waiting until you are in better shape before you exercise, then you will forever be waiting. Don’t let where you are hold you back from where you want to be. Remember you are doing this for you, no one else. 

6. Don’t Know How to Start

Starting can be the hardest part and that’s ok if you have no idea what you are doing. Getting a workout partner who has experience, hiring a personal trainer, or following along to a workout video can all help you get started. You will learn along the way. You just need to start somewhere. 

Do It for You

You’re not going to make time to exercise period unless you have a strong enough reason why. Why do you want to prioritize exercise? 

Is it important to you because you want to reach a weight loss goal, or you just want to feel yourself again? Or it is an outlet for you, a way to relieve stress as a new mom, and a practice of self-care?

Whatever your reason, do it for you and make it a priority. When you start focusing on making your goals a priority you won’t find it too hard to find any little bit of time you have to work on yourself.  

Just Start!

Making time for an exercise routine as a new mom can feel like a lot of work. You might feel like you don’t have the time or the energy to invest into yourself. 

However, investing time into yourself and your health is important! 

Sometimes you just need to start no matter how small of steps you take. It all counts.

There are days you’ll have to get creative. Workouts that will be with screaming kids or you won’t get to finish. 

But that’s ok, because you’ll be proud that you accomplished, and you’ll be feeling more motivated everyday with your new exercise routine!

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