Mom-Friendly Exercise Ideas

Mom-Friendly Exercise Ideas | Day2day Joys

Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer

Last fall, not taking great care of myself finally caught up with me: I was exhausted, stressed, sick more often than usual, and emotionally all over the place.

After catching what I’m pretty sure was shingles, I finally went to my doc, who asked some basic questions: Was I getting enough sleep? Exercise? Water?

Um, not so much.

Except the water. Thanks to what I lovingly refer to as “my sippy,” I excel in hydration.

She ran some blood work; turns out I was vitamin D deficient, too.

While poor self-care wasn’t the only cause of all my funky symptoms, hitting this low point helped me realize I needed to prioritize taking care of myself—specifically in sleep and exercise.

For me, the sleep issue was pretty straightforward: I just needed to go to bed earlier.

But as a stay-at-home-mom of two small children, regular exercise was going to take a little more creativity.

When my kids were younger, I’d pack them into the double jogger and we’d all enjoy some fresh air together.  Now, everyone wants to walk, ride their trike, or Stop. Every. Two. Feet. To. Pick. Up. Rocks.

I won’t say I’ve arrived at any miraculous solutions to the mom-exercise question or that I’ve become awesome at consistently exercising myself.

But through trial and error and the input of friends, I’ve got a few ideas worth trying.

Mom-Friendly Exercise Ideas

Prioritize it.

As Michael Hyatt says, “figure out your why.” Decide why exercise is important to you. Write it down. Then set some S.M.A.R.T. goals related to fitness.

Find a buddy.

Share your exercise goals with your spouse or a close friend and see if they might work out with you.  You could get up early to walk, run, or do a gym class with a friend.

And even if you and hubby don’t work out together, sharing your exercise goals can help you support each other in your individual workouts.

Maybe he goes to the gym on the way home from work, but is willing to take the kids when he gets home so you can go run. Or you both get up early, but he runs while you do a workout video.

I recently heard of a group of moms meeting up at a park to workout; with gates shut and an open field, the kids played while the mommies ran.

This used to work.

This used to work.

Get up early.

If you can get up even thirty minutes before your kids, you’ve got time to exercise. Do a workout video or go for a run/walk. Or if you’ve got a gym membership and you can get there early enough, do it.

If you’re not a “morning person,” I submit that it’s possible to become one.

On the other hand, if you’ve got little ones getting up through the night, this is probably not the season for morning workouts.

Be strategic.

Take advantage of chunks of time when someone else can watch your kids. Can Dad play with them in the backyard for 20 minutes while you do a two-mile run?

If you have family close by or a good sitter, it might be worth it to schedule regular childcare so you can get a run (or bike ride, etc.) in consistently.

Even trading childcare with a friend or neighbor once a week could guarantee you an hour of workout time.

Join a gym.

If finances allow, there are decent options, and the childcare situation works well, a gym membership might be an easy answer.

They make my workouts...more fun. :)

They make my workouts…more fun. 🙂

Include the kids.

Not my favorite solution, but often a doable one. During the winter, I got hooked on a ballet workout video. My kids would join in as they were able and after a while, would request to “do ballet exercising.”

A friend of mine bikes with her husband; they pull their kids behind.  Another friend is a committed runner and until she had her third baby, regularly jogged with her kids in the Double Bob.

Change your definition of exercise.

Unless your workout goals involve training for an event, we can probably just define exercise as intentionally moving your body to keep it strong and healthy.

And in that case, a myriad of things can count as exercise: gardening, mowing the lawn, pushing a kid in a stroller while carrying another one, following your trike rider around the neighborhood, going on a hike with your family, playing tennis on a date with your husband…the list goes on.

Hiking with him on my back = exercise

Hiking with him on my back = exercise

Keep it in perspective.

If I go back to the basics of my worldview (and steer clear of cultural messages that define beauty as merely physical), I’m simply exercising to take care of the body God gave me.

Not to be perfectly toned or look exactly as I did before I had kids.

And with that perspective in place, I can probably fit adequate exercise into my weekly schedule after all.

Do you fit regular exercise into your routine? How? Or, why is it a struggle?

About Jenn

Jenn is the mommy of two children and two obese cats and wife to the Hubs. She loves finding beauty and grace in the midst of daily life, gets excited about natural remedies, and thinks her home isn't complete without guests. Moving 11 times in 8 years has prompted her to embrace and find joy wherever she lays her head.
Jenn blogs at A Simple Haven.


  1. Love this! I had 6 babies in ten years but was committed to exercise. That meant I had to work around naps, several school schedules etc….just when it seemed impossible my husband went along with my idea to dry wall in the garage, get a treadmill and some weight equipment and make a home gym. years later we were able to joined a gym again and have our garage back. My point is do what you gotta do! It’s so worth it.

  2. “Stop. Every. Two. Feet. To. Pick. Up. Rocks.” –> The story of my now less active life! 🙁
    I used to be a super fit gym rat, now I celebrate any continuous movement lasting longer than 15 minutes!
    Great article – especially loved the reminder to strive for health and beauty as defined by God, rather than by man!

  3. Doing a video together with the kids sound like a fun idea! I’ll have to try that sometime when my daughter is older. 🙂


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