Exercise Tips for the Busy Mom


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Today, after thoroughly enjoying my fair share of pie and cookies yesterday, I’m going to be talking EXERCISE.

Keeping ourselves in good of shape is an often overlooked side of motherhood, and I understand why.  It takes time to exercise, and that’s something we don’t tend to have just laying around.

Personally, I’m prone to back problems and when I go long periods without exercising, I get achy and grumpy really quickly.  Establishing a regular (as in 3-ish times a week) exercise routine has helped a lot with this.  I feel stronger, more energetic, and have better posture than I have in a long time.

Here are some tips for making it happen:

1) A Little is Better Than Nothing

For a long time, the recommendation of 30-45 minutes of exercise a day actually kept me from doing it at all.  I just didn’t have 30-45 uninterrupted minutes to spend on myself, and if I did there were plenty of other ‘more important’ things that needed doing.

Enter, my beloved 10-minute exercise videos.  (Youtube is also a great free source for these, if you’re up for experimenting)  Setting aside 10 minutes seems a lot more doable to me than 30 or 40.  These are my favorite Pilates videos.  They work you hard on toning and shaping, without actually getting you sweaty, gross, and in need of a shower.

Crunch – Pick Your Spot Pilates (with 10 minute sections on your Belly, Butt, Thighs, and a Full-Body workout)

And 10-Minute Solution Rapid Results Pilates  (With sections on Arms, Waist, Buns, Legs, and Stretching)

These 10-minute sections are amazingly practical because you can stop with one or can combine multiple sections if you are able.  What’s even better, both DVDs are under $10.  That’s loads cheaper than any gym membership and you can do it without stressing about babysitting or transportation.


2) Get Creative with Cardio

 My pilates videos are great for toning and strengthening, but if you’ve got a few pounds to burn, cardio is going to be your best bet.  So get active!  I don’t tend to follow any cardio videos as much as I try to be intentional about getting active.

Here’s something that may not surprise you.  Kids are naturals when it comes to moving around a lot.  I’m sure they’d be thrilled to help you out with this one.

  • Put on some fun music and dance together in the living room.
  • If you have a trampoline, take advantage of it with the children.  Who says grown-ups can’t jump too?
  • Play tag and run around the house together.
  • Play dodge ball with them.

Not only will you get your heart pumping, but you’ll also get some seriously Fun Mom points, and who can say no to that?  Laughing, bonding, and exercise?  I say yes.


3) Focus on Your Abs

I’m assuming that if you have kids, you’ve been through pregnancy at least once or twice.  And yes, pregnancy takes a very targeted toll on your abs.  But honestly, abs are everything!  If you have weak abs, you’re going to have bad posture, which will lead to shoulder aches, neck aches, back aches, etc.  If you focus on anything, focus on those!  It makes a world of difference, I promise!


4) Just Do It

At the risk of sounding like a Nike commercial, it’s true.  Just get it done.  Put it at the top of your to-do-list.  Do it first-thing.  Don’t dread it, do it.  You’ll like yourself better when you’re done with it and you’ll feel better too.


I’d love to hear of any of your favorite Mom-Exercising resources!  Share below!

14 thoughts on “Exercise Tips for the Busy Mom

  1. Kaylee says:

    “Surging” is a wonderful option…20 seconds of fast-paced “exercise” like squats, sit ups, jumping jacks, lunges, whatever you want to do. 20 seconds of rest. 20 seconds of “surging,” followed by 20 seconds of rest. Continue for 12 minutes. Who doesn’t have 12 minutes? When you start and stop like this you trick your body into thinking that it doesn’t have to find it’s equilibrium with an elevated heart rate. Therefore, your body continues to burn calories HOURS after you have finished exercising. It is by FAR the most effective way to burn calories that I have found. This is WAY more beneficial than an hour-long walk, if you’re looking to burn the calories. Another one I do is a set of 20 squats, followed by 20 lunges, next 20 are squat jumps, then lunge jumps. It will whip my rear parts into a hurt faster than I can finish. 🙂 No excuses for not doing it…

  2. Kelsey, I’ve been reading lots of your posts lately. Due to deliver baby #1 in less than a week! It’s great knowing there are other young stay-at-home moms out there with a desire to serve their husbands and families, stay fit and organized, and realize that child training is a tough full-time job, but the most rewarding job there is. There have been so many times over the past few months where I have been completely overwhelmed thinking about having a brand new little life to be responsible for, whether or not my husband will still be attracted to my different post-baby body, & how I’m going to find the time to still love and support him the way he needs while constantly worrying about the little one. Anyway I just wanted you to know how encouraging your writing is and it’s really gotten me through some tough moments. Just simply knowing that someone else has gotten through the unknowns successfully makes everything look more manageable. Thank you for your constant positive outlook.

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Aww, thanks Jordan! That’s so encouraging to hear! Yes, many mothers have gone before us and have raised wonderful, godly children while maintaining fun and healthy marriages. It’s not easy, but definitely possible. Just keep trying to learn more and do better, honor God in all things, and you’ll do just fine! I’m thrilled to have you along for the fun. And congrats on the baby! Any day now. (I’ll stay tuned for facebook pictures) 🙂

  3. I never exercise. I scrub floors, vacuum, wash windows, play with kids, do laundry every day and dishes after every meal instead. I think I stay in shape mostly because I’m pesco-vegetarian and a terrible cook. 😉

  4. Cassie says:

    Going to the gym is a very big part of my boyfriend’s life. It’s a hobby/source of stress relief/physical and mental well-being for him; he does so almost daily and he’s in excellent shape, so I really feel like I need to be as well. Also, he was already paying for a family package for his sister who never goes, so I can use her account and I can go for free, and my mother watches my daughter in the afternoons, so can keep her the extra hour I’d need to go to the gym. He loves for me to go with him, he says he likes for us to get to spend that time together and he jokes that you beat the combination of his two favorite things, me and the gym. =) I really enjoy going, it does make me feel better physically and mentally, but here lately I’ve struggled with it-it’s stressful for me finding time to go, and I feel angry when I can’t make the time, and I feel guilty for being away from my daughter any more than I already have to be due to having to work!

    This post, and your blog as a whole, has given me some insight and peace about things like this, like understanding the importance of taking time to be a better me and build a better relationship with my significant other (we are planning on getting married after the first of the year!) It’s been a struggle at times to balance being a mother and building a relationship with someone who is not my daughter’s father, but your blog has just been very inspiring.

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Congrats on the upcoming wedding! Yes, in my life marriage takes priority, then the kids, and then myself. Although, sometimes having a healthy mother makes for a *better* mother to the children, so you always have to find the right balance. I’m so glad you stopped by! Thanks for commenting!

  5. Cassie says:

    I guess I should clarify that I went through a divorce I did not want a couple of years ago from my daughter’s father, but it has turned out to be the best thing for myself and my daughter, and we’ve been so blessed to have my new boyfriend in our lives, and while it’s been an adjustment period, it’s been really wonderful.

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      I’m so glad! God can take the worst of situations and turn it into a blessing! I’m glad you’ve found a reliable man to share your future with!

  6. Cortey says:

    I’m a big fan of keeping up on exercise! I feel more “with it” and it makes me cheerier. I have lots of home exercise videos ranging from Leslie Sansone to Jazzercise. I also have a double jogging stroller for my 2 boys, so I can walk anywhere (parks, Goodwill, etc). Pilates are great! I use Windsor Pilates, and their Buns & Thighs and Abs videos work really well. Although I’ve stopped doing the Abs one as I’m about 4 months along with my 3rd child. 🙂 Thanks for your blog! It’s great to find another stay-at-home Mom who desires to be the best they can be for their family!

  7. elaine says:

    I think adding exercises to your toddlers “to do list” might be a fun way to get both of you moving! My kiddo loves to do jumping jacks and summersaults. So why not make it apart of the morning routine and he will look forward to it

Ooh, a comment! I LOVE comments!