Balancing Motherhood and Fitness: Staying on Track with a Jam-Packed Schedule

Between taking care of the kids, managing household chores, and juggling various responsibilities, finding time for exercise and fitness can seem like an impossible task for a busy mom.

9 min read

Health & Wellness

Balancing Motherhood and Fitness: Staying on Track with a Jam-Packed Schedule

Motherhood is a beautiful journey that often comes with a hectic schedule. Or, like the saying goes, “The toughest hood is motherhood!” LOL! Between taking care of the kids, managing household chores, and juggling various responsibilities, finding time for exercise and fitness can seem like an impossible task for a mom.

Of course, we know that staying physically active is beneficial for your health and crucial for your overall well-being. But it is easier said than done as a busy mom. Hopefully, as a busy mom myself, I can motivate you and help you explore effective strategies and exercise ideas that can integrate into even your most chaotic days. It takes building good habits to stay on track and prioritize your fitness journey amidst a full calendar. Don’t worry! We are going to start with a few small habits at a time and then use those small habits as stepping stones towards a healthy lifestyle full of exercise and fitness!

Here are some important aspects that can be helpful when carving out time for exercise and some small healthy habits to start working on. It is important to make this change more of a “lifestyle” rather than reaching for a big goal that feels unrealistic at first. This can lead to burnout, potentially resulting in bad habits and feelings of failure. I want all busy moms to feel good about exercise and work on confidence boosters, giving feelings of “I can do this.” Before you know it, you are an example of good health for your family and a role model for your children!


Time Management and Prioritization

To get there, we must work on recognizing the importance of self-care. Moms like to put everyone else first, but prioritizing yourself is also a must. There is a reason that airplane flight attendants instruct your to put your own mask on first and then help others. You must train yourself to be cognizant of your health and well-being by acknowledging that exercise is an essential part of your self-care routine. By taking care of yourself, you can better care for your family.

One small step can be to plan and schedule. Seriously! This sounds very easy, but it is tough to do. Set aside dedicated time for exercise in your daily or weekly schedule. Treat it as a non-negotiable appointment and stick to it. I like to think of it as my important meeting for myself to keep my job (aka health), and as my own boss, I can’t miss that meeting. Consider waking up a bit earlier or utilizing nap times for a quick workout. But you must make sure that this is a time you are able to commit to, no snoozing or rescheduling! If you know yourself and need to start with one workout a week, then do once a week. When you can conquer one session a week, increase your workout frequency to two times a week.

Also, don’t make your workout session too hard or too long… keep it modest because the burnout is real! Trust me. There's nothing like tiring yourself out, and then being unable to keep up with the kids and your crazy schedule.


Small Habits That Build up to Healthy Lifestyles

As a busy mom, it can be challenging to find time for self-care and healthy habits. However, incorporating small units or manageable actions into your daily routine can do wonders for your overall health and wellness. Here are some small units that can build a foundation for a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Aim for consistent and adequate sleep each night. This is the time to work on your sleep hygiene, build a healthy bedtime routine, and create a sleep-friendly environment to improve sleep quality.(1)
  2. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure you're drinking enough water. Hydration is essential for overall health and can improve energy levels. The busier we are, the less we drink! This causes fatigue and brain fog; as a mom, energy and brain power are needed to keep up with schedules and kids. Stay hydrated!(2)
  3. Focus on incorporating whole, unprocessed foods into your meals and snacks. Plan and prep meals in advance to save time and ensure you have healthy options readily available.(3)
  4. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating. Use smaller plates and bowls to help control portion sizes and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.(3)
  5. Find opportunities to be active, even in small increments. Take short walks during breaks, do quick workouts at home, or engage in activities with your children that involve movement. I will give you some example workouts later in this blog.
  6. Find strategies to manage stress, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, journaling, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation(4). I cannot tell you how important this is; when the kids, the boss, and the husband are demanding your time, this is essential! Finding time to soak in the bath for recovery and quiet time is a great way to de-stress.
  7. It is also important to give yourself breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge. Use these moments to engage in self-care activities, such as reading a book, listening to music, or practicing mindfulness.(4)
  8. Don't hesitate to ask for help or delegate tasks to others when needed. Reach out to your support network, whether it's family, friends, or other moms who can understand and empathize with your situation.

Remember, building a healthy lifestyle is a journey, and it's okay to start small. Gradually incorporate these small units into your schedule, and over time, these stepping stones can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being.


Efficient Workout Strategies

LIIT, MIIT, or HIIT does the trick! These low-intensity, moderate-intensity, and high-intensity interval training workouts are perfect for busy moms as they provide a good workout in a short amount of time. LIIT is great for my beginners (or for when you are just feeling blah and need some movement). Low-intensity interval training workouts could be something as easy as marching in place for 20 sec and then resting for 20 seconds repeated 4 times. MIIT (moderate intensity interval training) is great for those who want a little push but are not ready to go too intense; this could be as easy as going out for a 20-minute light walk, and every 20 seconds change from a slow walk to a brisk walk or light jog. High-interval (HIIT) training involves short bursts of high-intensity exercises followed by brief recovery periods, allowing you to burn calories and increase fitness levels effectively.

When I began my own fitness journey, I started with at-home, easy circuit training that incorporated multiple exercises targeting different muscle groups to work the entire body in a short span of time. This workout is ideal for busy schedules. I like to incorporate functional exercises that mimic movements I regularly do in my daily life, such as squats (picking up babies and groceries), lunges, and core exercises. You can try it too! You can improve your strength and mobility while simultaneously fitting in a workout.


The “Laundry Day” Workout

This is a fun workout that doubles up as laundry day! Here’s how:

  1. Take out the clothes from the washer, a few items at a time. As you grab each item, perform a squat! Usually, one load of laundry will give me anywhere from 9 to 15 squats! It really depends on how many clothing items I grab at a time.
  2. Then, when the clothes are dry, I hold a lunge for each item I fold. So, I grab a shirt, get into a lunge, and I can't switch legs until I am done folding that shirt. Then, I switch legs and fold the next shirt. I can get in some good lunges with laundry day!
  3. If I am feeling extra spunky, I ball up the socks and throw them at my kids! Making it fun is also a big plus; as busy moms, we sometimes forget about the fun.


Workout Fun for the Whole Family

Quick cardio sessions, like engaging in brisk walks, jogging, or cycling around the neighborhood with your little ones in a stroller are great workouts for the entire family. Not only does it provide exercise, but it also allows you to spend quality time with your kids.

Home workouts that utilize online workout videos or fitness apps to follow guided workouts from the comfort of your home. Look for short-duration workouts on our SunnyFit® app! There are so many workouts that are fun and engaging for you and the kids!

Incorporate your kids into your workout routine. Turn exercise into a fun, bonding activity by dancing, playing tag, or doing yoga together. Remember, as our kids grow up we are the main staple of their core lifestyle habits.

Just like planning your workouts, plan some active family outings. Organize outings that involve physical activity, such as hiking, biking, or playing in the park. This way, you can combine family time with exercise, promoting a healthy lifestyle for everyone.

Always strive to set a positive example through being active. Children often imitate their parents' behaviors. By demonstrating a commitment to fitness, you instill healthy habits in your children from an early age(5). So, before you send them to fetch the remote to change the channel on the television, considering shutting off the T.V. and play an active game with the kids. Even making dinner together can burn up to 200 calories.


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, being a busy mom doesn't mean sacrificing your fitness goals. You can stay on track with your fitness journey and lead a healthy lifestyle by implementing effective time management strategies, prioritizing self-care, and incorporating efficient workout techniques. Remember, finding even a few minutes each day for exercise can make a significant difference in your overall well-being. Embrace the opportunity to be a fit and active mom, setting a positive example for your children and ensuring a healthier future for your entire family.


Balancing Motherhood and Fitness Infographic
Balancing Motherhood and Fitness Infographic


1. McQuillan, M. E., Bates, J. E., Staples, A. D., & Deater-Deckard, K. (2019). Maternal stress, sleep, and parenting. Journal of Family Psychology, 33(3), 349–359. Accessed 25 Mar 2024.
2. Garcia-Garcia, D. (2022). Health Promotion and Hydration: a Systematic Review about Hydration Care. Florence Nightingale Journal of Nursing, 30(3). Accessed 25 Mar 2024.
3. Petersen, T. L., Møller, L. B., Brønd, J. C., Jepsen, R., & Grøntved, A. (2020). Association between parent and child physical activity: a systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 17(1). Accessed 25 Mar 2024.
4. Chaplin, T. M., Turpyn, C. C., Fischer, S., Martelli, A. M., Ross, C. E., Leichtweis, R. N., Miller, A. B., & Sinha, R. (2018). Parenting-Focused Mindfulness Intervention Reduces Stress and Improves Parenting in Highly Stressed Mothers of Adolescents. Mindfulness. Accessed 25 Mar 2024.
5. Durrett, A. (2001). All in the Family. IDEA Health & Fitness Source, 19(9), 24–24. Accessed 25 Mar 2024.


Recommended Products

Leave a comment

* indicating required fields

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.