How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

One thing I’ve learned after years of training clients is that trying to squeeze in exercise while staying at home to raise the kids is not easy. Even the best-laid plans can be flushed down the drain for any number of reasons.

But, it is possible to get some exercise in, even on your busiest day. To prove it, I went straight to the source—the clients I’ve trained who stay home to work and/or take care of the kiddos, probably the busiest people I know.

The fact that these people found an hour for training each week is already impressive, but they also had some very creative ways of staying active. Here are their best ideas:

Exercise With the Kids

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

Now, I know this one isn’t easy. I’ve trained lots of clients with babies, toddlers, and teens and it isn’t always easy to get them involved. However, I’ve also had kids participating in the workouts and they often have a lot of fun exercising with Mom or Dad. Some ideas:

  • Include them in the workout. Create rolled-up sock “dumbbells” so they can copy your exercises. If they’re old enough and coordinated, have them hold very light weights or water bottles and have them exercise with you.
  • Take them for walks or bike rides. This is an obvious one, I know, but it’s one of the simplest things and one way everyone can have a good time while staying active.
  • Play games. These days, there are lots of games out there that involve physical activity, something everyone can do together.
  • Make chores into a workout. One client, *Denise, has her kids help her in the yard and they have contests to see who can rake the most leaves or sweep the sidewalk the fastest.

Wear Your Workout Clothes All Day

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

One common issue many of my stay-at-home clients have is finding big chunks of time for workouts. Even trying to hop on the treadmill or do a quick 30-minute video while the kids nap can be tough.

One of my clients, *Janine, who has two young kids, gets around this by putting on her workout clothes as soon as she gets up. Doing this:

  • Gets you in the mood. Just wearing your workout clothes may motivate you to work harder even if you’re just doing chores around the house. Plus, you can get sweaty and you don’t have to worry about it.
  • Makes workouts easier. You’re always ready for a quick workout or walk whenever time allows. Janine uses every little bit of time for short bouts of exercise, 10 minutes of cardio here or a quick core workout there. it all adds up
  • Reminds you of your goal to exercise. Wearing your workout clothes is a reminder to get some kind of exercise in, no matter how short.

Make Everything Count

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

If you find you don’t have time for continuous exercise or that you’ve missed a workout, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in some activity. Try these ideas:

  • Run the stairs. One client, *Eddie said he adds extra laps on the stairs when doing chores or chasing the kids around.
  • Add more walking. Another client, A client races through the grocery store to burn extra calories. In the winter, she walks with the kids at the mall.
  • Incorporate strength trainingall day long. One stay at home dad does pushups with one of his kids on his back. Another client does lunges, squats and other exercises while she’s cooking dinner or when bending over to pick up toys or clothes. It all counts!

It all counts. What ideas can you come up with in your own life?

Have Workout Ideas and Options Ready

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

Part of staying in shape when you have a hectic schedule is being ready to take advantage of a few minutes here and there. The trouble is, what’s the best way to use that time and get the most out of it? Short bouts of exercise can be effective if you work hard enough. One of my clients does these timesaver workouts throughout the week:

I have other clients who keep it simple and do body weight exercises (pushups, squats, lunges, etc.) for a minute each followed by a quick run on the treadmill or a staircase. The point is to do something and work hard at it. If you have a plan, you’ll be more likely to follow through.

Work With a Personal Trainer

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

If it’s within your budget, consider working with a trainer once a week or even every couple of weeks in your home.

It isn’t for everyone, but in-home personal training is convenient and is becoming more common and affordable.

My stay at home moms and dads find it’s a great way to get workout ideas and stay on track. With an in-home trainer you get:

  • Convenience. The trainer can work around your schedule and you don’t have to drive anywhere for an appointment.
  • Customized workouts. You’ll get workouts that fit your schedule, goals and equipment and workouts you can do on your own as well.
  • Motivation. It’s easier to work hard with a trainer pushing you a little.

If money is an issue, consider doing partner training with a friend to save money.

Involve Your Friends and Family

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

If you have a spouse or family around, you may be able to negotiate some exercise time during the week. Some ideas:

  • Negotiate with your spouse. I have married clients who alternate weeks — the dad works with me while his wife watches the kids and they switch off for the next week.
  • Take advantage of family. Many of my clients have grandma come over once or twice a week to spend time with the kids so they can get to the gym for a workout.
  • Get to know your neighbors. I have one client who has a deal with her neighbor. They watch each other’s kids once a week while the other goes for a run. They also walk together once a week to keep each other motivated.

Not everyone has this kind of support but, if you do, take advantage of it.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

Staying at home as a parent means that you have both more and less time on your hands than your working partner. You have more time because you don’t have to commute to and from work, but you have far less time because the little one is going to occupy every spare moment.

Finding time to fit in a workout can be a challenge, but here are a few great tips to help you make your workout a priority every day.

1. Make Potty Time a Workout

While the little one is sitting on the potty, fit in a short workout. It’s usually only five to 10 minutes, but you can drag it on to a good 15 minutes if your toddler is entertained. Use that time to do your push ups, pull ups, planks, squats and chair dips.

2. Squeeze a Stroll In

Driving to the store can be a good time to get in your workout. Simply park a few blocks away from the store, and carry baby on your back or in your arms. You’ll get that good workout in both directions, and baby will be able to see more of the city.

3. Look for Gyms with Child Care

Many gyms do offer child care as a means of enticing busy parents into buying a membership. If your gym offers child care, take advantage of it–or else switch to a gym that does. You’ll have a wonderful workout break, a solid hour away from the kids. Even if it costs more, it’s worth considering.

4. Do Workouts with the Kids

Why not look for activities you can do that give all of you great exercise? Have you ever tried to jog while pushing a double stroller? You’ll find that it’s a wonderful workout, and your older children can jog alongside you. Combine your house chores with exercise, and find activities that take you outdoors and get you moving.

5. Trim Down Your Workouts

Do you really need to spend 60 to 90 minutes per day working out? Look for HIIT workouts you can do in less time, and get in a high-intensity workout in those few moments you have to yourself throughout the day.

6. Use the Kids as Weights

Tired of carrying the little one around all day? That’s because it’s exhausting for your muscles! Use the baby as a weight, and find ways to work out with your kid. You can do bench presses, shoulder raises, bicep curls, leg raises, and a whole host of exercises using your baby instead of a dumbbell.

Being busy doesn’t mean that your fitness has to suffer As a stay-at-home parent, you can still fit exercise into your day no matter how much time your children demand from you.

Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people. Fitness has come hard for him, and he’s had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise–he does so six days a week–and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

As mom’s, our life is super busy right? Whether you are a working mom or stay at home mom, we are all doing things like cleaning, cooking, caring for the littles, and the list goes on. Anyone agree that there are not enough hours in the day? and especially not enough hours to fit in things for ourselves. I decided to ask women like you, how it is that they stay fit as a busy mom. What are their secrets and how do they make it work?

I have compiled a list of 12 Tips for staying fit as a buys mom from other women like you so you can begin to take steps to feeling good in your own skin!

Get Your Workout Done Early

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

This was the number one tip that every woman said! To quote a few, “Workout first thing in the morning!! I end up with a million excuses the more time passes haha” – New mommy, Schaelynne D. says. This is so accurate and I can relate to this so much. Have you ever been there where you kept telling yourself “I’ll do it later” and then later becomes never. If you are lucky to have kids that sleep in (because I do not), Fit mom, Leemay R. says she “wakes up early in the AM before the babes do to get my workouts done!”. We have built our home gym over the last year and it really pays off because I have no excuse to not workout. It may be hard but if you build a new routine, it will begin to feel amazing and you never regret working out.

2. Be Flexible

If you haven’t learned this yet as a mom, it’s so important. Being flexible is something that I have had to learn, even though I am super patient, I am not good with a change in plans. Sometimes (okay most of the time) you have your plans all laid out and you are ready to go, but then our kids remind us of how little control we have anymore. So just know that you may have to have a plan A, B and C!

3. Break up your workouts

Being flexible rolls right into my next tip of breaking up your workouts. For example, 3 – 10 minute workouts, or 2 – 15 minute workouts. It all adds up and is better than completely skipping your workout all together. Once you make it a priority, you will be surprised at how you begin to find time for it.

4. Include the Kids

discounts on running strollers)

If you follow me on instagram, you know I am all about including my kids into my workouts. Yes, sometimes it is not the best workout, but they have so much fun and are learning so much. Make it fun by letting them count your reps or even buy them their own weights like I have for my daughter, Marlie. I also love to take them out in the stroller and running to get fresh air. I talk all about that in my blog post about tips for running with a stroller. Another mom says to “go on walks/runs with the kids” -Leemay. My kids know the routine now and yours may take time to get use to it, but eventually they will love it.

5. Get Creative

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

Some days, I just know I won’t have enough time, so while I am doing chores around the house, I turn it into a mini-workout. For example, the other day on my instagram story, I posted some ideas to clean your floors while doing some legs and cardio. I simply put cleaning wipes under my shoes, and did jumping jacks, reverse lunges and squats. Call me crazy, but this resulted in a clean floor and sore legs the next day. I was one happy Mom! Fellow mom, Leemay, is starting her masters in nursing in the fall and planned ahead knowing that “school/studying will be another time obstacle. But my goal is to incorporate workouts into my study sessions. It’ll help me get stuff done and also prevent me from getting too stuck on one subject like I usually do lol. “ Such a smart way to incorporate her workouts into her study sessions to kill 2 birds with one stone.

6. Find something you love.

When you love something, you are more likely to stick with it rather than feel forced to have to do it. I love the saying “workout because you love your body and not because you hate it”. When you love your workout and love your body, it’s a win win. Fellow fit mom, Mariane loves her “Peloton” bike at home, I enjoy going to the gym with friends and their kids and one day a week at Renegade fitness. If you haven’t tried the TITLE on-demand app, you can workout with me from home and I love doing that to stay moving. you can use Taylor20 for 20% off, super affordable!

7. Drink Enough Water

Drinking enough water will help to keep you hydrated and help you feel more satisfied and have more energy. I like to always have my hydroflask with me filled, that way I know how much water I am drinking and it serves as a reminder to take a drink.

8. Plan Ahead

Not only should you plan out your workouts each week, but you should also plan out your meals. I am an avid meal planner and this has helped the whole family eating well and taking out the stress of meal time. Each week I plan out what we are eating and then it makes grocery shopping a breeze. Working out wise, “writing everything out with goals of how long I expect each task to be allows me to see where I can practice some active/healthy habits without feeling like I have no time.” – Leemay

9. Ask for Help

Leemay says she is “ transparent with my husband. Sometimes none of those times work and I have to reach out to my partner to help. He supports me in my drive to be healthy and active so he’ll do what he can to help.” It is incredible to have a partner to tag team and help get things done, like a workout. For those who do not have someone to tag team, it is important to find a friend or reliable sitter that you can have help at least once a week for a few hours so you can get a workout in and have some “me” time. Never be afraid to ask for help, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just shows how you are strong enough to make time for yourself.

10. Breathe

I don’t know about you, but this is the hardest one. Being a busy mom is tough, and being a busy mom who stays fit is really tough. It takes a lot of planning, failed attempts, more planning, good days, hard days, but eventually you will find a groove and you will feel so good when you are able to fit in your workouts and eat well.

11. Don’t give up

Some days everything will go as planned and other days will seem like nothing is going right. Some days you and your kids are eating chicken and broccoli and other days it’s quesadillas and frozen waffles. My point is to not let that one bad day ruin your entire week. Accept the hiccups, learn from it and move forward rather than giving up!

12. Remember your Why

In the moments when you’re stressed out, feeling misunderstood, or overwhelmed, STOP. breathe and ask yourself to remember your why. Why did you start? Why do you do it? And then, keep pushing forward. You will not always stay motivated, but you will be disciplined enough to keep going.

Women today lead extremely busy lifestyles. With the demands of a profession, school and looking after the home, working out consistently and finding methods to reduce body weight and keep in good health can be quite a difficult process, especially for a working mom.

A woman with kids that also works faces many problems in balancing their everyday lifestyle and adhering to a weight-loss program. However, don’t let your life get in the way of your workouts . No matter how you slice it, we all have 24 hours in the day, regardless of how busy we may be and we all make sure to fit the things we consider important into our daily routine. Staying fit is an essential part of a long term health strategy, no matter who you are or what you do. Exercise is quite simply one of the most important pieces to our overall wellbeing, and we need to take the time to do it regularly.

Tips to stay fit and healthy for working women

Do exercises that can be done regularly because they are more convenient. Purchase exercise videos, such as in-home walking, Yoga, weight training and other cardio routines. Most exercises require very little equipment and if you have several videos, you will find your exercise program interesting and different.

Try exercises that include your child. There are many exercises including yoga for mothers that will allow both mother and child to contribute. Many fitness centers also offer mom fitness classes.

Your lunch break also provides a good chance to stay fit. If you don’t have a lot of time to get to the gym, put your shoes on and take a quick walk after lunchtime.

Get your friends and family members involved in fitness. Plan for bike trips, or play sports with friends and relatives. Working out on the weekends with your family also allows you to get in longer workouts and shows your family how important it is to be healthy.

If you can’t find time for 30 minute workouts , try working out in bursts, two or three minutes ten times a day are just as effective as one 30 minute workout.

Reduce stress and be healthy

A working mom usually spends 30+ hours a week at work and comes home to cook, take care of her child, and be with her spouse. This can create a lot of stress.

Take some time daily to meditate and clear your mind. It can be a few minutes to half an hour; before work or after you put your kids to sleep at night.

Be sure to include time during the day to spend with your family to strengthen your bond with them. Take this chance to talk to your spouse and play with your children. Allocate time for fun and interesting activities for yourself as well. Take a bubble bath, read a book, exercise, or bake a cake. Do something you enjoy.

Tips for eating healthy

Eating healthy can be a challenging task when you have both personal and professional responsibilities. It can be difficult to find the time to eat at all, and even more so to eat a healthy lunch while on the go or at work. Try keeping soups, nut products, clean fruits, rice cakes and other natural foods as useful snacks to get you through the day.

Tips to make smart meals choices

The best possible diet for working women includes clean foods that are full of whole grains and fibers, low in fat, sodium and glucose and average in protein. Eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits and decrease your consumption of simple carbohydrate meals as they are high in calories and low in nutritional value. Try to limit yourself to 1-2 cups of coffee a day as well, anything over that could wear down and stress your body causing uneasiness, sleeplessness and an increased pulse rate. Instead go for green tea or just plain water.

Staying fit as a stay at home mom isn’t always the easiest thing. I think some people have the perception that it’s just a “sit on the couch” type of job and we should have all sorts of free time.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

Any of us who actually stay home with our little ones know that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While many of us are chasing toddlers and following preschoolers around the park, sometimes there’s a lot of sitting on the floor reading books, preparing meals, and eating what is left on little plates.

All these things can add up — in more than one way. A few pounds here and a few pounds there start sneaking in, and before we know it, the battle to lose the baby weight is over. We give up trying and continue to let pounds creep into our lives — bite by bite.

I think we all have that friend who can eat 15 Oreos in one sitting and wash it down with a glass of Coke without putting on an ounce. While I’d love to be “that friend,” I’m definitely not that girl.

I’m the girl who has to watch what she eats, walk every day, and do crunches at night to keep her figure somewhat slim. As a mom of little girls (my girls will be 4 and 2 next month) and the operator of an online business and blog, it’s not always possible to do all those things. I’ll do great for a week or two, then life catches up with me and I don’t get to walk for an entire week.

While I don’t always find time to fit in formal workouts, I do try to add things to my day that help me compensate. Here are 5 tips that will help you stay fit while you stay at home.

  • Teach your children how to do jumping jacks and other easy exercises. First of all, let’s be honest. It’s hysterical to watch a 3 year old try to do jumping jacks. Plus, they’ll need plenty of visual instruction. After your little one learns, do 10 jumping jacks after every book you read. What an easy way to fit in at least 100 throughout the day.
  • Take it outside. When the weather is nice, take your children outside. Whether it’s going for a walk down the street, playing tag in the yard, or pushing your baby in the swing, you’re more likely to be physically active outside than you are inside.
  • Park in the back of the parking lot. I know it’s tempting to park in that closest spot when you’re at Walmart or the grocery store. Don’t do it! If you park a long way from the door, those steps can really add up. More steps equals more calories burned.
  • Do workout videos that are 30 minutes or shorter. Let’s get real: not many of us have 60 minutes during our “mommy day” to devote to an exercise video. There are some excellent videos on YouTube or available for purchase that allow you to get your heart rate up for about 10 minutes. Squeeze a couple of those into your day and you’ll be sure to see some results.
  • Don’t be a picker. I think this was one of my grandfather’s favorite things to say to people. When he would see me snatching a bite of food off someone else’s plate or eating an extra cookie, he would warn me about mindless eating. At the time, I didn’t have to worry about my weight and it made me chuckle, but now it comes to mind quite often. When my little girl doesn’t finish all of her Cheetos, I’m tempted to eat them. Instead, put those leftover chips in a little container or plastic bag so your child can eat them for a snack after nap.

Do you have any tips for staying fit as a stay at home mom? I’m always looking for some other ideas to help keep my figure without needing to fit long workouts into my day.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

Everyone has different triggers or instances that make them more susceptible to putting on weight, but researchers say there are some major life events that seem to be catalysts for many of us.

Becoming a parent (along with going to university and getting a job) is a key point in life for putting on weight, academics at the University of Cambridge have found.

Let us be clear, this article is not about pregnancy weight gain nor is it about body shaming new parents. We simply want to offer up some expert information as to how new parents can prioritise their health while entering parenthood.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

The academics at the University of Cambridge studied weight gain in mothers over several years compared to women who remained childless. A woman of average height (164cm or 5ft 3in) who had no children gained around 7.5kg (16.5lb) over five to six years, while a mother of the same height put that on, plus an extra 1.3kg (2.9lb).

Incidentally, one study looked at the impact of becoming a father and found no change in BMI (body mass index).

Writing in Obesity Reviews, the experts said: “Becoming a mother is associated with 17% greater absolute BMI gain than remaining childless. Motherhood BMI gain is additional to an alarming BMI increase among young women, highlighting the need for obesity prevention among all young women, including new mothers.”

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

Dr. Eleanor Winpenny, from the University of Cambridge, said: “This study is not about pregnancy weight gain, it’s about all the lifestyle changes that happen as people become parents.”

It’s easy to forget about yourself when you’re looking after everyone else, so here are some tips to get started if your own health is way down the priority list right now.

1. Get on your feet as much as possible
Parenting is exhausting, particularly when the baby first arrives or when you’re chasing toddlers around. In those spare moments when you aren’t feeding, changing nappies and trying to work out why they just won’t stop crying, all you probably feel like doing is crashing into bed.

But you don’t have to go on long runs to keep the weight off (because who can do that with a baby in tow anyway?), simply spending more time on your feet can help. Walking is a really underrated form of exercise; it isn’t strenuous, it doesn’t put pressure on your joints, it’s generally done outside – which can do wonders for mental wellbeing – and you can do it with a pushchair or a carrier.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

2. Embrace at-home workouts
It can often feel as though you don’t have time to even make a cup of tea as a parent, let alone attend a gym class. YouTube is full of free, quick, at-home workout videos that can get your heart rate up and your blood pumping – all in your own living room. If you have young kids, they might even have fun joining in. And being at home means you can simultaneously watch a baby and Joe Wicks demonstrating a squat.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

3. Exercise and eat well – even if you’re tired
This is tough, but not exercising and eating a diet high in fat, sugar and carbs (which we often crave when we’re tired) will likely make you feel even more sluggish – it’s a vicious cycle. A quick workout or a brisk walk will increase your energy levels and help you feel more able to cope with whatever is thrown at you next. Starting your day with a bowl of hearty porridge topped with lots of colourful fruit will keep your energy levels up until lunch, and help you stick to being healthier for the rest of the day.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

4. Make exercise a family affair
How you look after yourself influences your children’s attitude to health too, so it’s never too early to get them started and involved – and it’ll help you exercise more often too. Get out for a big family walk or a countryside bike ride, go swimming together, book a tennis or badminton court and get competitive, kick a football around in the park or simply play some good music and have a living room disco. If you can rope the kids into helping out in the garden, even better.

How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

5. Take some nutritional shortcuts
When you do cook, make way too much and freeze the rest in batches. It’ll mean less time in the kitchen, more time for you, and when there’s always something healthy to whip out and heat up, you’ll be much less likely to choose unhealthy convenience food.

Book weekly food deliveries to avoid trailing around supermarkets with kids (why do that to yourself?!) and stock up on healthy pantry foods that won’t go off quickly, like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, pre-cooked lentils, nut butter and wholegrain crackers.

Buy frozen fruit to store in the freezer so you always have the ingredients for a smoothie when time is short, and add almond butter, flax seeds and spirulina for an additional nutrient boost.

Working parents can’t always find the time or energy to exercise. Use these tips for busy parents to help stay in shape and find time for quick exercises.

Most of us acknowledge that exercise is important for our well-being, yet as working parents, we often cant seem to find the time for workouts on top of keeping up with children, jobs, commutes, and other chores and responsibilities. With busy schedules, its not easy to find time for our individual health and well-being. However, if you are able to find the time, you will realize that exercise will make you and your family healthier and happier.

Research shows that exercise helps people stay healthy and more energetic, facilitates weight loss, improves circulation, tones muscles, improves posture, and gives us a more positive outlook on life. What child, spouse, or partner doesnt want a mom, dad or mate whos happy, smiling, and in good health? When you view it as something important for your family, it will make finding time to exercise easier.

Workout Tips for Busy Moms and Dads

  • Fit exercise into small chunks of time. Finding the time to go to the gym can be the biggest challenge for working parents. Plan your day to include fitness between commitments or activities. Consider parking far away from your destination when running errands; walk up steps instead of taking the elevator; walk or bike to the store instead of driving; use part of your lunchtime to walk or work out; or take a brisk walk before picking up your children at child care. Even ten-minute increments make a difference.
  • Combine chores and exercise. Walk or ride a bike to do errands. Do squats while picking up toys or clothes from the floor. Put on music and dance while you dust or vacuum the floor. Do outdoor chores — gardening, raking, shoveling, sweeping driveway, etc.
  • Join in during play time. Playing with children is a great way to get exercise — shoot hoops, play soccer, ride bikes, play tag, set-up obstacle courses, play with hula hoops, have a dance party, or join in one of these classic playground games.
  • Try a gym that has child care. Child care at the gym can help busy parents turn exercise into a fun and stress-free experience. Your family is in the same building. There are new children to meet and different activities to experience. Many children see it as an adventure. You might refer to it as “Family Gym Camp.”
  • Trade off workout times with your partner or a friend. Take turns watching the children one night a week or on weekends so that you both get exercise time. Single parents can partner with other single parents or friends and trade child care.
  • Use “down time” to multi-task. Read a book while on a stationary bike or do sit-ups and push-ups while watching a movie. Take advantage of early morning hours. The time before other family members wake up offers solitude for yoga, an exercise DVD, or a workout routine.
  • Exercise as a family. There are countless ways to get healthy as a family. Take a walk after work or on weekends, go hiking, jog around the playground, do yoga together at home, play a sport together (tennis, skiing, hockey, taekwondo, etc.). In addition to the health benefits, family members will also enjoy quality time together.

Of course, its terrific if you can wrangle alone time to go to the gym, jog around the neighborhood, attend a yoga class, or take a brisk walk with a friend. But when thats not possible, you can still work on your personal fitness by creatively analyzing your lifestyle to include exercise in your daily routine.

Choosing to be a stay-at-home mum so you can be a more hands-on parent has its ups and downs too, especially for parents who never get a chance to do something for themselves. Imagine attending to household chores 24/7 and not being able to take some time off. But even if you’re mostly indoors and preoccupied, that doesn’t mean self-care should out of the way.

Here are some tips to stay fit and healthy even while looking after your little ones.

Exercise with your children

Who says you can’t exercise indoors? With the help of gym equipment at home and workout videos you can take instructions from, there’s no excuse for you not to sweat it out from the comforts of your own home. Simply lay a mat on the floor and start working out. Invite your kids to join in on the fun by looking for simple exercises they can do with you—in matching gym outfits! If indoor workouts aren’t your type and you need some fresh air, consider getting a bicycle: one for you and one for your child and ride them together around your neighbourhood.

Prepare and eat healthy meals

As queen of the house, you have total control of what your family eats. Try your best to prepare healthy dishes for everyone including yourself. When you go grocery shopping, avoid the temptation of buying too many unhealthy snacks that you end up eating. Always choose the more nutritious options. When you introduce healthy eating to the whole family, you will find it easier to follow suit.

Don’t eat unhealthy food every time you’re bored

Have some downtime while watching TV or a movie? That is not an excuse to binge eat on chips and sweets with your kids. Instead, opt for healthier snacks like fruits or granola bars. You may be spending time working out but if you eat unhealthy food anyway, chances are your efforts will still not help you stay fit.

Do something for yourself once in a while

Staying fit and healthy is all about personal wellness. Take care of yourself by treating yourself once in a while with activities that make you feel good, whether it’s a yoga class, a spa session, or a long hot bath in the evening.

Ask for help

If looking for a time out is close to impossible, consider asking for help from your husband or relatives to take care of the kids even just for 30 minutes to an hour. You can also hire a nanny to help you with household chores so you can take some time off for yourself.

Hydrate regularly

Being too busy at home may sometimes make you forget to drink water. Consume at least eight glasses of water every day and if it will help, keep a reminder when you have to drink one already.

Table of Contents

10 Best Stay At Home Mom Tips to Staying Active

  • Staying active as a stay at home mom is essential to maintain good health and maintaining peace. Even though it is clear that we must stay active as moms, it still feels like a huge challenge. With crazy schedules and lack of help, remaining active can be unmanageable. But, don’t give up! You got this!
  • I’ve struggled with working out before my pregnancy but now because of the tips provided in this post; I can stay active as a stay at home mom. Don’t let all this information go to waste, keep reading for amazing tips for staying active as a stay at home mom.

What is a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom)?

  • A Stay at Home Mom can be an unemployed mother that is getting supported by her partner in the reasoning of close parenting by the mother while the partner works to manage the finances.
  • A Stay at Home Mom can be a mother that is employed, or self-employed, and works at home while caring for her kids. She can still be supported by a significant other or can very well be a single parent.
  • Learn more about making money as a Stay At Home Mom.

Why is staying active as a stay at home mom challenging?

  • I don’t know about you, but for me, before I even had my daughter, working out was hard. I found myself completely drained after working my 9 to 5 job and coming home. It was hard to find the motivation to go to the gym and work out. The only time outside of my pregnancy that I was able to motivate myself was during my deployment. Even then, I was powered by pre-workout drinks and BCAA. During my pregnancy, I was forced to attend Pregnancy PT (Physical Training) brought to you by the Army. It was hard enough waking up for formation at 7 in the am but now I had to wake up at 5:30 in the am to go workout. Yeah, I think anybody would feel powerless at that time of the morning.
  • But, don’t be discouraged! You can manage to stay active as a stay at home mom. I have gathered plenty of tips to help.

10 Best Stay At Home Mom Tips to Staying Active

Tip 1: Plan and Be Flexible

  • Though things don’t always go as planned, planning can prevent you from losing interest in working out.
  • Knowing the common roadblocks on a given day, you can better manage your motivation to stay active as a SAHM.
  • If you know your baby wakes up at a particular time of the day, workout before that time. If the baby decides not to cooperate on a given day, then take care of the baby and work out with the baby in sight.
  • Tip 2: Add the Kids

    • Have toddlers running around? This opportunity can be great for you, have them work out with you. Toddlers love to copy their mommy.
    • Workout with the kids can be fun and a great time to bond with your little one. Plus, they will be staying fit and have no clue of it. If you’re lucky enough, they will be tired afterward and ready to nap or go to sleep.
  • Tip 3: Go For a Walk

    • Walking is the natural form of staying active for stay at home moms. You can quickly go for a walk and bring the kids with you. If you have a baby or a toddler, bring out the stroller and strap them in.
    • Make sure to bring snacks and drinks on your water for you and the kids. In this way, neither you or the kids get “Hangry” or dehydrated.
    • Check out this amazing blog post about Benefits of Walking For Stay At Home Moms!
  • Tip 4: Wear Workout Clothes Throughout the Day

    • Wearing workout clothes will prevent you from making excuses or thinking about how much energy it will take to change clothes. Having on your workout clothes can also be used as a reminder throughout the day that you need to work out.
    • You can work out as soon as you have extra free time because you already being in the right clothes.
    • Tip 5: Ask Your Partner or a Family Member to Watch the Kids

      • Having someone take care of the kids so you can workout can aid you in having the time to exercise. Not having to worry about time, you can focus more on your workout and take the time out to relax. This isolation can be the time you can have to detox from a stressful day.
    • Tip 6: Use Home Workout Videos

      • The internet is full of online workout videos, some can be completely free and others for a small price. Youtube, might just be your best friend when it comes down to find quick and easy workouts to do at home. I love using Pinterest to find good workout plans.
    • Tip 7: Do Body Weight Exercises

      • As a Mommy Veteran, I know this tip very well. You have to randomly conduct physical training on your own throughout the day. Wake up and do 10 push-ups. Hold a plank for a minute in the kitchen while you wait for the food to be done. Do squats while caring for your baby.
    • Tip 8: Pool Time with the Kids

      • During pool time, you could be swimming with the kids. Make sure you and your kids wear the proper life vest.
    • Tip 9: Follow Fitness Influencers on Instagram

      • This tip can help anyone, pregnant or not pregnant. When I was really serious about working out and eating healthy, I added a bunch of fitness influencers on Instagram. In this way, when I log in, I was bound to see one of them promoting a workout. I used to save the post of influencers, so I can use their exercises later on when I was ready to workout. Even when I went to the gym and didn’t know what to do, I would revisit these posts. This tip can be used as a reminder and motivation to stay active.
    • Tip 10: Find a Gym with Childcare

      • I laugh when I think about this option because I recall when I was little my mom had me in this kids’ workout program at the gym. While she was working out, I was at the kids’ program. I had a blast, and I’m sure she loved her free time just to work out.
      • Many gyms offer childcare in their facility. LA Fitness and 24-Hour Fitness offer childcare.

    The Last Thing You Need to Know About Staying Active as a Mom

    • Stay motivated, have a plan ready, and be flexible.
    • Remember Sharing is Caring! Please, share this post on your Facebook and Pinterest. Also, please click the button below and share your fitness tips for mommies.

    Click here to submit your own tip If you are pregnant, check out these blog posts to help you through your pregnancy:

    Looking into becoming a SAHM, check out these blog posts below:

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    With the COVID-19 pandemic still going on, many children are still experiencing school from home. Instead of meeting friends and teachers in classrooms, they interact with others virtually and may be cooped up at home. In times like now, it is even harder for children to stay fit and reach the physical activity guidelines recommended for their age group.

    This article will introduce 8 tips parents and children can utilize to stay fit during these times. The perks of these tips? Fancy gym equipment or large spacious backyards are not needed! These can be easily completed in small apartments and limited space without requiring the purchase of expensive gear.

    1. Take walks around the neighborhood.

    Even better, try to make them a daily habit! Getting fresh air is beneficial to both parents and children and with the warmer, spring weather coming up, these walks are surely enjoyable. If you have a dog that needs to be walked, this can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

    1. Pick exercise routines out of a jar.

    Write down exercises that can be done at home on pieces of paper and throw them in a jar. This can include sit ups, jumping jacks, planking, jogging in place, and so on. Have everyone pick a piece of paper, do the move, and repeat if desired.

    1. Have a dance party with exciting music.

    Turn on some exciting music and have a dance party with your children! You can even video call with family members or friends and have them join in on the fun.

    Hula hoops can be purchased at low prices and used indoors. They are great for your cardiovascular and aerobic health, as well as burning calories. There are even hula hoop tricks that children can try to learn.

    1. Exercise while watching TV or movies.

    Taking exercise breaks when commercials or advertisements come out is one way to stay fit and relax at the same time. You can also jog in place, practice yoga, squat, or do some butt kicks while watching TV.

    1. Look for ways to stay fit in daily activities.

    Encourage your child to take the elevator instead of the stairs, or park your car further away and walk a greater distance. Since most people are not going out as often because of the pandemic, taking advantage of smaller daily life activities will add up.

    1. Make exercising a game to create more fun and motivation.

    Have your child set a goal for exercising (a certain number of situps or jumping jacks, for example). Once that is reached, they can “level up” and receive a small prize of sorts, while working for the grand final prize. If you have more than one child, this can turn into a mini competition of sorts.

    1. Household chores are another way to burn calories and stay fit.

    You can assign age-appropriate household chores to your children to have them stay fit. This includes cleaning, mopping, doing the laundry, rearranging or building furniture, and anything that needs to be done around the house. This can also help you finish those chores that need to be done!

    There are many ways to keep fit and exercise while at home, so there is no need to worry about not having access to a gym/fitness center and all the equipment they have. Exercising with your children can also be a great family activity and for everyone to stay healthy. To join our exercise programs, check out our calendar at for a date and time that fits your schedule.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    • Try a mom and baby workout
    • Schedule time for exercise
    • Find a postpartum exercise you can do at home

    For many new moms, finding time to exercise may take a back seat to more pressing concerns, like caring for your growing family or squeezing in a few extra moments of precious, precious sleep. But postpartum exercise has many benefits worth tapping into, from relieving stress and boosting energy to strengthening your core and even promoting more restful slumber.

    Once you’ve seen your healthcare provider at your postpartum checkup and they’ve given you the go ahead to start working out again, you may find that even just short bursts of exercise can leave you feeling more reenergized and refreshed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, which can include anything from a one-hour fitness class to something as simple as a ten-minute walk around your neighborhood. It’s all about finding what works best for you.

    In the throes of 4 a.m. feedings and unpredictable baby sleep patterns, it can be hard to even think about getting back into working out. But there are creative ways to fit some physical activity into your schedule and lifestyle. Here are a few ideas:

    Try a mom and baby workout

    Whether it’s a formal mommy and me exercise class or a walk around the neighborhood with your little one in tow, working out while spending time with your baby is multitasking at its finest.

    • Put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk. When your baby is at least 6 months old, they can go in a jogging stroller and you can pick up the pace.
    • Head out for a walk with your little one in a baby carrier or sling. If your baby is sitting up, they can go for a hike in a backpack carrier. (Just make sure your baby is well supported – a sling is fine for a walk around the block, but isn’t a good option for a more rigorous adventure or a hike through the hills. Make sure you’re supported too, and that whatever carrier you’re using doesn’t strain your shoulders, neck, or back.)
    • Check out local health clubs, gyms, or yoga studios. Many offer postpartum exercise classes suitable for new moms as well as daycare or even classes you can take with your baby. If your gym doesn’t offer postpartum classes, pick a low-impact class that has a decent warm-up period (at least 10 minutes) and includes stretching and toning. Note: If you’re thinking of joining a club that offers babysitting services, look for one that has a safe, secure area staffed by trained childcare providers and a clean, inviting playroom stocked with age-appropriate toys and books. Also look for one with a low child-to-staff ratio (about four children to every adult) and a policy of not accepting sick children.
    • Join a mom-and-baby stroller exercise program like Momleta or Stroller Strides – local fitness clubs in your neighborhood may offer something similar. It’s a great way to get outside, exercise, meet other moms, and spend time with your baby.

    Schedule time for exercise

    Finding time to exercise on the fly may be difficult, so if you’re able to consider when working out may work best for you and plan ahead, you might have more success.

    • Have your partner or another caregiver watch the baby for 30 minutes so you can get out for a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy some time to yourself.
    • If your maternity leave is over and you’re back at work outside the house, try getting up about an hour before everyone else in the morning and head to the gym. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, get up before your partner leaves to squeeze in some exercise.
    • Bring your sneakers and a change of clothes to work and go for a stroll or to the gym during your lunch break – you can do the same if you’re working remotely.

    Find a postpartum exercise you can do at home

    There’s no shortage of great and easily accessible streaming workouts and videos you can access at home, including BabyCenter’s Postpartum Exercises series.

    • Consider investing in some home exercise equipment that you can use while your baby is napping or otherwise occupied. It doesn’t have to be a stationary bike – even something as small as a jump rope or some free weights will help you get moving.
    • If you’re on a budget, search online for free exercise videos, or download an exercise app on your smartphone. It’s easy to find everything from aerobics to meditation to kickboxing.

    Read more:

    Sources

    BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

    This article was written by an 8fit team member – he’s an all-star dad who works hard to balance work, family life and staying active. Read the article below for his tips, then tell us how you balance being a parent and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Share your stories and tips on social media and tag 8fit!

    Parenting is one of the toughest – and most rewarding – jobs on the planet. It takes time and energy, but the benefits are pretty amazing. As parents, we understand that we have a responsibility to raise intelligent, kind human beings and that, oddly enough, these little humans enjoy spending time with us.

    With new responsibilities come new routines, but we learn to adapt quickly. We begin to use our time more wisely and multitask, and to be more self-disciplined when it comes to fitting in “me” time.

    Staying fit as a busy parent

    In my experience, one of the best ways to stay active as a parent is by doing fitness-related activities with your children – that way, both parties benefit. Here’s how to do this with children of different ages:

    Baby to toddler

    Think of how calm your child becomes when your strap them in the car seat for a drive, when you go for a walk in the stroller, when you pick them up to dance around the house, or when you bounce them on your knee – babies love to be on the move. Because of this, they’ll love being an accessory to your next workout.

    There are a number of exercises you can safely do while holding your child like a weight. Here are some ideas (funny faces optional, but encouraged!):

    Squats, holding child at chest height

    Squat with push press, holding child at chest and then pressing overhead*

    Lunges, holding child at chest height

    Sumo squat, holding child at chest height

    Bear crawl, done with child

    Push-up with child on back (when your child is old enough to hold on)*

    *Best done long after meal time.

    This exercise time is beneficial for both parties – you’ll get a good sweat, and your child will enjoy the movement. You’ll also build strength and improve stability that will help you carry your child for longer periods of time while reducing the risk of your child developing conditions like container baby syndrome.

    Young kids to teens

    As children become stronger and more mobile, the number of activities you can do together increases. My advice: Don’t just sign your children up for sports – play sports with them! When sports are only played in a competitive atmosphere, children can sometimes lose enthusiasm over time. Make sure your children know that know not everything needs to be a competition and that sports are also an enjoyable way to stay healthy.

    Communicate your fitness plan

    What I find really useful is communicating with my children by telling them that “I plan to work out at home at lunchtime,” or that “I am going to do a workout in 1 hour.” I’ll then ask if they want to join or if they would rather I help them set up an activity for that time (e.g. coloring book, movie, homework, etc.). Another tip: If your child is joining your workout, start your workout with dynamic stretching, do exercises your child can complete at least 3-5 reps of, and always compliment their achievements to help build self esteem. Be sure to coach them through proper form and promote hydration post-workout as well. The best part: you’ll build habits by working out together, setting your child up for lifelong health.

    Parenting and nutrition

    Just because you’re eating healthier doesn’t mean your child is ready to eat healthier. They are used to their routines, to certain foods, and to certain food preparations. What you can do is offer bites of your healthier meals to test the waters. Then focus on introducing the healthy foods they like into their meals – educating them on why that particular food is a healthy one.

    Another way to get them to eat healthier is to disguise their favorite meals with healthier versions. If your child loves spaghetti and meatballs, swap white pasta for whole wheat pasta or 50% zucchini noodles. If PB&J is the go-to lunch in your house, swap out your sweetened, salted peanut butter for a unsweetened, all-natural version. If all your child wants for snack is potato chips, try veggie chips or dehydrated fruits. You can also add “nutrition booster” to their favorite treats like these vegan banana bean muffins or brownies with added protein.

    Bottom line

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a parent isn’t easy. It takes patience, time management, and dedication. The key is getting your kids on board – they’ll motivate you as much as you motivate them, and you’ll both be healthier and happier as a result.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Parenthood comes with countless surprises. Most involve bodily fluids. Like, for instance, the sudden lack of opportunities for Mom and Dad to sweat.

    “We both used to get up in the morning and just go exercise,” explains Amanda Holliday of Takoma Park, Md., a dance fitness teacher whose son was born in 2016. “That’s not happening anymore.” Even if it’s possible to tote the kid along for a workout, there’s a lot more to consider beyond your number of reps — and a lot more to cram into your gym bag.

    Get the full experience. Choose your plan ArrowRight

    And although it seems it should get easier to carve out me-time as tykes turn into tweens, don’t count on it, says 44-year-old Jennifer Lungren, who has been teaching fitness classes for moms in Northern Virginia for 15 years. Thanks to her four kids (ages 8, 10, 13 and 15), every afternoon, evening and weekend is a blur of shuttling between activities.

    Don’t want to take an 18-year break from exercise? Consider these strategies to make ­workouts work for families.

    Congratulations, you now have a weight that probably will cry and scream if not held ­constantly.

    This can be an opportunity, suggests Holliday, 30, who quickly discovered that her son was happiest when snuggled and swayed in a baby carrier. Rocking him to sleep at 3 a.m. got boring, so she experimented by adding in some salsa moves. He was such a great partner that she created a baby-wearing dance fitness class, Baby Mombo, which she started teaching when he was just 8 weeks old. Think smooth steps and belly dancing to get the heart rate up and work the core, plus squats and lunges for toning. “People have taken it at different levels of sleep,” notes Holliday, who purposely keeps the choreography simple. And of course, as the kid gets heavier each week, it’s more of a challenge.

    There’s also plenty you can do with a child in a stroller, including running or a structured program. The best known is probably Stroller Strides, a class developed by Fit4Mom, which has franchises across the country. The idea is to pepper total-body parent moves with songs to keep everyone entertained.

    The important thing is just to start doing something, says Lauren Gerard, 27, who’s now a Fit4Mom instructor in the District but didn’t exercise at all the year after her now-3-year-old daughter was born. “Everything seemed like a monumental task,” she recalls. But once she managed to drag herself to a workout, she discovered energy that lasted throughout the day.

    When kids advance from crawling to walking to oh-please-stop-at-the-corner zooming, all parents become expert sprinters. But most of the time, the job of a lifeguard is pretty sedentary, which means missing out on fitness opportunities.

    That’s why Salil Maniktahla and Malikah Lakhani, the owners of Urban Evolution parkour gym in Northern Virginia and parents of ­2-year-old-twins, require moms and dads to participate in toddler classes. The goal, Maniktahla explains, is to help them learn to climb, balance and fall with their kids. “It’s how we play with our own children,” he says, and he thinks moms and dads can learn more from experiencing than simply supervising. Plus, getting out of a foam pit is really tough, he adds.

    Holliday, who teaches Zumbini (ages 0-4) and Family Zumba (ages 4 and up) — two spinoffs of the popular Zumba dance workout — has a similar take: “It’s funny how many parents come in jeans the first time. We sweat.” She wants families to jump like kangaroos not just when they’re with her, but also when they’re home or at the park. Although goofing around at the playground “isn’t going to melt off 20 pounds,” she says, it’s a way to fit in some extra activity.

    Ideally, that’s a supplement to the time you’re taking for yourself. “You have to block it off,” says Capitol Hill resident Shea Miller, 38, who has two sons, ages 4 and 18 months. She’s devoted to Fit4Mom’s Body Back Boost classes, high-intensity workouts meant for moms to do without their kids. Sometimes she’s there at 8 p.m., just after bedtime. Other days, it’s 5:45 a.m., before anyone else at home wakes up. (Her trick for getting ready fast in the morning: Sleep in her workout clothes.)

    On a recent Tuesday night, after an hour of sumo burpees, Russian twists and planks galore — followed by an empowering meditation — Miller and other moms discussed the most difficult move: escaping the house. “My last vision of my youngest tonight was her saying, ‘Don’t go!’ ” 40-year-old Cathy Weber said. The group reassured her: Getting out to get exercise isn’t selfish. It’s being a role model.

    Kids will naturally be curious about the kinds of activities you do for fitness, and as they get older, they can hike a trail or bend into yoga poses with you. It can be rewarding to pay attention to what they enjoy and find ways to join them.

    Clay Smith, of Mobile, Ala., had never been a runner. But when his son Stone was 6 years old and already quite speedy, his gym teacher recommended signing him up for a 5K. So, father and son trained for a few weeks. “And we had a good time,” says Smith, 42, who credits his now-13-year-old son for helping the whole family (including his wife, Christi, and 11-year-old daughter, Audrey Kate) get into the habit of running together whenever possible.

    “When my son wanted to wake up on a Saturday morning and spend time with me, I didn’t want to turn that down,” Smith says. Races and fun runs have become their favorite social activity, which is why when they lived in the District last summer for Smith’s work, they all hit the streets with a club organized by Pacers Running on 14th Street NW. (It didn’t hurt that one of the group’s monthly events is the Shake Shack Run.) Smith’s advice? Finding a community — especially one with other parents and kids — makes it easier to log miles.

    For Jonathan Hill, 39, and Jennifer Dolan, 42, of Fairfax City, parkour is the way they bond with their 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son. They discovered Urban Evolution around the time the kids were outgrowing the child-care center at their more traditional gym, and they were drawn to the fact that kid and adult classes often lined up on the schedule. Now, quite conveniently, every member of the family is obsessed.

    Ladies, can we all start by agreeing that being a mom is way harder than we ever imagined?

    No matter what season of parenting you’re in, there are twists and turns that stretch us to limits we never imagined. Whether it’s toddlers that are up all hours of the night, or teenagers whose schedules require an advanced degree in logistics management–everything changes, and you get to figure it all out again.

    If you’re like a busy mom like me, you may struggle to find the time and energy to fit exercise into your schedule—even though you know that it’s critically important for your mental and physical well-being. To help you reach your fitness goals (whatever they may be), I’ve compiled my favorite ways to get your workout in and your sanity back—all while sticking to your schedule and budget.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: High
    Cost: Free

    For stay-at-home moms or mothers who work part-time, this is my favorite method of staying active. It goes something like this:

    – Find a friend who has kids a similar age as yours
    – Discuss your goals and plan ways to exercise together
    – Strap the kids into their strollers and go for a long walk or to the playground/park
    – Challenge each other to bodyweight exercises, like pushups or squats, while the kids are playing

    Leverage the fact that you have some extra free time and use your creativity to move your bodies while keeping your kids busy.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: High
    Cost: Free

    For stay-at-home moms or mothers who work part-time, this is my favorite method of staying active. It goes something like this:

    – Find a friend who has kids a similar age as yours
    – Discuss your goals and plan ways to exercise together
    – Strap the kids into their strollers and go for a long walk or to the playground/park
    – Challenge each other to bodyweight exercises, like pushups or squats, while the kids are playing

    Leverage the fact that you have some extra free time and use your creativity to move your bodies while keeping your kids busy.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: Medium influencers
    Cost: Free

    The beauty of social media is that there are hundreds of fitness accounts you can follow to craft unique workouts every day from the comfort of your home. Whether you choose to watch YouTube yoga classes— like Yoga with Adriene —or follow fitness buffs on Instagram—check out @whitneyysimmons)—it’s easy to return daily for at-home workouts that are fast, convenient and free!

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: Medium influencers
    Cost: Free

    The beauty of social media is that there are hundreds of fitness accounts you can follow to craft unique workouts every day from the comfort of your home. Whether you choose to watch YouTube yoga classes— like Yoga with Adriene —or follow fitness buffs on Instagram—check out @whitneyysimmons)—it’s easy to return daily for at-home workouts that are fast, convenient and free!

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: High
    Cost: $30-$100/month

    We all can agree that our kids are the best, but how glorious is child-free time? If you have a little extra in your budget, consider investing in a membership at a fitness studio near you that offers childcare. Most places will give you up to two hours of daycare a day—that means that you’ll have time to get a full workout, shower, and perhaps even blow-dry your hair so you can forego your standard mom bun.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: High
    Cost: $30-$100/month

    We all can agree that our kids are the best, but how glorious is child-free time? If you have a little extra in your budget, consider investing in a membership at a fitness studio near you that offers childcare. Most places will give you up to two hours of daycare a day—that means that you’ll have time to get a full workout, shower, and perhaps even blow-dry your hair so you can forego your standard mom bun.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: Low
    Cost: $30-$100/month

    Convenience fitness is booming, and it’s all about making fitness fit your life. From at-home sweat sessions to taking classes at the new studio in your neighborhood, working out whenever you want, wherever you want has never been easier. Peloton offers its in-home cycling bike for $97 a month ($59/month for 39 months + $39/month subscription). Peloton’s classes range from 10–to 60–minutes from the comfort of your living room, so it’s easy to squeeze in workouts before the kids get up (or in between activities). If premium cycling equipment isn’t your style, MINDBODY offers individual workout classes, memberships, and deals at the best fitness studios near you, right at your fingertips. From trying your first HIIT workout to tapping into some calm from kid chaos during yoga class, MINDBODY makes prioritizing self-care, simple.

    Let’s all agree that being a mom is the strangest mix of awesome, joyous, and downright exhausting. It’s hard to take time for yourself, but everyone wins when mom feels better—physically and emotionally!

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Time commitment: Low
    Cost: $30-$100/month

    Convenience fitness is booming, and it’s all about making fitness fit your life. From at-home sweat sessions to taking classes at the new studio in your neighborhood, working out whenever you want, wherever you want has never been easier. Peloton offers its in-home cycling bike for $97 a month ($59/month for 39 months + $39/month subscription). Peloton’s classes range from 10–to 60–minutes from the comfort of your living room, so it’s easy to squeeze in workouts before the kids get up (or in between activities). If premium cycling equipment isn’t your style, MINDBODY offers individual workout classes, memberships, and deals at the best fitness studios near you, right at your fingertips. From trying your first HIIT workout to tapping into some calm from kid chaos during yoga class, MINDBODY makes prioritizing self-care, simple.

    Let’s all agree that being a mom is the strangest mix of awesome, joyous, and downright exhausting. It’s hard to take time for yourself, but everyone wins when mom feels better—physically and emotionally!

    By Laura Heggs | Last updated December 30, 2017

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Motherhood involves a lot of care: care for babies, care for toddlers, care for scheduling–but it not always self-care. Juggling to-do lists, maintaining work-life balance and caring for tiny humans keeps you on your toes but not always on your fitness game. The tips below can help you stay fit and active. Moms have enough pressure in their lives, so take these tips and make them work for your life, schedule, and family.

    1. Find a Tribe.

    Finding a community that supports you and helps you grow can be key to staying fit. Whether you are a new mom or an experienced mom with multiple toddlers, the support of friends is great for your physical and mental health. Plan on getting active outside with friends and the kids, or work with one another to watch each other’s children while you take time to work out. Getting social means getting active!

    2. Join a Gym with Childcare Services.

    If finding a tribe seems too daunting or adds stress, try joining a pre-made one: the gym! Many gyms now offer childcare services, which allow you get your workout in while a professional watches your child, often in a cool room with toys. This not only allows you to get your workout in but also provides an opportunity for your child to socialize.

    3. Set Goals and Make Moving a Habit.

    Setting goals can help guide you on the path to success. Make short-term goals that are accessible and allow you to see results. This will keep you motivated to keep going, and before you know it, you may be exercising without even thinking.

    Once you lose the mindset of “having” to workout, and rather work out by staying active in life, your workouts will morph from something on your to-do list to something you are already doing. For example, start walking instead of driving. Make moving a priority, and don’t guilt yourself for missing a workout.

    4. Value Your Time.

    Time management can be the key to getting a workout in. Be mindful of your schedule, and remember that your time is extremely valuable. Find workouts you can do from your home (many exist on YouTube) that are effective yet only 30 minutes long. Try to fit this time in every day, and remember that the work you put in will add up over time.

    5. Send the Kids to One Class and Yourself to Another.

    Getting the kids out to try new things is great for their social and mental development. Sign your children up for a fun class, like arts and crafts or gymnastics, and use the time they are away having fun to get your own class in!

    6. Create a Space at Home for You, and Only You.

    Children can quickly take over the space in a home, so find a room or even a corner that you can dedicate just to yourself. No toys, and no entry without permission. Let that space be your area, where you decompress and find your fitness or wellness routine.

    7. Get Outside.

    Getting outside is great for everyone, and can be a simple and fun way to get active. Walk the kids to a local park, explore the neighborhood, or head out to a family-friendly attraction like the zoo.

    8. Split It into Mini Workouts.

    We often think of workouts as occurring all at once, in solid blocks of time. However, small workouts throughout the day can add up to a full workout by evening. While your child is occupied by a toy or television show, stay nearby and slip in a few sun salutations, sit-ups or squats. A few movements scattered throughout the day can add up to big results.

    9. Get the Kids Involved.

    Exercising does not have to mean getting away from the kids. Love a workout video? Invite the kids to join in! This keeps them occupied while teaching them the value of exercise. You may be able to find “Mommy and me” classes, where you bring your child into the class with you.

    A busy family schedule can often throw self-care out the window. Do your best and practice one or more of the tips above to find what works best for you. Always keep self-care on your radar–your time is valuable and you are worth it.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Kristin McGee is the full-time working mom of three boys and realizes the value of mindful movement and meditation. She currently teaches yoga and meditation for Peloton.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

    Kids need to be active every day for their health and happiness. Physical activity can help children and adolescents build strong bones and muscles, keep weight steady, promote better sleep, and protect against several diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. A regular fitness routine can even reduce feelings of anxiety and depression in kids.

    Now more than ever, it can be tricky to get kids to unplug and play. But with some creative strategies, fitness can be fun, not a chore. Here are ideas for getting kids motivated to be active with friends, with you, or on their own.

    Making Fitness Fun

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Many fitness centers have age minimums, mainly to keep kids safe. Equipment like stationary bikes are often designed for people around 5 feet or taller, and treadmills can pose a real injury risk to children. But some family-friendly gyms welcome children to work out alongside a parent. Kids as young as 7 or 8 can begin resistance training using weights. They should be supervised by a certified strength-training expert to ensure they use proper techniques to prevent injuries.

    At age 10, kids should do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity activities each day. The best kind of workouts for this age group are aerobic: activities that get the heart pumping fast and exercise large muscle groups. Some kids this age may enjoy creating or joining an after-school running club. They should also do activities that strengthen their muscles or bones a few times a week. Jumping rope builds cardiovascular capacity and bone strength, and kids can do it anywhere.

    The best physical activities for kids are ones that keep them moving and that they enjoy doing. For many children, team sports like soccer and basketball are a perfect way to keep fit and bond with friends. Others gravitate toward less traditional sports, such as archery, fencing, or water polo. Still, other kids prefer non-competitive physical activities and might enjoy dance, jumping rope, and even hula hooping.

    To spark your child’s interest, family exercise should be fun, not forced. Preschoolers will appreciate active games like dragon tag, freeze dance, or balloon volleyball. For bigger kids, consider activities that allow you to take on a challenge together. Learn a lifetime sport like golf or pickleball side by side, sign up for an adventure race, or try geocaching.

    Your child is more likely to enjoy and stick with physical activities when they get to do it with their favorite grown-up: you! And active kids, in turn, may motivate you to revive a fitness routine that was shelved when you became a parent.

    Doing physical activities together can also promote family bonding since you are all working hard and having fun together. It’s a healthy cycle. As families spend more active time together, relationships tend to improve, which often inspires parents and kids to participate in more family fitness activities to keep the good vibe going.

    Rather than putting kids on an “exercise plan,” present them with plenty of active choices and opportunities. For small children, make a chart with pictures of a dozen or so activities, including active games they can do on their own. Consider giving them a small reward for trying new activities or doing a certain number per week, which is a proven motivator. Arrange for social older kids to do fitness with a friend, whether it’s taking them to a martial arts class or driving them to a cool hiking spot on the weekend. Cool gear never hurts: Buy them hand weights in their favorite color or workout clothes they feel good in.

    Make physical activity a daily part of life from the time they are small. Take the stairs with them instead of the elevator at the airport or mall and make a tradition of after-dinner walks or once-a-week bike rides. Keep active toys around family spaces, since kids are more likely to play with what’s easily accessible. Once they are a bit older, push for more physical activities at your child’s school and let them try a variety of sports until they find one they love.

    Keeping Kids Active

    Anyone who’s seen kids on a playground knows that most are naturally physically active and love to move around. And climbing to the top of a slide or swinging from the monkey bars can help lead kids to a lifetime of being active.

    As they get older, it can be harder for kids to get enough daily activity. This can be due to:

    • more demands at school
    • a feeling among some kids that they aren’t good at sports
    • a lack of active role models
    • busy working families

    And even if kids have the time and the desire to be active, parents may not feel comfortable letting them freely roam the neighborhood as kids did generations ago. So their chances to be active might be limited.

    Still, parents can teach a love of physical activity and help kids fit it into their everyday lives. Doing so can set healthy patterns that will last into adulthood.

    What Are Some Benefits of Being Active?

    When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits:

    • strong muscles and bones
    • healthy weight
    • decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
    • better sleep
    • a better outlook on life

    Physically active kids also are more likely to be motivated, focused, and successful in school. And mastering physical skills builds confidence at every age.

    What Motivates Kids?

    So there’s a lot to gain from regular physical activity, but how do you encourage kids to do it? The three keys are:

    1. Choosing the right activities for a child’s age: If you don’t, the child may be bored or frustrated.
    2. Giving kids plenty of opportunity to be active: Kids need parents to make activity easy by providing equipment, signing them up for classes or sports teams, and taking them to playgrounds and other active spots.
    3. Keeping the focus on fun: Kids won’t do something they don’t enjoy.

    When kids enjoy an activity, they want to do more of it. Practicing a skill — whether it’s swimming or riding a tricycle — improves their abilities and helps them feel accomplished, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. These good feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others.

    Age-Appropriate Activities

    The best way for kids to get physical activity is by incorporating physical activity into their daily routine. Toddlers and preschoolers should play actively several times a day. Children 6 to 17 years should do 60 minutes or more physical activity daily. This can include free play at home, active time at school, and participation in classes or organized sports.

    Age-Based Advice:

    Preschoolers: Preschoolers need play and exercise that helps them continue to develop important motor skills — kicking or throwing a ball, playing tag or follow the leader, hopping on one foot, riding a trike or bike with training wheels, or running obstacle courses.

    Although some sports leagues may be open to kids as young as 4, organized team sports are not recommended until they’re a little older. Preschoolers can’t understand complex rules and often lack the attention span, skills, and coordination needed to play sports. Instead of playing on a team, they can work on fundamental skills.

    School-age: With school-age kids spending more time in front of screens, the challenge for parents is to help them find physical activities they enjoy and feel successful doing. These can range from traditional sports like baseball and basketball to martial arts, biking, hiking, and playing outside.

    As kids learn basic skills and simple rules in the early school-age years, there might only be a few athletic standouts. As kids get older, differences in ability and personality become more apparent. Commitment and interest level often go along with ability, which is why it’s important to find an activity that’s right for your child. Schedules start getting busy during these years, but don’t forget to set aside some time for free play.

    Teens: Teens have many choices when it comes to being active — from school sports to after-school interests, such as yoga or skateboarding. It’s a good idea to have an exercise plan since it often has to be sandwiched between school and other commitments.

    Do what you can to make it easy for your teen to exercise by providing transportation and the necessary gear or equipment (including workout clothes). In some cases, the right clothes and shoes might help a shy teen feel comfortable biking or going to the gym.

    Kids’ Fitness Personalities

    In addition to a child’s age, it’s important to consider their fitness personality. Personality traits, genetics, and athletic ability combine to influence kids’ attitudes toward sports and other physical activities, especially as they get older.

    Which of these 3 types best describes your child?

    1. The nonathlete: This child may lack athletic ability, interest in physical activity, or both.

    2. The casual athlete: This child is interested in being active but isn’t a star player and is at risk of getting discouraged in a competitive athletic environment.

    3. The athlete: This child has athletic ability, is committed to a sport or activity, and likely to ramp up practice time and intensity of competition.

    If you understand the concepts of temperament and fitness types, you’ll be better able to help your kids find the right activities and get enough exercise — and find enjoyment in physical activity. Some kids want to pursue excellence in a sport, while others may be perfectly happy and fit as casual participants.

    The athlete, for instance, will want to be on the basketball team, while the casual athlete may just enjoy shooting hoops at the playground or in the driveway. The nonathlete is likely to need a parent’s help and encouragement to get and stay physically active. That’s why it’s important to encourage kids to remain active even through they aren’t top performers.

    Whatever their fitness personality, all kids can be physically fit. A parent’s positive attitude will help a child who’s reluctant to exercise.

    Be active yourself and support your kids’ interests. If you start this early enough, they’ll come to regard activity as a normal — and fun — part of your family’s everyday routine.

    Here are 5 easy tips for stay-at-home moms who want to get in shape.

    Maintaining an exercise routine can be difficult for anyone. However, it can be a little bit more difficult for moms to fit in workouts. After all, how are you supposed to find time to exercise when you can’t even go to the bathroom without being interrupted? However, there are ways by which you can make exercise a reality and a priority.

    Here are 5 realistic and easy tips for any mom who wants to get in shape while being at home.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    1. Exercise early in the morning

    Work out before the day passes you by. If we get right to it, it’s difficult to come up with as many reasons why we didn’t exercise that day. Make an effort to set aside thirty minutes for yourself before or after breakfast.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    2. Exercise with the kids

    Include your kids in your workout. If they’re old enough and coordinated enough, have them hold very light weights or water bottles and exercise alongside you. You can even play games with them which can involve physical activity. One can even take them for walks or bike rides wherein everyone can have a good time while also staying active.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    3. Make any space into a home gym

    While it can be hard to make it to the gym or a class, the truth is, you don’t actually require any special fitness equipment or a gym membership to workout. Sometimes all you need is a chair, and you’d be surprised at the variety of exercises you can do with one.

    4. Wear your workout clothes throughout the day

    Finding large chunks of time for workouts is a common issue for many stay-at-home parents. Even getting on the treadmill or watching a quick 30-minute video while the kids sleep, can be difficult. If you are putting on your workout clothes all day long, you’ll always be ready for a quick workout or a walk whenever time allows. It might also encourage you to take out time for yourself.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    5. Make every move count

    If you don’t have time for continuous exercise or if you miss a workout, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some exercise in. You can run the stairs and add extra laps to it. One can even add more walking to the routine for burning those extra calories. You can even try lunging and squatting while doing daily chores at home or while picking up something from the floor.

    Every individual is unique. It is important to do what is best for you and fits into your lifestyle. You won’t even have to think about it once you’ve gotten into the swing of things.

    Preach, mama. You tell them.

    Anna Strode, a stay-at-home mom to toddler twins and a soon-to-be little girl, has worked hard to get fit. She has a large following on Instagram, where she shows other moms out there that it’s possible to work out with little ones scampering around, underfoot. Even if you have to stop a few times to break up a little hair pulling fight.

    Considering what Strode does is pretty darn admirable, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could criticize her (mind you, her workouts nearly always involve watching her kids). But, hey, leave it to the Internet. When someone made an insensitive comment on one of Strode’s posts, she created another post, documenting how much it hurt her. “It basically said, ‘I wish I got to stay at home all day and exercise with my child, instead I have to go to work and do WORK,'” she wrote. “It cut me pretty deep and while I do my best to remain positive — this hurt.”

    She clapped back, though, despite hurt feelings — and her reaction has since gone viral (5,400 likes!). “You think 2 x 22 month old toddlers just let me kick my feet up all day after I’ve done my morning workout?” she wrote. “You think I’m beaming with energy as I grow a new baby and frantically do my best to keep up with twin boys that run rings around me?!”

    Strode gave a breakdown of her day, just to illustrate how much work she actually does — because yep, being a stay-at-home-mom certainly is work. (I know this because I had one and she killed it.) She exercises just 20-30 minutes a day — and the rest is soothing cranky babies, changing diapers, making food (that often gets thrown on the ground, anyway) and teaching two little humans who don’t know any better that sharing is important. All while growing another one. Total cake walk. Right.

    And while she didn’t have to justify her hard work to anyone, her post gives due visibility to stay-at-home moms everywhere who are, unfortunately, still thought to have it easier than moms in the workforce. Bottom line: We need to stop judging moms and realize that being a mother isn’t easy — whether you’re doing it from home, an office or both.

    How to stay active as a pregnant parent.

    11 July 2016 • 4 min read

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    As a busy parent, finding the time to stay fit and active isn’t simple. It requires planning and organisation to make it happen, and there will be days when you just won’t get any free time to yourself. As if having to consider your current children didn’t make it difficult enough, being pregnant adds an extra layer of complexity, as your energy and motivation might not be as high as normal. Pregnant or not, don’t let the kids stop you from getting your exercise fix. Here are some tips to help you make it happen.

    Pound the pavement

    If there’s one upside to modern parenting, it’s the leaps and bounds gadgetry has made over the years. The range of buggies that are designed for active parents to walk, jog and run long distances is impressive, and when you’ve got small children, it’s one of the easiest ways to get your 30 minutes of daily exercise. Just strap the kids in and run out the door. There are also some innovative solutions for bikes, including bike seats or trailers for your kids to sit in while you ride. Or if you’re a runner and your child is old enough to ride a scooter, get them to ride next to you, while you try to keep up.

    Keep it short and sweet

    Be realistic about how much time you’re likely to get, and figure out how to maximise it. Opt for short and sweet workout sessions that are moderate in intensity, and put as much effort into them as feels safe and comfortable. Being pregnant, you’re not trying to break any world records – you’re just aiming to keep your body moving as regularly as possible.

    Find some buddies

    Fitness instructors across Australia are quickly catching on to the parent/child classes, with some even using your toddlers as props instead of weights! Whether it’s a one-on-one session with a personal trainer, or a group training class with other mums and bubs, it’s become the norm to take your baby with you and keep them entertained in the pram while you get your workout done. Or, if you don’t want to pay for a class, just take turns at exercising with a friend, while the other one looks after the kids.

    Stay at home

    If you can’t get out of the house, a home workout is just as effective. From yoga and pilates to strength building exercises, there’s plenty you can do within the walls of your own home. Try getting up before everyone else does to get through your workout without any distractions. Or, if that’s not possible and you need to keep younger children entertained, be prepared with plenty of distractions: books, colouring in, or set them going with an easy craft activity, which should buy you 30 minutes or so. If you have older children, try and co-ordinate your workout for the time they sit down and do some reading or homework, or get them to join in and count your push-ups for you!

    Get everyone to join in

    When your kids are old enough, get everyone in on the action and exercise as a family. Head down to the local tennis courts and play doubles, enter a fun run together, or if the weather is nice, round up some friends and set up a big game of beach Frisbee or cricket. You could also get onto a playing field and kick a ball around for an hour or two, or go swimming at the local pool. Kids need exercise just as much as adults do, so get outdoors and have fun together.

    Head here to read more articles about how to stay fit and active during pregnancy, and don’t forget to see your GP before starting a new exercise routine.

    Each pregnancy is unique, Medibank recommends all members seek medical advice concerning their individual health, appropriate nutritional and fitness regime, prior to, during and post pregnancy.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parentHow to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Being a stay-at-home mom isn’t an excuse to stop exercising! Here are some tips to keep yourself motivated and fit at home!

    Working out and getting fit takes a lot of hard work and motivation. This is especially true for stay-at-home moms who take care of their kids, and manage the entire household all by themselves.

    However that’s not an excuse to not exercise, sinceВ taking care of your health and fitness is just as important as taking care of your family. So here are some useful tips that you can use to keep yourself fit and healthy as a stay-at-home mom!

    1. Just do it!

    Stop making excuses and just start exercising! It takes just 30 minutes of exercise daily to keep you fit and in tip-top shape, so make sure to take some extra effort and spend just 30 minutes of your day exercising.

    If you canВ take care of your kids and manage the entire household everyday, then surely you should be able to sneak in 30 minutes of exercise in your busy day.

    2.В Ask for help!

    If you’re really struggling to find time in your busy day, then ask someone for help. If a friend or a relative can help you take care of your kids for just 30 minutes to an hour, then you should do so.

    Exercise might seem like a tiring activity, but it actually helps keep your body strong and healthy, and can actually help you relax and reduce feelings of fatigue or tiredness.

    3. Do itВ first thing in the morning

    A lot of people put off exercising because they’re too tired, or they want to prioritize another task first. The key to making sure that you can exercise daily would be to make it the first thing that you do everyday.

    Once you get used to making it a part of your daily routine, you’ll actually start to look forward to exercising, since it’s a great way to start the day. It also keeps your energy up, so you’ll get tired less throughout your day.

    4. Exercise with your family!

    Something that makes exercise fun to do is if you do it with your family! You can make it a part of your daily routine, or you can exercise early in the morning to bond with your husband and spend some quality time together.

    Exercise also keeps your family healthy, so exercising with your family helps keep your family close, fit, and healthy!

    5. Be patient

    If you’re trying to lose the weight that you gained during your pregnancy, or if you just happened to gain a lot of weight while being a mom, then the only thing that you can do would be to keep at it and be patient.

    It takes some time before you can start seeing results, but the most important thing to know is to be consistent and just keep at it. The results will soon follow, especially if you also eat healthy in addition to daily exercise.

    At the end of the day, the important thing that you have to remember would be that your health is the most important thing, and in order to care for your family, you should also care about your health!

    An ex-professional boxer (and new dad) reveals how he’s looking after his physical and mental wellbeing

    New fathers face a multitude of time-consuming dilemmas: feeding the baby every two hours, dirty nappies, bath time, hospital trips, getting them to sleep (the list goes on, but I’m sticking to a word count here). Much of early fatherhood is spent meticulously caring for this new life – so much so that you can forget to look after yourself. And although your heart may be in the right place, if you’re not taking care of your own mental wellbeing and physical fitness, how are you supposed to take care of someone else?

    Recent research has shown that up to 38% of new dads worry about their mental health and 20% of them felt isolated during their first year of fatherhood. Yet, worryingly, only 36% of referrals for NHS talking therapies are for men (despite men aged 40-49 having the highest suicide rates in the UK).

    Everyone’s situation is different, so there’s no one solution to fit all when it comes to our mental wellbeing, but it can be helpful to hear from others and how they are navigating parenthood. That’s why Men’s Health and Dove Men+Care have recruited Chris ‘The Bull’ Baugh, an ex-professional boxer and personal trainer who takes mental health just as seriously as physical.

    Chris became a dad on 22 January 2021, and since then he’s experienced pitfalls and peaks, and grown both as a parent and as a man. Here he explains how his fitness flagged, how he got it back, the importance of taking time out, and how he’s integrating fatherhood into his passions.

    Take time off

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    “I’m an ex-professional athlete, so I can’t let myself go completely. But when my little girl first arrived, I did nothing for six weeks. Sometimes we have this voice in our heads that tells us we need to do more, but I knew that nothing was going to be more important than soaking up those newborn memories, because you’ll never get them back. So for a while I just ate what I wanted and cuddled up with my daughter, and I recommend every new father to do the same.

    “I think there’s a damaging narrative where people assume that dads can’t do anything in the beginning, that it’s all about the mum. That’s not the case at all. You can be involved with your baby as you want to be. My girl had trouble feeding, so she was bottle-fed a mix of breast milk and formula. If dads have the opportunity to feed their kids, they should do it, because it creates an incredible bond. You just need to remember to cut yourself some slack, because being a parent is unpredictable.”

    Studies have shown that taking time off from your career has positive benefits for new fathers and their partners. A study by Dove Men+Care and Promundo found that fathers reported being more satisfied with their lives (87% vs. 50%), jobs (82% vs. 52%), and sex lives (77% vs. 44%) when they had more time to be involved with their children’s upbringing. An additional study also found that mothers were less likely to experience depression when fathers were more involved in infant care.

    Join a fitness community

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    “Becoming a father can be lonely. If you’re on paternity leave, or a pint after work with your colleagues is no longer an option because you have to get home for bath time – which is important and you should be doing – that reduction in social interaction can hit you. But finding a time to join a fitness community can compensate for that.

    “Your fitness goals will never be more important than being emotionally present for your baby”

    “My mental health, like everyone’s, swings up and down and I have to work on it to keep it positive. Running has helped me a lot with this, and I never used to be a long-distance runner. Just before I had my child, I was running 15K solo in the mornings to calm my mind. Now I love doing it with friends or at a run club, sometimes competitively and sometimes just for the fun of it. It’s such a good way to connect with people, chat and be pushed to your limit. It’s hard to talk to someone when you’re trying to get a new deadlift PB, but I believe a lot of fitness should be social, especially because so many of us have been cut off from each other for so long in lockdown.”

    Don’t forget your passion

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    “Getting back into boxing has been great. I retired in 2016 to start running a business and take up more functional fitness, but since my daughter came into my life, my love for boxing has come back – both coaching and practising it.

    “It’s been so stimulating to work with professionals again. It really helps to have something you feel grounded in when everything changes in your life. Yeah, you’ve got to run around after your kid, but you’ve also got to remember what you’re about. You’re a father and your kids are going to watch and look up to you, so set an example. If you’ve got something you’re passionate about, you should share it with your kid, because it’s going to light both of you up. If you only focus on your child and stop doing everything you love, it might tick a few boxes for a while, but what I want to do is show my daughter what a passionate, invested and fulfilled person looks like.”

    There’s a misconception that burning the candle at both ends results in a better output of work – whatever your career may be. However, a recent study of 1,500 employers offering paid family leave found that over 80% of employees experienced a positive impact on employee morale and over 70% of employees reported an increase in productivity. Chris has seen a boost too, both physically and mentally, since taking a well deserved break from his 9-5 to support his new family, proving that paternity leave shouldn’t just be a luxury to a lucky few, but a mandatory employee benefit supported by businesses around the globe.

    Be realistic

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    “In the beginning, keep your expectations super-low and aim for 20-minute workouts. Still push yourself, just in small bursts. Don’t expect to immediately go back to how you were before your break, because it’ll just knock your confidence and you’ll be more likely to quit.

    “New fathers are always going to be tired, and in periods of fatigue we generally drift into things that numb us: TV, social media. So my advice would be, when you’re not with your child, put the electronics to one side and just go to bed. This will help you keep your energy up.

    “And don’t think for a second that your fitness goals will ever be more important than being mentally and emotionally present for your baby. I do need training to keep myself steady, but taking six weeks off isn’t the end of the world. Just listen to yourself and find out what your body and mind really need.”

    Dove Men+Care supports fatherhood and all the challenges it comes with, from championing paternity leave by researching its benefits for new fathers and their families to breaking down the stereotypes that hold men back from experiencing the positive effects of care on themselves and on others.

    If you or anyone you know is suffering mental health issues, Mind and the Samaritans can offer the support you need. The NHS also offers a vast array of mental health services that could benefit you.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    When Brandon Swan – who has competed at the CrossFit Games three times – became a father in 2019, his daily life took on a whole new look.

    • “Not only did I become a dad, but I became a full time stay at home parent,” said the Brisbane, Australia resident who is now training to become a firefighter. “My wife was a school principal, and I was training full-time so out of the two of us, it made sense for me to stay home. We converted our garage into a gym and I started training whenever I had time, which I quickly learned wouldn’t be very often and mostly at times that weren’t ideal.”

    Swan quickly found out being a dad was a full-time gig in itself, and that he was either training really early in the morning, late at night or while his son was napping. He was also loading regular work and errands onto his schedule and found that pretty soon, he was burning the candle at both ends.

    It was here when Swan started sharing some of his experiences on Instagram, using the hashtag #dadhours. “It turned out a lot of other people found motivation and resonated with it also,” he said.

    The idea gathered more steam when he realized his partner was in a similar position and tailoring their workouts around their busy schedules was paramount.

    • “What I also noticed was that my wife was coming home from a massive day at work each day, often exhausted and unmotivated, but still wanting to train and keep herself fit, whilst balancing being a mum.”

    Swan said the goal was to be as efficient as possible, knowing seconds counted.

    • “Each day’s challenge was thinking about how I could both maximize the short windows of time I had in the gym, and how I could create basic, yet challenging workouts that were not only appropriate for me, but appropriate for my wife too. Where we found the most success was in simplicity. Lots of machines, dumbbell workouts and basic bodyweight movements that we could get moving on quickly without too much movement prep or warm up.”

    Swan didn’t stop there however, and decided to launch Dad Hours, an online program that helps people like him and his wife who don’t necessarily have the time to trek to the gym or the box everyday due to demanding schedules.

    • “It’s purpose it to teach parents how to maximize their training time, even if that is only 15-20 minutes per day, to allow them to A) carve out some important time for themselves each day and B) get back to their busy lives feeling fulfilled and ready to take on whatever they day throws at them.”

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    From hiking the Devil’s Millhopper, to turning the local park into an outdoor gym, there are many possibilities for moms to stay in-shape.

    Brinn Strange, mom and owner of AUXO Fitness studio in Gainesville, said the only way a mom can really provide the best care for her family is if she takes care of herself. After having a child, it’s important to stay healthy and to focus on that which can improve your life and the life of your child, she said.

    Strange has run AUXO Fitness (formally Barre Forte) for about three years. After she began her business, she had her first child, Brandon. She was teaching a class the night before she went into labor.

    Between running a business and being a mom, Strange manages to teach 10-15 classes a week and also work out.

    “We have 5:30 a.m. classes, so moms will come at 5:30 to 6:30 and then be home before their kiddo wakes up at 7:30 or 8,” she said.

    She also helps her clients come up with creative ways to schedule their daily activities, so they can make it to the studio.

    It is possible to find time to work out while being a mom, she said. For her, exercising early in the morning is what works. She usually runs in the morning before her 2-year-old son wakes up.

    When she’s not at the studio, Strange tries to incorporate fitness into activities with her son.

    “I can push him in the jogging stroller and take him on the run,” she said. “I’m showing him that it’s important to get outside every day.”

    Her “30-pound chunk” is the perfect weight addition to any work out. She holds her son while doing squats and straps him on her back while hiking. Strange and her husband go to Paynes Prairie and Devil’s Millhopper during the weekends with their son to enjoy the outdoors and get in some exercise.

    Strange is now expecting her second child, due in April, and intends to continue her fitness routine.

    truenpf7/homemagazinegainesville/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Image-2-copy.png” />Claudia Cometa, also a working mom who runs the Peace Advocacy Group, has a 10-year-old and manages to work out three to four times a week. Cometa, who runs half-marathons, said she tries to exercise right after she drops her son off at school, then she typically works from home the rest of the day.

    Cometa’s son was born in 2008, and she started running in 2012. She usually attends a running club in San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park on Sunday mornings.

    “I have always been active in some way,” she said, “so, it was really tough having a kid and trying to juggle all of what was going on.”

    She said it was really difficult to figure out how to run with a small child, but she began bringing him along in the stroller. She would also bring him to running groups and let him play in the middle of the track while she gets her mileage in.

    “I struggled for a while trying to figure out how to exercise and put him somewhere, whether it’s childcare or whatever, then I realized it’s easier to just incorporate him,” Cometa said.

    Now that her son is older, it’s easier to bring him along to running events. If there is a child’s one-mile race, he will usually run it.

    Another fit mom, Ashley Finnegan, is a mother of two boys. She runs her own business called Mom CEO. With all of her involvement in the business, marketing for her husband’s business and the MomsEveryday Show on TV20, Finnegan said she used to prioritize everything else before her work outs.

    She studied exercise and sports science in college and had always been very healthy, until she let her busy schedule take up all of her time. Now she has her workouts marked on the calendar as a reoccurring meeting. Everything else she does, she plans around these workouts.

    “Life’s about balance,” she said. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ program for somebody, but what I will say is that putting those things in my calendar and sticking to them has really made a huge difference.”

    She does weight training twice a week after she drops the children off at school. She also attends fitness classes and walks three miles with her husband at least once a week. Her family spends a lot of time outside, whether it’s swimming, walking or chasing the children in the backyard.

    The first year after having children is the toughest, she said. There’s so much devotion to one little life, so it’s easy to feel guilty hiring a babysitter to go work out.

    “But as a mom, you have to figure out what works for you,” she said.

    There are so many resources for moms, and fitness groups to join, so there are always people to hold you accountable, she said.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Finding the time to exercise is hard if you don’t have a lot of spare time. If you’re a single parent, chances are you don’t have a lot of time to devote to your own fitness. Even if you do have a moment of free time, you’re likely exhausted from life’s never-ending responsibilities. And on top of that, getting in shape is expensive, right? What if money is tight? While it would be disingenuous to say that tending to your own fitness as a single parent is easy, it can be done. Here are some tips for the overworked, overbooked, and overextended.

    How to stay fit as a stay at home parent

    Don’t put it off

    One of the few times you’re likely to have some personal time on any given day are the early morning hours – before you have to make breakfast, get the kids ready for school, and head off to work. The simple fact is that responsibilities compound as the day progresses. The more you can squeeze physical activity into your early mornings, the more likely you are to actually get it done.

    Learn some 15-minute workouts

    You don’t need a fancy gym or an expensive exercise machine at home to stay fit. In fact, all you need is some motivation, a little bit of time, and maybe some basic (and cheap) accessories. There are tons and tons of 15-minute workout routines that anyone can do at home or at the office. Many require just your own body weight and a little bit of space to complete, while some can be performed with as little equipment as an adaptable resistance band (check out these easy exercises). These handy workout tools are cheap, durable, effective, and as Redfin.com points out, easily stored.

    Combine relaxation and exercise

    As a single parent you deal with stress on a minute-to-minute basis. This stress can actually sap your motivation to get fit. You can kill two birds with one stone by practicing mindfulness exercises that actually help you burn calories and tone your muscles. The obvious example here is yoga, but any routine that focuses on meditative body movements (like pilates, for example) is good. Some can even find mental respite in something like running or biking. Whatever activity helps center you and allows you to focus on the here and now is good for your overall mental health.

    Build exercise into your daily routine

    You don’t have to block out as much specific time for exercise if you can build it into your schedule. For example, take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Park further away at the grocery store and get some extra steps in. Hop off the train or subway a block early and walk the rest of the way to your destination. You’ll be surprised at how much these little tweaks will add up over time.

    Get the kids involved

    As a single parent, you probably don’t have a lot of kid-free time. So why wait until you do to get some exercise in? Kids are naturally energetic and most are thrilled to spend some quality time with their parents. Involve your kids in your exercise routine – whether it be jogging, biking, or playing a sport. Here are some creative ways to get in some physical activity with your kids.

    Being a single parent is one of the hardest things on the planet. It’s typical for single parents to sacrifice their own well-being – specifically physical exercise. The good news is that getting in shape doesn’t require a lot of time or money. All it requires is the willingness to get creative.