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Moms with small kids: How do you find time to exercise?

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Old 06-01-2011, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Moms with small kids: How do you find time to exercise?

I'm a SAHM with a toddler and an infant. Toddler doesn't nap and newborn is teething (and has me up every 1-2 hours at night). I'm having a hard time fitting in exercise.

- I would LOVE to walk outside for exercise with the kids, but my area is not "walking friendly" (no sidewalks, etc.). I would do it alone, but not with the kids.

- Before the kids wake up or after they're in bed doesn't work. I'm just too darn tired.

- "Playing" outside with the kids could work once my infant gets older, but right now she's too small to play with us. I've tried taking an exersaucer or other entertainment out for the baby while my toddler and I play. That works, but isn't convenient. I do it once a week or so, but was hoping to find something more convenient.

- Exercise DVDs and stuff are a nice thought, but there's no way my toddler and baby will give me enough peace to complete even a 20 minute segment during the day.

Right now I am squeezing out 5 pushups, 10 crunches and 10 squats every hour, on the hour during weekdays while my husband is at work. It only takes 60 seconds, so I can easily fit it in. So I am getting a little strength training in. But I'd love to do some cardio, too. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:50 PM   #2
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I feel your pain! Although mine are older now...my youngest is 16 months and my older one is 3...I still can't find time. It's easier to take them for walks now but it's hard. Throughout this journey, I haven't really exercised, other than a few walks here and there. However I have incorporated more movement...I dance around my living room and now that the weather is nicer we're in the backyard a lot (do you have outdoor space? - last summer I had my daughter lying on her activity mat while I played with my then 2 year old). The other thing is when doing cleaning, I purposely wore my baby a lot. I still carry her a lot while cleaning, it's harder but I figure I'm burning more calories holding her! Also make a point of going up and down the stairs more than I necessarily have to. Anyways do your best, but just know that diet alone can accomplish a lot, until you have more time to exercise.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #3
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It doesn't sound like my plan will work for your situation, but here it is.

I have a 2 1/2 year old and since he was probably 18 months I've been getting up at 4:30 4xs a week to run and 2xs a week I tell DH - hey I need your help please watch DS so I can go to the gym. The morning runs don't bother me because everyone is sleeping, but the other two days I am away from my family, but IMO if I'm not the best me I can be and the happiest I can be then I can't be a good wife or mom.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:15 PM   #4
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My daughter who has two little ones 'wears' the 1 and a half year old with some of these new wraps you can get for 'wearing' your kids and then the 3 year old plays outside or she walks with them to the park that way. The one and a half year old is only 23 pounds so she can still wear her comfortably even if just in the back yard.

I must say to all you moms of young ones you actually get in exercise just having little ones around. I have the two sleep over every other sat night and from the time they get to my house at 6 in the evening and then get up and get ready for church in the morning I dont even sit down! lol sometimes I am just glad to get into the car to drive there so I can have a break.
With that being said I work out 1 hour 5 days a week high intensity cardio plus 20 min 4 times a week of upper body weights and play 3 or 4 games of tennis a week and these kids wear me out, I work full time as well but was a stay at home mom to my two when they were young.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions!

Yes, I actually "wear" my infant a lot in a carrier, but she'll only tolerate that for so long. And it's so darn hot here, I'm afraid she's going to fry on my back. lol

But yeah, maybe I will try to wear her more while I'm doing my regular chores and around the house. Her extra weight means more calories burned for me, right?
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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SAHM of one here, and I agree that they are a workout. My daughter is 2, and still naps, so I usually work out during naptime. Sometimes I'll do it in the morning. DH usually is home earlier in the day, because he leaves super early, so sometimes I'll do it after dinner and he watches her.

Also, weightlifting might be good, because you could do a rep here, or a rep there. You could work this in throughout the day. Only other suggestion would be if there was another SAHM in your boat and you guys could swap childcare on a MWF/TTh schedule especially if she is in your same boat and struggling to get a workout in?

Also, I don't know the financial situation but some gyms offer childcare. Maybe you could look into that option.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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Oh how I remember those days. Looking back, I think I tried everything! Here's some of the things I used to do:

Jog stroller. I had sidewalks, but you can pack that thing into your car and drive to an area that is safer for jogging.

Bike trailer. But I think with both the jog stroller and bike trailer, the recommended baby age is over 12 months.

Treadmill. Yeah right. That lasted about 3 tries.

Baby care at the gym. Didn't last long, either. They had a 20 min. cry policy then they'd page me.

Babysitter. Talk about guilt! I felt so selfish, even though everyone told me the care giver has to take care of herself in order to be a better care giver. The first time my babysitter was the one to witness those first steps my baby took, that was the last time I used the babysitter for working out.

Husband. NOOooo! He was abusive, though, so me asking for time alone turned into mental warfare with him. *Side note: he used to say how I should lift heavy to get great arms. I didn't have time! Now that we're divorced, guess how great my arms look! Can you say Revenge Body? Heehee*

So what worked? Doing just what you're doing. Kid needs milk? Do 10 reps of bicep curls and shoulder presses with the milk gallon before pouring a glass.
Forgot something upstairs? Go up and down the stairs 3 times and lunge down the hallway. Play time with baby? Lay her down on a blanket and do push ups over her and kiss her when you push down. Or you lay on the floor and do chest presses holding your baby. Or cradle her on your chest and do crunches. Plank over her laying down. Spiderman crawl as she crawls. You get the picture.

I had lifted weights before I had my kids but it wasn't until I had my babies to hold that my arms really popped into shape.

And most of all...give it time. Those years seem to go on forever, but reality is, they're gone in a flash. Once they're in school, you'll have more me time.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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Tonight I am going for a run - so hubby is picking up my son from daycare and bathing/feeding/putting him to bed. He and I equally share in the responsibility of raising our son. Maybe it would be different if I were a SAHM, but I think I would still expect him to do as much as he does now in relation to Logan.

Right now, exercise is important to me and I make the time. I have a lot of things working in my favor (FREE gym at work - whoo hoo!! The free part just started this month.) I am able to run/bike outsid enear my house.

But, exercise is important to me right now b/c it is reducing my anxiety, leveling my moods, increasing my energy level. As far as weight loss goes - I don't know that it is helping as much as I wish it was. It is revving up my appetite - so I eat more (otherwise, I feel half-starved).

Do what you can. If you can get out in your yard and run around in circles with toddler - do it. Everyone above had great suggestions about using stairs, etc. You can lose weight with or with out exercise.

Being a mom is tough work! Fun, lots of fun - but tiring!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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My husband is the SAHD, and I feel so guilty when I get home from work because he's been with the baby (8 months on the 14th!) all day, that I feel compelled to put everything else I want to do on hold and spend time with my son. We did get an exercise bike, so I can do that while he is in his jumparoo, and if my husband has a good day and doesn't mind, I can take my dogs for a run in the evening (I can do this over the weekend, too, when it is easier to pass the baby back and forth).

And maybe I am missing the obvious, but why can't daddy spend some time with his children while you take a half hour or an hour to get in some exercise during the week?
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:39 PM   #10
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I've got three, a 3 year old, an 18 month old and a 5 week old. I get up before everyone else and do a quick workout dvd (right now it's the 30 day shred, but turbo jam's 20 minute workout is another favorite). Then I shower and get everyone ready for the day. During the day I do things with my toddlers while baby is sleeping, we dance to music or play games for the Wii or XBox Kinect (both get you up and moving) or just chase each other and play tag. The kids don't have to give you peace while you're working out, just do it with them (especially something like a dance workout, my 3 year old loves belly dancing workouts). While the infant is awake I'm generally confined to the chair (he's going through a growth spurt so I'm feeding him almost 24/7, at least it feels that way), but I'll do some leg lifts or flutter kicks while I'm feeding him sometimes. And sometimes I'll have my husband hang with the kids for half an hour by himself (tho truthfully not often as he's not too comfortable watching all 3 by himself) while I do something like go for a walk. And occasionally we play the Wii or Kinect as a family (I love Dance Central for the Kinect, great workout).
Another suggestion, set the baby in a bouncy seat where it can see you and play "simon says" with your older kiddo, and you can do things like jumping jacks or running in place or whatever.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:38 AM   #11
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I have a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old. When the baby was a newborn I had a 30 day free membership to curves. They opened at 5:30 so i'd get up at 5 and go, get the 30min workout in and be home by 6:30. But Curves is expensive so after the 30days that was done.
But recently I discovered some 10 min exercise DVD's. There are more than 1 workout and you can do as many as you can fit in during the day.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:46 AM   #12
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I have so many dvds that collect dust because it just wasn't possible with a baby that commanded so much attention.
So I joined the Y. For 1 to 1 1/2 hours a day, he goes to the daycare, and I get to focus on ME.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:53 PM   #13
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Irony. I originally posted this in 2011. Here it is, 2014, but now I have THREE kids instead of two, and they're aged 5 years, 3 years, and 6 months.

And I found this thread through a Google search, looking for tips for fitting in exercise. I guess some things never change. Except now it's even harder, cause I got three kids to juggle, and the eldest is too big for a stroller. And I homeschool... so no school days to help me out.

I still do the app thing on my phone, though. lol
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