Friday Five – Tips for the Busy Mom Who Wants to Be Healthy and Active

Being a mom is hard work.  Regardless of if you stay home full time, or work full time like I do, its difficult to balance everything and still find time to live a healthy and active lifestyle.  People often ask me how I fit it all in, how I manage to train for races on top of working full time as a teacher and still make time for my family.  It certainly isn’t easy, and I’m far from having perfected a system, but there are some things that I do in order to maximize my time.  (These tips also work for dads as well, but with Mother’s Day this weekend I want to focus on addressing all of the hard working moms out there.)

1.  Involve your kids in your exercise routine.

You don’t have to always exercise solo.  Sure, it is wonderful when I am able to run on my own, or make an escape to the gym, but its also enjoyable to get my son involved.  My husband and I invested in a BOB stroller, and it has been great to be able to take him out for runs with me.  There are other ways to involve kids in your exercise routine in addition to using a running stroller.  Younger babies make great “weights” for strength training, and older kids make for great workout partners.

I love being able to run with my little man

2.  “Commute” with your stroller.

With little man’s daycare about 1.25 miles from our house, I try to do a running “commute” at least once per week, instead of always driving to pick him up from daycare.  He loves it when he realizes that I have brought the stroller with me instead of driving my car, and it offers both of us the chance to enjoy some fresh air at the end of the day.

3.  Maximize your time and don’t make special trips.

I often try to include multiple errands/stops whenever I leave the house, whether that’s running errands on my way home from work or trying to group multiple errands into one trip during the weekends.  Although this means that I spend longer periods of time out of the house, it cuts down on my driving time and leaves me with more time to do other things, like exercise or spend quality time with the family.

4.  Get up early.

Prior to having my son, I was not a morning person.  Since he was born 16 months ago, I find that it is much easier to get up before him or my husband in order to take care of chores around the house.  I often set my alarm for 30-60 minutes earlier than I need to get up so that I can take advantage of a quiet house in order to be productive.  This leaves me with more time after work, and when my son is awake, to be able to be with him.

5.  Meal plan.

Although I don’t spend hours on the weekends doing extensive meal prep, I do plan out most, if not all, of our meals for the week and grocery shop with the big picture of the week in mind.  I find that when I lack a plan for the week that I’m more tempted to make poor food choices, whether that is resorting to food in the freezer or reaching into the pantry for unhealthy snacks.

QOTD: What tips do you have for busy moms?

I’m linking up for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup.  Many thanks to the wonderful ladies at Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for hosting!

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35 Responses to Friday Five – Tips for the Busy Mom Who Wants to Be Healthy and Active

  1. Wendy says:

    Meal planning is the key to a happy end of the day! I’ve been doing it forever and I still do it!

  2. Even though I don’t have kids to take care of, I find that I am more productive when I get up early on the weekends.
    Happy early mother’s day to you!

  3. kookyrunner says:

    I’m always so impressed by moms that are able to stay active – I know it’s no easy feat! I think getting the kids involved in the workout is a great idea. That way to get to spend time with your children and you complete a workout – a win-win situation!

  4. I was much better at meal planning when we had all three kids at home (and they were young and not involved in many activities). I need to jump back on that wagon…..

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    I’m not a mom, but these are all great tips for those moms who are busy and trying to keep an active lifestyle! I hope my future kids would want to work out with me!

  6. Lesley says:

    Even without kids, meal planning saves time. I plan out each week’s meals, and most of the time I do make leftovers for my run days. If I’m strength training, it doesn’t take as long to recover, and I cook something. When I run, I need to recover and shower, then I’m starving. If I can throw something in the microwave, not only is it already cooked from the weekend, there’s minimal clean up.

  7. It sounds like you’ve got this mom thing down! Happy Mother’s Day!

  8. Karen :0) says:

    These are all great tips! I love that you have the option to pick him up from daycare with the stroller! Your little guy is so precious!!

  9. MB Jackson says:

    Great tips for sure and the sooner you can include the kids into the fun/exercise the better! You do a great job of getting it done!

  10. I think it was about the time I because a mom that I also became an early bird! Otherwise, there aren’t enough hours in the day!

  11. It’s really amazing how you have fit it all in so easily since he was born. You are crushing those goals too. Have a great mother’s day

  12. Rachel says:

    I totally used to use my daughter as a weight. Haha! So cute. She’s almost too big to fit in our jogger so I’m back to running mostly solo. My son likes to ride his bike while I run but I usually run too far for him. Short runs, though, for sure!

  13. SuzLyfe says:

    I think a plan + flexibility is key for everyone!

  14. Clarinda says:

    No kids here, but I am way more productive on the weekends when I’m able to get up earlier than my husband. 🙂 I think it’s awesome when moms incorporate their kids into their workouts. It’s great for the mom and a great example for the kids, too. Win, win.

  15. Elaine says:

    Funny I became a morning person after having kids also. I loved sleeping in on the weekends and I still do on Sundays but it’s still at the hour where my kids are in bed (which equates to still being up early!).
    Before the kids were in school, the Y child watch has been a big blessing since I could exercise while the kids played.

  16. tonee78 says:

    I plan out my meals and get up early to work oh too most weekdays and sundays. I have also resorted in using a bullet journal….we will s see if that helps Me save me some time

  17. I am definitely thinking I need to add in some meal planning as our schedule changes and gets busier next year! So many great tips! Hope you had a fantastic Mother’s Day!

  18. Great list! I have learned many of the same things work for my family as well.

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