How This Busy Working Mom Makes Time to Work Out

We’re all busy, kids or no kids, working mom or working-at-home mom. And no matter our situation, taking care of ourselves is often the easiest thing to let slip. Over the years, though, I’ve learned that I’m a better colleague, employee, wife, friend, and now mom (also known as being a better person in general!) when I make time to work out. For me, it’s far and away the best form of stress relief and gives me the energy I need to propel me through some crazy days. Here’s how I fit it in:

I only do workouts I like. It’s easier to follow through that way. For example, sometimes I’ll do short yoga sessions at home, but an hour-long class in a studio would bore the pants off me (there I said it)….so I don’t even bother.

I wake up early. Sorry for this one, but it’s true. That said, I also make sure I get enough sleep so I have the energy for my time in the gym, so it’s also about balance.

I make every workout count. Sometimes I only have 30 minutes – or less – in the gym before work. There’s no plodding mindlessly on the elliptical or treadmill – I’m doing intervals with a resistance level or speed that’s high enough to be uncomfortable. The less amount of time I have, the harder my workout is. I also change it up so I’m not doing the same workout two days in a row, ensuring I have a good balance of cardio and strength.

I’m realistic about what I can accomplish in any given week. Most weeks I squeeze in 4-5 workouts. Sometimes it’s more like 3 though, especially if I have a lot of early morning meetings. And that’s perfectly OK. I spend a few minutes on Sunday evening reviewing my schedule for the week and plotting out when I can realistically work out and then…

I make working out non-negotiable. Like spending time with my kid and husband, going to work, pumping while I’m away from my kid, and eating; exercise for me is not a choice that I can opt out of. I don’t even give myself the option because it’s that important to me (the whole being a better version of myself thing).

Any other secrets, fellow busy women?

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Stephanie (Harig) Prause

Stephanie Prause is a corporate communications, sustainability communications and investor relations professional, juggling a career she thrives in with being a mom and wife. She is also passionate about staying active (as in, she’ll lose her mind otherwise). Other interests include sampling craft beers, cooking from scratch and reading voraciously (at least for about 20 minutes before she passes out mid-sentence).

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Great Tips ! I’m a newer Momma and getting my workout in before she gets up or after she goes to sleep is the only way it works for me. Getting on a schedule is tough but once I’m in a pattern those 5am alarms get easier and I feel better about myself!

  • I love making my kids be part of at least one workout a week…from strapping them in a carrier and doing squats when they were small to pushing them in a stroller for a jog to buckling them on a bike now.

    • Does squatting to pick up the toys my kid thinks it is hilarious to drop count? haha seriously though, that’s a great point…thanks for sharing!

  • My kids like to be part of my workouts but I DO enjoy the zen time when I work out by myself…which is like never. Thank you for the kick in the pants! The ‘stick to workouts you like’ is a BIGGIE. I think I’m going to go for a walk while the kids are at school without my triple stroller, fruit snacks and runny-nosed kiddos.

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