Finding Time to Workout As a Mom of a Toddler


Published: 5/01/2022

By Jillian Warren
Photo Courtesy of Valeria Ushakova on Pexels

Being a mom is a 24/7 job. Finding the time to do anything personal, let alone workout, can feel oftentimes impossible. And let’s be honest – some days it is! Yesterday, it took me 30 minutes to do my skincare routine with my daughter running around, something that should take me 3 minutes without a toddler. Between the meal schedules, napless days, playdates, meltdowns, and whatnot, getting your sweat on may feel too ambitious even if you somehow discover an available time slot. So, the question is, how do busy moms find time to workout?

We Are Important Too

For me, it took some intense motivation, dedication, and creativity before being able to make exercising with my child a habit. I know that every mom has a different situation, so it’s not always easy saying, “Oh just do this and you’ll be able to exercise.” But I do know that every mom deserves to have time for a workout sesh, so I am of the opinion that there is a way to make it happen. Call it a glass-half-full outlook if you must, but it’s easier to get started when you think more optimistically than believing you are never going to workout again. Remember, you are worth it, and anything important is worth fighting for.

While these ways worked for me, I know that they may not work for everyone. Give them a try, adjust if needed, and see what fits!

1. Workout During Naps/Bedtime

For a while I got lucky. My daughter would nap for 2-3 hours every day at the same time, making a workout routine quite easy to get started. Once putting her down I would have the opportunity to work from home for a bit and then do a quick WOD. My workouts generally don’t go over 20 minutes, but it is a rule of mine to get my blood pumping for at least 10 minutes. A little bit can go a long way.

Of course, not everyone is so lucky with getting their little one to nap. I am now at that point with my little girl who is almost 2 and a half. Our once easy midday nap has turned into a bit of an ordeal and my husband and I are lucky if we can get her down 3 days out of the week. With that being said, if you have the energy in the evening after tucking your child in for sleep, take that as your sign to start working out when they are asleep.

2. Workout Together

Creating a workout that you can easily modify for your kid could be a fun way to get fit while also bonding with your child. Not to mention this could be a great opportunity for them to learn strengthening techniques as they grow. This method can get a little tricky, as the attention spans of toddlers may only be a couple of minutes long.

3. Get on Their Level

Me, my husband, and daughter taking a hike together

Who says you have to exercise with workout equipment when you have a little human to chase after? I have found myself getting some intense workouts in from just playing “What Time Is It Mr. Wolf” or throwing my daughter on the couch over and over again. She weighs 38 pounds and I do this for over 10 minutes sometimes, so yes I consider that a solid workout. Think about ways your child likes to have fun and find a way to get aerobic with it. Put them on your shoulders and do some squats, play tag, go on an easy nature hike, or make up a game that will get you sweating and them having the best time of their life. It’s a win/win all around.

4. Distraction

When it comes to screen time and toddlers, I generally try to stay away from it as much as possible. But, that’s not to say I never use it. In fact, if I have to get something done such as make a quick phone call or perhaps get a workout in, I will happily throw my child in front of an episode or two of Bluey. Finding a good distraction that sticks can be hard to come by, but it doesn’t always have to be TV or phone time – It could be coloring, playing with bubbles, or splashing in the kiddie pool outside (supervision intended, of course).

5. Find a Gym With a Daycare

Photo Courtesy of RMK Visions

One of the easiest ways to workout as a mother is to simply go to a gym that provides you with daycare services. This option is wonderful and allows you to exercise without feeling rushed or guilty. They will be safely watched and probably have lots of fun with other kiddos their age.

If you’ve been struggling to find time to workout, I hope that you are able to find a little success with one of these methods. It’s not always easy at first, but don’t give up! I’m certain that you and your little one will eventually find a rhythm that allows you to step back into a fit life.

What ways have helped you get in a workout while raising a child?

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