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In the days before becoming a mom, I was an avid triathlete so I knew at-home mom workouts would be important. Fitting in fitness used to be so easy though. I always worked at companies that offered an on-site gym.
After my son was born and I decided to be a work-at-home mom, I was faced with actually putting in an effort to work out and setting aside time for it.
I crossed the finish line of Ironman Ohio 70.3 just months before getting pregnant with my son. If you’d told me on that day that two years later I would pace my runs with the song “Baby Shark,” I would have laughed hysterical. I probably also would have said no way. But now I do anything to fit in fitness.
Why? For me, fitness is a crucial aspect of being a work-at-home mom. Here’s why:
- Sometimes, it’s the only time of day I leave my house
- Working out has always been how I manage stress
- I want to teach my son to love the outdoors and since he isn’t enrolled in daycare, there are no recesses where he gets time outside
Here are my tips for how to make working out a priority even as a work-at-home parent.
How to fit in at-home mom workouts
Nap schedules change rapidly throughout a baby’s first year so fitting in at-home mom workouts means going with the flow. Be prepared to change up your work-at-home mom schedule constantly. For me and my son, we’ve found that late afternoon is what works for us.
Generally, he naps from noon to 2 p.m. and then is happy playing until about 4 p.m. That means that I can get so much done up until 4 p.m. and then my productivity fails.
Find the time when your work-at-home productivity is lowest and use that time to work out with your little one. When it’s nice outside, we try to run, rollerblade or go for a walk. When it isn’t nice outside, we pop in our favorite workout DVD.
I’ll admit, sometimes my husband comes home and I’m still wearing my workout clothes because we haven’t fit in our at-home mom workout just yet. We push back dinner a bit and I still make it happen because this makes me a better mom.
At-home mom workouts that don’t cost you a dime
In my quest to make money as a work-at-home mom and save money to support our family, I’ve found some at-home mom workouts that don’t cost us anything. Here’s what we do:
- Stroller runs: I put my son in the stroller, crank up the Baby Shark kids playlist to keep him happy, and we hit the trails.
- Rollerblading: some days running just isn’t in me. I’m too tired, drank too much coffee and not enough water, and just can’t motivate myself for that kind of strenuous activity. On those days, we still crank the Baby Shark playlist in the stroller but I rollerblade at a cautious pace.
- YouTube workouts: I like this YouTube workout. It’s simple, short and all you need is a set of free weights or old milk jugs filled with water.
- Walk Away The Pounds: this program is simple and doesn’t require much from you. I like that I can add weights to the movements for days that I feel more ambitious. Or just walk on the days I don’t feel ambitious. It’s a great starting point if you haven’t worked out in a while. You do have to invest in the videos first, which has some upfront cost but then they are yours to keep without any sort of ongoing subscription.
Products that help me fit in at-home mom workouts
Ultimately, buying some products did help me with some at-home mom workouts that fit my busy work-at-home schedule. Here’s what we use to get outside regularly.
- Chicco Cortina CX Travel System: we don’t have a fancy stroller. We have this travel system that has grown with my son. The benefit was when I was cleared to return to fitness at six weeks postpartum, I could start running with my son in the car seat. At six months, he graduated to sitting in the stroller without the car seat and liked being able to look around. Around nine months, I started putting snacks on the tray because inevitably run time aligns with snack time.
- Rollerblades: I invested in a pair of rollerblades for those days when running seems too hard. I like the change in pace too and it works different muscles than running.
- Linkable baby toys: especially when my son was younger, it was great to clip toys to the stroller to occupy him. Nothing is more frustrating than constantly stopping to pick up his toys though. We found these links helpful.
- Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike: there are days when my son wants nothing to do with the stroller. But we both need to be outside. That’s where I’ve found this trike to be helpful. He enjoys riding it over the stroller and I still get an outdoor walk. I don’t run with it because steering takes serious attention. But it’s fantastic for entertaining my toddler.
- Super Simple Songs playlists: don’t forget how helpful music can be in keeping your little one occupied. Super Simple Songs offers their music in hour-long playlists for free on YouTube. It’s a life-saver and completely free! We proudly pace our runs to “Baby Shark” multiple days a week. Just watch out when the tempo changes late in the song or you’ll be sprinting!