We all know that exercising is super important for our mental and physical health. Especially as a mom. If you don’t have an hour to devote to the gym each day (like me!) then this list of quick workout ideas for moms is just what you need.
If you’re anything like me, setting aside time to exercise can be a challenge. Especially if you spend 25 hours a day with your kids as I do. (That was no typo folks. I’m pretty sure the toddler creates an extra hour each night just so he can get me to hold him some more.)
When fitting in a workout around taking care of the kids, I find it easier to focus on quick intense workouts. Even if I can only manage to exercise 15 minutes here or there, it adds up to great results overall.
Here are some great ideas to make sure you get that quality fitness time without paying for a babysitter or hoping the hubby gets off work in time to give you a break.
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7 Quick Workout Ideas for Busy Moms on the Go
In this list, I’m going to share the best times to fit in a quick workout around your current schedule. Each section also has workout suggestions that I know work well during those times.
This list has a mix of home workout or gym ideas, so no matter your budget or situation, there is something for everyone.
Even if you spend half your time running around to soccer practices, or you have a full-time job, I have some great ideas for you. 😉
1. Include your kids in your exercise routine.
This is my children’s favorite option by far! They love to spend “play time” with mom any chance they can get. This makes my workouts more silly and fun, plus everyone gets some exercise. Here are some family exercise suggestions:
Compete in family races. These can be squat jumps, frog jumps, bear crawls, or regular running. You can do these almost anywhere. All you need is a starting line and a finish line.
Do a yoga workout together. If you have a simpler yoga routine you enjoy, invite the kids to join in. You might be surprised at how well they can keep up. Plus a nice calming routine to help settle down crazy children? Yes, Please! You can try out this Family Friendly Yoga Routine.
Take a family walk. My family loves to take a walk around the neighborhood. It’s a great opportunity to spend time together, enjoy nature, and get some extra steps in for Mom.
2. Fit in a workout during after-school activities.
Some days there just isn’t any extra time to set aside for a workout. On those days, I will multitask by getting my workout in during after-school activities.
If any of your children have any music lessons, sports practice, etc. that’s a great opportunity for you to fit in a quick workout. Here are some workout suggestions you can do during practice:
Do some power walking around the sport’s field. During soccer practice for my girls, I will often put some headphones in and power walk around the soccer field.
Get a quick workout at a nearby gym. If your child’s activity is done near a gym you have a membership at, you can run in and get a quick 15-20 minute workout in. A quick workout is always better than no workout at all.
Do a quick strength workout. A few rounds of squats, pushups, and high-knees can be done almost anywhere and targets your whole body. With a resistance band, you can do these Beginner Band Exercises for Your Arms on the go.
3. Wake up early and exercise before the kids wake up.
If you are an early bird, or your kids don’t require you to get up early, then this is a great time to fit a workout in. I am definitely not a morning person, but even I have been able to convince myself to wake up an extra 15 minutes to hop on my spin bike in the mornings.
Here are some other ways to get a morning workout in:
Wake up early to do an at-home workout. There are countless free home workouts you can find on Youtube to get your day started. You can also go to my post here to find 14 Workouts to do At-Home Anytime.
Join an early morning fitness class. Lots of gyms offer early morning classes for early birds and busy parents.
Wake up early and go for a walk/run. The morning is my favorite time to get out of the house to do some cardio. It’s very quiet and peaceful. Plus it definitely beats being out in the heat of late afternoon or evening.
4. Exercise during your lunch break.
If you have the option of taking a longer or extended lunch at work, you can definitely fit a workout in then. Lots of gyms offer showers and lockers so you can return to work without smelling like you just got your sweat on.
It’s also a great way to break up your day and relieve some work stress. Here are some workouts you can do on your lunch break:
Walk to and from your lunch destination. Plan to eat lunch half a mile or more away from where you work. After walking there and back you will have walked at least a mile and gotten a nice break during your workday.
Head to a nearby gym and fit a quick workout in. Once again, a quick workout is always better than no workout at all. Check out this list of 30 Great Beginner Cardio Workouts to mix it up with your next gym session.
Close your office door and do a yoga practice. If you keep a yoga mat at work and some workout clothes, you can easily close and lock your door and go through some yoga moves. Doing yoga on your lunch break will offer some nice relief from sitting at your desk all day. Try this quick Beginner Yoga Flow Routine.
5. Join a gym that offers childcare.
This is a great option if you can afford it. A lot of community centers also have gym equipment and offer childcare for a small additional fee.
Even if you only have a short window of time, you would be surprised how many benefits you can get from a quick workout. Here are some great quick workouts to do at the gym:
Walk or run for 15-20 minutes. This is always, always a great option when you are short on time and want a quick workout without any hassle. If you use a treadmill you also have great options for upping the intensity level.
Do a few circuits on the weight machines. If you have a particular area of your body you prefer to work out on, you can hop on some of the weight machines and work through a few rounds of each machine to target that specific muscle group.
Join a fitness class. A lot of people love fitness classes. Having other people to work out with can be very motivating and encouraging.
6. Exercise while the baby or toddler naps.
If you are at home with young children (like me!) then this might be one of the few opportunities you have to focus on yourself. Exercising while my toddler sleeps lets me get through my workouts with fewer interruptions and distractions.
Here are some workouts you can do while the baby sleeps:
Do a home workout. This is another time you can fit in a home workout from Youtube or some DVDs you might have. You can also try the Total Body Bootcamp to get a full-body workout done in about 15-20 minutes.
Go for a walk/run in your driveway. When my toddler is sleeping, I will often take the baby monitor outside and run or walk up and down my driveway. The scenery isn’t exciting enough to keep me out there for an hour, but I can usually get a good 20-25 minutes in.
Invite other mom friends over for a workout. Exercising is often more fun with other people. You can always invite some friends over to join you while the baby sleeps.
7. Create or join a mom’s fitness group that meets at a local park.
This is a great idea if you are looking for a group environment, but don’t want to join a traditional fitness class. You and some other moms can meet up regularly and get a workout in while the kids play at the park. Here are some ideas for possible mom fitness groups:
A walking or running group. After my first daughter was born I joined a mom’s walking group. We met at a bike trail and would just walk with our babies in the stroller. It was great to get out of the house and get some exercise in.
A mom’s Bootcamp class. Your mom’s group can meet up at the park and you guys can do a variety of bodyweight exercises. You can find some great ideas on YouTube or follow me on Pinterest for mom-friendly beginner workouts.
A mom’s yoga park meetup. Invite other moms to bring their yoga mats and join you at the park. All you need is a nice grassy area and some yoga moves and you are ready to go.
Ideas for investing in exercise equipment for your home.
If you prefer to exercise in the privacy of your own home, you will need your own equipment. You don’t have to replicate a gym at home to get a good workout either. A few key items are all you need to get a full workout in. Here are some options for at-home exercise equipment that are worth investing in:
A set of dumbells or kettlebells: A simple set of dumbbells or kettlebells in a couple of different sizes is all you need to get a variety of workouts in.
A yoga mat: If you want to workout at home and you buy nothing else, buy a yoga mat. These can be used for bodyweight exercises, weights, yoga, pilates, or meditation.
A treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike: Having a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike is a bit more of an investment, but they give you the option to exercise any time of day. I found it cheaper to purchase a spin bike than to spend money on a gym membership I wasn’t going to make good use of.
So those are some quick workout ideas for moms. I know it can be hard as a busy mom to find the time, but if you can find even a quick 15 minutes, you will see the benefits.
What’s your favorite way to fit in a quick workout? Comment below and let us know, or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more fitness tips and ideas for moms.
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I’m a busy mom of 3 turned Health and Fitness Coach and Self Defense Instructor. I help inspire other moms to reach their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. You can usually find me chasing my kiddos around, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or sneaking away to read romance novels. About Me