» Health » Fitness » Women's Fitness

Motherhood and Exercise - Finding Time For Both

By HealthLife Contributor
Updated: December 10, 2008
Between changing diapers, preparing meals, and everything in between, it is difficult for most mothers to find the time to exercise officially. For the most part, working out has to take a back seat to all the other responsibilities associated with motherhood. Many times, mothers are either too exhausted at the end of the day, or too pressed for time during the day to even consider sneaking off for a quick 30-minute workout.

Mothers should not despair though, as there are options and ways of incorporating exercise into a busy day. Joining a team or playing a sport is simply not a viable option, but there are ways to make exercise a part of the day without having to sacrifice time with a child. In the end, most women will find that following some simple tips and suggestions will not only improve a mother's relationship with her child, but her overall health as well.

Being a mom is not an excuse for not working out, but it is difficult to make time for an official workout at the local gym. However, the truth is that some of the activities associated with being a mother, or a parent in general, are great ways to get in a day's exercise. In fact, taking the time to play with, and actively participate in the life of a child, is a great way to combine exercise with motherhood. Most parents, both mothers and fathers alike, actually get quite a workout by just spending time with their child. Moving babies and baby furniture from one place to another, carrying and rocking a baby until it falls asleep, pushing around a stroller, and even doing the laundry are all physical activities that keep parents moving throughout the day.

Besides the "standard" parental activities that contribute to a mother's physical activities throughout the day, here are a few suggestions that will help even the busiest mom find time to work out and not miss out on any valuable time with her child. In fact, most of these activities can actually help bring a mother (or father) and a child closer together.
Continue Article Below

  • Swimming - The beauty of swimming is that lessons can be started when a child is very young. Besides preventing a potential drowning, time in the pool with a child represents a wonderful bonding experience, as well as an excellent full-body workout.
  • Time at the beach - You will have a difficult time convincing anyone that time at the beach is a form of exercise, but it is. Most of the time, parents who take their children to the beach are constantly in motion. A walk along the beach with a child, walking through the sand, and even wading through the water are all excellent ways of working out and strengthening the muscles in your legs and feet, since the sand and water actually serve as a form of resistance.
  • Riding a bike - What child doesn't like riding his or her bike? For parents, this represents an excellent opportunity for a physical as well as a bonding activity. If you have a small child, there is a way to attach a special bicycle "trailer" to your bike and bring your child along for the ride. The added weight of the trailer and the child can really give you a workout. Once the child is grown, he or she can ride alongside you on his or her own bike.
  • Walking or hiking - Family trips that involve hiking, walking, or camping can also provide a great opportunity for family bonding and physical activity. A walk around the block, the park, or the local nature preserve not only gives you as a parent an excellent chance to exercise, but it also creates a sense in your child that physical activity, especially that which takes place outdoors, can be both fun and beneficial. The important thing here though, is to start your children along this path when they are young, in order to avoid having to compete against television and video games.
Free Profile
Age: Current Weight:
Height: ft in Target Weight:
Free Profile
Related Women's Fitness Articles
Sponsor Links