With all the joys of parenthood also come the realities -- a long shower is now a luxury and getting a moment of silence is a sweet treat. Finding time to work out as a busy mom is difficult, but not impossible. Set fitness goals so you can establish an exercise plan designed for your life. With a little planning and some creativity, you can have quality-time with your kids and work in 150 minutes of exercise each week -- 30 minutes five days a week -- as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Write Yourself In
When you schedule a time to work out, you're far more likely to follow through. Sit down every week and write in the time and what you will do on the calendar. Busy schedules are prone to vary from week to week, so deciding when to work out is best done on a weekly basis. Having your workouts written on the calendar allows the family to see your availability and eliminates excuses. It's OK if you can't do 30 consecutive minutes of exercise -- break exercise down into three 10-minute increments of moderate- to high-intensity exercise to get your daily requirement.
The gym is not the only place you can work out. When you're at your child's soccer practice, find an open space along the sidelines and perform 20 minutes of staggered exercise -- 20 seconds of exercise with 10 seconds of rest. When your baby starts to fuss, get him outside in the stroller and go for a 20 minute jog. At the park, use a picnic table for stepups, incline pushups, and triceps dips.
Creative Obstacles and Togetherness
Finding quality time with your kids can be difficult at times. Try setting up an obstacle course in the back yard that incorporates exercises and do it with them. They'll think it's fun and you'll get your workout in. Model physical fitness for your kids by having them join you in your workouts. They'll love to spend time with you even if it's as simple as walking, biking, yoga or swimming together.
Ready Set Go
Being prepared is key to having a successful workout schedule. Finding a little time throughout your day or week makes all the difference in achieving your fitness goals. Have a resistance band, yoga mat or a pair of dumbbells in your car so you'll always be prepared for any opportunity to workout. If you exercise outside, have a backup plan for inclement weather. Malls, community centers and recreation centers all provide space for indoor exercise at little or no cost.