how to find time to exercise with little kids around text and photo of mom and child exercising

How to Find Time to Exercise with Little Kids Around

Are you finding it difficult to find time to exercise while you’re caring for your children? I’m a stay-at-home mom and I totally get it! I’ve found a solution that works great for me and I think it will for you too!

I hadn’t exercised for years. Partially because things were just too chaotic to find time and partially because I just didn’t care to. Lately, though I realized that doing something as simple as going on the elliptical in our basement helps me destress and gives me a little reset that is often much needed.

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Creating a Plan

I kept thinking that I needed to find time when I wasn’t with the kids to exercise but finally realized that wasn’t going to happen so decided to try to exercise with the kids around. We don’t play in our finished basement every day so it’s still a different area to play in than usual so is fun for them. They’re also old enough they know to stay away from the elliptical when I’m on it (for now at least).

Our downstairs family room, messy and without lights on but hey, this is "the way it really is". The elliptical is in the left corner facing the rest of the room so I can keep an eye on the kids.
Our downstairs family room, messy and without lights on but hey, this is “the way it really is”. The elliptical is in the left corner facing the rest of the room so I can keep an eye on the kids.

While I’m homeschooling the kids I have come up with a loose schedule because things always come up, but it involves us heading downstairs for me to get on the elliptical and the kids to play down there from 10 am-10:45 am which is after preschool and before lunch.

Like anything, at first, we were great at sticking with this but then a couple of things came up, including severe period cramps, and became less consistent. I know though that it helps me a lot in many ways so I’m working on being consistent again and working through the discomfort.

Starting Out

I started out by just being on the elliptical for 15 minutes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 10 minutes Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Then I increased each day by 5 minutes per week until I was on the elliptical 30 minutes each day.

The elliptical I have has different programs so I have selected one that has varying intensity and resistance which is nice. It’s to the point that when we go downstairs and if I sit down first the kids point to the elliptical and tell me to go on it. Ha!

Over a year later I also got a stationary bike that I like to switch up between the elliptical and stationary bike. Oddly enough, I feel the bike gives me a more intense workout since I have the intensity up higher.

When Things Don’t Go As Planned

With kids, things often don’t go to plan. If we don’t make it downstairs, then we do stretches together. The other day we did stretches together and it was actually really cool, I felt like I was teaching an aerobics class or something to tiny humans. I guess essentially I was. We not only got up and moved around but also worked on left and right as well as names of body parts, not to mention, following directions.

I’ve also found some free online yoga videos on YouTube that the kids and I have watched and interacted with. I also purchased some resistance bands that I use with handles that the kids like to use as well. For the kids, I take off the carabiners so they don’t hurt themselves or others and they just hold onto the ends of the bands and follow along with what I do.

It’s not perfect but some ideas to get everyone up and moving during these cold winter months when we’re stuck inside. What are some things you do with your kids in the house to keep active? Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!

Adjusting As Needed

When I wrote this over a year ago, it was a different season in life, for sure. Now I have taken the 30 minutes after my husband gets off work to exercise so I can do it alone. I had to make this change since the kids kept fighting while I was working out so I had to stop my workout a lot which really isn’t helpful.

That’s one thing I’ve found with kids that I continue to struggle with is the constant adjustment and change depending on the situation, age of the kids, and what they are feeling that particular day.

FREE and Fun App

There is a great app I just started using recently that offers all sorts of different exercises! You can customize your workout based on what type of activities you like, the level of intensity you’d like, and more! The app will decide a schedule for you but you can also pick and choose which exercises you’d like.

I just started using this two days ago after a recommendation from a friend and I LOVE it!! It’s so uplifting, the exercises are rather short, generally 10 minutes per type of exercise, and I can have time to rest between. You can also connect with friends on the app and be part of challenges they’re taking part in as well if you’d like.

The best part, the app is FREE! Not just a free trial, it is FREE! Of course, you can upgrade to the Pro plan but it’s not needed. If you click the link below you can even connect with me on the app!

For more exercise equipment I use in my home, click the image below for my Get Fit at Home blog post.

home workout equipment
My blog post about getting fit at home

How to Find Time to Exercise with Little Kids Around text with woman exercising

Founder, Professional Blogger at The Way it Really Is, LLC | [email protected] | Website

As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.

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