The Stay At Home Mom Exercises: My Top Ten Tips and Motivation

Exercise tips and motivation

Before I had kids, I enjoyed exercise often. I was at the gym 4 or 5 times a week. I exercised through my first pregnancy and afterwards, as well. It was when I had my second kid that I really started slacking off. If I made it to the gym even once a week, that was a noteworthy accomplishment. I was more tired than ever, I was stressed dealing with a colicky baby, I was even a little depressed and discouraged (Read my post entitled The Mediocre Mother for more about that time in my life.).

mother child exercise


Recently, much to my chagrin, I discovered that I have love handles. I thought they would go away given enough time. Two years postpartum, I’m realizing that apparently they need a little more persuading! I miss being fit and feeling strong, so I am stepping up my exercise game and I want to share my tips with you.



My Exercise Tips:

  1. Put on exercise clothes when you get up in the morning. Or just sleep in them like I did last night. Ha!
  2. Eat a good breakfast. And lunch and dinner. You won’t have any stamina if you don’t fuel your body.
  3. Checkout exercise videos at the library. New routines always motivate and excite me!
  4. Find FREE workouts on You Tube. My new fav is a 30 day HIIT workout series by Millionaire Hoy. You can watch it for free here.
  5. Do a lot in a little amount of time. Try High Intensity Interval Training (see tip #4 for my recommendation. 🙂 ). Here’s “What it is And Why it Works” from Huffington Post.
  6. Drink water before, during and after. Not a lot right before your workout though. Too much water sloshing around in your belly doesn’t feel so good when you’re doing cardio or yoga moves like downward dog.
  7. Treat yourself to a fun new gym class, and bring a friend to make it feel like Moms Night Out!
  8. Change your scenery– if it’s nice, head outside. I thrive on alternating my workout location- living room, basement, pushing the stroller outdoors, and classes outside the home.
  9. Make it fun! Put on your favorite playlist and dance with your kids! My kids love this and I’m exhausted after two songs. We add lots of jumps, lifts, and twirls.
  10. Put a smile on your face! It’s like tricking your body into thinking you enjoy exercise. And eventually, you will get to like it! (Wise words from my man Millionaire Hoy on Day 3 of his beginner HIIT workout series.)


The hardest part about exercising when you’re a SAHM (besides finding the time), is occupying the kids while you work out. I’ve never been motivated to exercise while my kid napped, but I’ve found that is my best bet. That leaves me with one kid still awake, but she is four, and easier to occupy. Lunchtime could also work if they’re slow eaters. 😉


Ideas (besides nap time) to keep your kids busy while you exercise:

  • Crafting (crayons, paper, stickers, whatever you trust them with! 🙂 )
  • Snack or lunch
  • Tv (I’ll put a movie on for my girls and use my laptop to stream a free YouTube workout for myself)
  • Play-Doh (again, if you trust them. This backfired with my almost two year old who needed wayyy too much help today. But my four old was good!)
  • Old toy/game they haven’t seen for awhile
  • Time-out


Okay, the last one is a joke, but sometimes, I send my four year old to her room, and she stays there for a good half hour! I send her upstairs to get dressed or grab something, she gets distracted and starts playing. And where big sis goes, little sis follows!

You can also exercise WITH your kids, as mentioned in #9 above! I found this great mommy and me dance video today, and while it was only 6 minutes long, my daughter and I had a great time! It was right up our alley, and the instructor was clearly having fun with her daughter, too. We loved the lunge and tickle part!

My daughter also has her own little 1 pound pink weights. She affectionately refers to them as, ‘my little pinky weights’! Sometimes, we take turns showing each new moves. I teach her how to use her weights, and she teaches me some crazy new cardio move. Fun, bonding time!


Now, for the Motivation:

When you exercise you….

  • Have more energy
  • Sleep more soundly
  • Have a happier outlook
  • Feel accomplished
  • Set a healthy example for your kids
  • Boost your brain power and focus

And of course…

  • Improve your health
  • Become leaner and stronger


I pinned this post on My health and Fitness board. If you want more fitness inspiration, click here to follow!

Next, I’m thinking of getting a FitBit, or something like it, to monitor my heart rate. I’ve never researched them, nor do I know anything about the difference in brands, etc. Any advice would be appreciated- leave it in the comments below!



don't call me supermom


  1. These are some great tips. It is so hard for me to workout at home bc I get interrupted a million times! I need to try the laying out the clothes and working out with my kids too.

  2. I wish I could be motivated to exercise 🙁 For me, just running and playing with my super active 4.5-year-old seems to be working the best…these are some great tips nonetheless for people who enjoy working out. Thanks for sharing.

    1. A lot of days, it is definitely hard to get motivated, but I do feel much better on days that I do exercise! And getting into a daily routine of doing SOMETHING really helps too-just like checking something off your to-do list!

  3. Great tips and good for you for trying to be more active. I’m right with you with the exercise dropping off to nil after my second child was born. I’ve found waking up an hour earlier then the rest of the house and doing my workout then make a huge difference in my energy level and mood the entire day. I’m going to check out that HIIT workout. I usually do the Bikini Body Mommy Challenges which are HIIT workouts and free on youtube as well.

    I have a Fitbit and I liked it. It tracked my steps, heartrate, calories burned even how many times I stirred in the night. When you use it with the My Fitness Pal app on the iphone it adds extra calories to your daily calorie goal when you workout. Bonus calories – I’ll take them!! The only downside is that its ugly. I got the black one and its this big, bulky black band that doesn’t go with anything. If you want to truly track your steps and calories burned then you need to wear it all the time. I got mine a year and a half ago so maybe they’ve gotten sleeker since then.

    Thanks for the great post!

  4. Great advice! It is so hard not having sleep and once the second baby comes along, it is almost impossible to find time to exercise. Thanks for sharing this encouragement with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

    1. Thank you!! It all depends on their mood that day too, I think, on how well any of these things will work! 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s great! They aren’t too hard to find either- just type in the sort of workout you want to do and you’ll get tons of results! Thanks for the comment!

  5. These are all great tips. As I get older, I’m reminded that movement throughout the day is key – and that little chunks of time do add up! I have a FitBit but it doesn’t have a heart monitor. I love my Fitbit because it helps me figure out how active I really am versus how I “think” I’m doing. I love Youtube videos on days I can’t go for a run so I’ll definitely have to check out the person you recommended.

    1. As a busy mom of needy toddlers, little chunks of time are imperative! I try to do at least one active thing a day, whether it is a workout dvd, a walk, the gym, dancing, whatever. I know some FitBits have heart monitors and some don’t. I just need to do some research!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you like the workout as much as I do! I’ve been on a hiatus since the weather has been nice. We have been getting our exercise outdoors, but with a rainy week ahead, I’m sure I’ll be back at it!

  6. This is a Great List! Love it, especially about putting on the exercise clothes first thing. Once I am dressed for it, I feel like I have to do it!! Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Fitness & Food Link-Up 🙂

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