No-Excuses Exercise for Stay-at-Home Moms
by Rachel Paxton
When I was younger (late teens, early twenties), I was good about
incorporating exercise into my daily routine. I've never been an
athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I led a fairly
My first child was born during those younger years. My body
bounced right back and I was soon in as good of shape or better
than before I was pregnant.
Fast forward seventeen years and you will find a very different
mom! My twins were born when I was thirty-five years old.
Somehow I actually managed to lose the entire fifty pounds I
gained during pregnancy, but my body looks entirely different
than it did before I was pregnant. It will definitely take more
structured exercise to work on those stubborn areas of my body.
Did I say exercise? Somewhere along the line that word was
excluded from my vocabulary. Who has time to exercise? I
thought chasing my boys around would be plenty enough exercise,
but as time goes on I am realizing that is just not the case.
There are a number of ways you can incorporate exercise into your
daily schedule, but if you are a stay-at-home mom, your time and
resources are probably fairly limited. Here are some ideas for
working exercise into your daily routine:
Take your children for regular walks. Especially if you have
young children, they are easy to put into a stroller and take on
a long walk around the neighborhood. I have found that even when
I don't find any other time to exercise, it is fairly easy to
keep walking every day once you get into the routine. My boys
love to sight see while we are on our walks, and when they get
older we will find a way to expand our walks in a way that will
be more educational for them (e.g. nature walks). During the
winter time, many moms push their strollers around the local mall
Walking is great for your heart, but maintaining muscle tone is
also very important. It seems like after I hit the magic age of
thirty I was spending more and more time in my chiropractor's
office. Exercise videos are an easy way to work on your muscle
tone. I have a hard time doing these every day, but even if you
do them a couple of times a week (in addition to walking) it will
really help your muscle tone. This type of exercise reduces back
aches, muscle tension, and gives you more energy.
Exercise videos are also great for kids. They will surely want
to get in on the action and participate (there are even videos
just for kids). They find it quite entertaining. There are
hundreds of exercise videos on the market. I am currently a fan
of Jillian Michaels' work out videos. You might remember her
from the Biggest Loser television show. Her videos are great.
They are a very thorough workout, but include beginner exercises
too, so they fit the needs of all exercise levels. You can find
her videos just about anywhere. I bought a complete set that was
cheaper than buying the individual videos.
An easy way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine is
through household chores. Gardening and house cleaning provide
great opportunities to work off those extra calories. During the
summer my boys and I spend almost all of every morning outside.
I work around the yard and they play...works out great for all of
You can also join an exercise class. I have found our local
health club to be too expensive for our family, especially when
you add on childcare fees. Most communities offer inexpensive
exercise classes, although often they do not offer childcare.
Some, however, are scheduled very early in the morning so you
might be able to squeeze one in before your husband leaves for
Churches are also a great resource. Our church offers an
inexpensive exercise class that is open to the entire community.
Childcare is either free or very inexpensive and it's also a
great way for women get out of the house for awhile while also
getting some exercise.
If you're not sure you are healthy enough for a regular exercise
routine, make sure to check with your doctor first. I still make
periodic appointments with my chiropractor to make sure I am not
exercising while my back's out of alignment.
I hope these ideas have got you thinking about how you can
incorporate exercise into your daily schedule. You can't afford
not to. We aren't getting any younger, and exercise is very
important to staying healthy as we get older. It a necessity,
not an option.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For more
inspirational articles and tips for everyday living, visit