How to Find Time for Exercise When WFH and Raising Kids

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

The WFH movement is here to stay (42% of people are now working from home). While remote working makes life easier in some ways, it also makes it more difficult to find time for things like exercise.

Between work, the kids and other life demands, it’s a struggle some days to get things done. Exercise often gets pushed to the back-burner. But you know how important it is to stay active, and you want to make time for it. Here’s how:

Schedule Your Activity

Treat your daily workout sessions like a client meeting – a top priority, one which doesn’t get pushed. Schedule it into your day, so you don’t have to scramble to make time or find an excuse to skip it that day.

Another option is to schedule a virtual personal training session to help hold you accountable. You will have to manage your day around your virtual training appointment, which will help you make the session a priority.

You don’t necessarily have to exercise at the same time every day. Give yourself some flexibility. Maybe mornings are better for Tuesday and Thursday, while afternoons work best on Friday. It doesn’t matter when you get it done as long as you pencil it into your schedule and make it a priority. Motivated people don’t cancel on themselves!

Stay Active in Between Tasks

If your schedule is jam-packed and you can’t block off 30-60 minutes straight for exercise, try staying active in between tasks.

Have 10 minutes in between Zoom meetings? Get in a few sets of squats and jumping jacks. If you’re tackling household chores, do walking lunges while moving from room to room. All of these little moments make a difference and add up to more overall activity in your day.

Turn Binge-Watching into Exercise Time

We all need some downtime every day (it’s important for your mental health), but we can also use some of that time to work on our physical health. If you’re binge-watching your favorite show, use 30+ minutes of that time for exercise. Do it right in front of the TV, so you don’t miss a moment. If you’re lucky enough to have a cardio machine in your home and a TV or iPad, watch an episode during your cardio. No excuses there! My favorite is to watch Grey’s Anatomy while on the elliptical. Plus, it makes the boring cardio time pass so much quicker!

If you’re watching live TV, use commercial breaks for some HIIT. The average commercial break length is ~4 minutes. Here are two 4-minute HIIT circuits you can do during your show.

1. 45 seconds on/15 seconds off

  • Jumping jacks

  • Alternating reverse lunge (or jump lunges)

  • Speed skaters

  • Mountain climbers

2. Repeat the following 4x

  • 20 seconds air jump rope

  • 30 seconds jump squats

  • 10 seconds rest

Just make sure you clear some space between the TV and the couch, and you’re ready to get moving.

Eliminate as Many Hurdles as Possible

Planning exercise into your day is important, but maybe you’re finding that you’re spending more time getting ready for your workout. First, you have to change, and then you must head to the gym, park, or wherever you exercise.

Eliminating some of these hurdles may make it easier to get straight to your workout and get on with your day.

Now that you’re working from home, why not start your day in your gym clothes? This will save you from having to change before and after your workout.

Maybe you can find a closer park to walk, jog or bike in. Better yet, do it right in your own neighborhood. If you really want to cut back on your exercise commute, try doing your workouts at home. If you’re starting your day dressed and ready for your workout, it will be much easier to dive right into your routine if you exercise at home.

Check out some of my favorite workout clothes here.

Have a Plan for the Kids

Between work, the kids and life, it can feel like you’re in a constant race with the clock. One of the biggest challenges that parents face is childcare during workouts.

Here are a few ways to tackle this problem:

  • If you have a partner or spouse, see if you can take turns watching the kids while each of you gets your activity in for the day.

  • If you’re working out at home, try exercising in the living room while the kids play in their bedrooms or are on virtual learning calls with their schools.

  • Make the kids a part of your routine. Play with them in the backyard or the park. Go for a walk together. Try a jogging stroller, so you can jog around the neighborhood or park.

Exercise is crucial to your overall health and well-being. Many of us are still adjusting to this new normal, and we’re still working out the kinks when it comes to scheduling. Use these tips to help ensure you stay active and make time for your workout routine.


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