What are some of the most common complaints of working moms? Not having enough time, tired, stressed and of course missing your family. I can totally relate to all of this.
Then of course there’s distractions like chores or a clingy toddler calling you every 5 minutes to be picked up. You may even have some mental stress from the work day lingering and you find it difficult to focus.
This is all normal to working moms, but I’m giving you a 30 minute solution to these problems.
Below are 5 benefits when working moms exercise in the morning before work.
After that I’ve given you a full workout you can complete in just 30 minutes. I’ll break down each exercise and give you a goal as well. I kept it at 30 minutes so you can easily knock it out and go on about your day.
Important benefits of working out in the morning before work
No longer using the excuse of not being able to get it done. Use efficient use of your time. This teaches you to be more efficient and get alot done in a smaller window.
For working moms, asking more than 30 minutes in the morning is asking a lot, so you quickly learn how to make the most out of your limited time. Get the workout out of the way to enjoy more time with your family, friends or self later!
2. Energy boost
Working out too close to bedtime may make it hard to unwind. This is because you get a natural boost of energy from working out.
Your body ramps up to meet the demands you put on it and you can ride off that energy throughout the day. It makes for better sleep at night also.
3. Self care
You get to have time for yourself before anyone else is up. This is so important. In the workout below I give you little hacks you can use to keep your mind off the burn and focused on self care.
The mindset shift takes time, but this is how you get there. Viewing your morning exercise routine as self care will change your outlook which only improves your results.
It goes way beyond the physical for working moms. I show you in the below workout how to set the emotional tone for the workday to really combat the hustle mentality and stress. You can read more on self care for working moms here and pick up a free tracker!
4. Happy hormones
Who doesn’t need a good mood before work? Exercise improves serotonin levels and lessens stress throughout the work day.
Studies done by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management shows that when people exercise on work days they handle stress better.
Stress is always going to be a factor in motherhood and in the workplace. Combine the two and you get a double whammy!
The key is to learn how to cope with stress as it comes and exercising preps your body and mind to do that.
As of 2019, heart disease is the most common cause of death in American women. Stress can easily lead to heart disease. Significantly decrease that risk with regularly exercising before work.
By exercising before work, you’ve accomplished something. You start the day out with a win. This creates a mindset and pattern of productivity which will help you stay focused and on task.
Studies show how exercising before work makes you more productive than those that do not workout before work.
Timing and fuel
Give your body time to wake up. We are going to be completing a routine in constant movement so you will want some calories on your stomach as well.
We want your body to pull energy from the food as fuel, not your muscles so a light breakfast about 30 minutes before this routine is fine. For more intense routines, you can refer to this article on how to fuel your body around exercise.
Let’s get started
6 min Warm Up
We’re about to get into a heart pumping workout to get your body energized and primed for work. You don’t want to shock your body first thing in the morning.
If you’re anything like mind is probably still trying to wrap it’s head around the fact that you’re even up this early.
Let your body adjust to the early rising and warm up before you start putting it to the test.
You want to gradually increase the heart rate, temperature and flexibility of your muscles to have a safe workout experience and avoid injury.
Enjoy an easy going 6 minute warm up going through each section of the body. Below are some examples to get you started.
Use this time to still your mind in the moment. Be intentional about what you are thankful for and speak it out loud if you need to.
No planning for the day here. Just focus on breath and a thankful mindset. If you pray or meditate this is a perfect time to do that and get centered.
Set a timer for 6 minutes and enjoy.
6 moves, 30 sec each. Repeat once for a 6 min warm up
- Neck rolls
- Shoulder rolls in both directions
- Hugs (open and close to hit chest and back)
- Arm overhead and lean to each side
- High knees into chest with straight back
- Hip Circles
18 Minute Workout Session
Below is one set of 6 exercises. Complete each for 45 seconds with a 15 second rest after each. Repeat the set twice. This will give you a full 18 minute workout!
Goal : Repeat the circuit twice with no additional breaks between.
The goal in 45 sec is given so you can get an idea of the pace you need to keep.
Jumping Jacks — goal of 45 reps
Squat to side leg lift (right) — goal of 20 reps
Squat to side leg lift (left) — goal of 20 reps
Fighting skaters — goal of 50 total (25 right, 25 left)
High knees — goal is 100 total (50 right, 50 left)
Squat jumps — goal is 40 (45 is beast mode, can you do it?!)
Exercise how to
Jumping Jacks :
Start in neutral position with arms by your sides. As you jump your legs out to shoulder width apart, bring your arms overhead then return to neutral position
Squat to side leg lift:
Squat and as you stand back up to neutral position, raise your leg out to the side towards the ceiling. The side of your leg is facing the ceiling. Return it to neutral position to setup the next squat.
Start in a half squat position. Jump left foot out sideway, landing on your left leg and bring your right leg behind past your left ankle without letting it touch the floor. Do an upper cut punch with the right arm.
Now reverse direction by jumping to the right with your right leg. Stay low the entire time. It’s not a hop, it’s more of a gliding motion. This completes one rep.
Stand in neutral position with your feet hip-width apart. Pull your right knee toward your chest. There are two options here to get to the other leg. You can quickly place it back on the ground and pull your other leg up. A more advanced option is to pull your left knee up as your placing the right one back down. This adds more cardio and is what I’m timing in this workout.
Start in a basic squat position and explode into the jump to lift both feet of the the floor. Return to the squat position with soft knees and go right into the next rep! This is a fantastic booty lifter!
6 min Cool down
Ahh that sweet sound of cool down time. You’ve earned it and your body needs it, so don’t neglect the cool down as tempting as it is.
Cool downs are often skipped, especially by busy moms on the go because people see it as a waste of time. Cooling down after a workout is as just important as warming up but with different reasons.
Why you must cool it down
I once went to a gym that made you sign paperwork stating that if you skipped their cool downs then they were not responsible for your injuries!
When you finish exercising your heart rate is still pumped and ready to go. Your body temperature has increased and your blood vessels are dilated all to support you through the workout.
If you don’t help your body get back to it’s normal resting state at a gradual pace, you could pass out or feel sick.
Use it to your advantage
Take the cool down as an opportunity to encourage yourself for a job well done. At this point your muscles and joints are warm and cozy.
This is the perfect time to work on increasing flexibility and blood flow through more intentional breathing and stretching. Especially for those of us that sit throughout the day!
Stretching will also reduce muscle soreness by decreasing the buildup of lactic acid. Use this time for peaceful music and encouraging mantras to set the tone for the day. Appreciate the present moment, the day will be there.
Our cool down will start with some light movement to encourage the gradual decrease in heart rate and then we’ll move on to stretching.
Breathe! Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat once. Set a timer so you can focus on mantras, prayer, meditation, etc.
The cool down routine
- March in place for 1 min. Longer if you need more time for your heart rate to slow down
30 second yoga stretches : complete one round and repeat once
- Downward dog
- Child’s pose
- Happy baby
- Crescent pose (switch legs on next set)
Special shout out
If you’re past the point of being stuck under a sleeping baby in the morning, this article is for you. If you’re still at that point, then just pin this article for later and come back to it when your snuggle baby is ready to separate from you before work. Enjoy those sweet snuggles!
Don’t change everything
If you have an evening workout class that you enjoy, you should keep doing it if it’s working for you and bringing you joy. However, try adding in a few morning exercise sessions per week on the days you don’t have class and see how you feel. Variety is the spice of life!
I’m in a similar situation. The classes are at night, but there’s no way I would give it up. By the time class starts, my son is in bed and my husband is home with him so it works perfectly. For me the focus is clarity, mental strength and adult social interaction.
Time is there, it’s just the management of time that needs tweaking. Creating the time to exercise and then committing to that is the discipline and you can do it.
Let me know
Okay workin’ mama, so there you have it! Key benefits to exercising before work and a bonus routine to get you there. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
If you notice, I didn’t even get into the physical appearance aspect of this. If you keep at it and pair it with plenty of water and a healthy nutrition plan you will see results there too! The length of time is different for every one, but you can read here if you would like more information on that.
There are so many mental health and productivity benefits to exercise for working moms that leaning out is an awesome bonus!
Wishing you the best. Thanks for hanging out with me!