How To Incorporate Exercise Into Your Day

by Marcie
mom doing a plank while helping child with schoolwork.

(Without Taking Any Extra Time!)

I try to ride my exercise bike or take a walk or both every single day. It’s good to have that straight 30 minutes of cardio. However, I’d love to be more active than just that 30 minutes but it’s hard to get away from the kids longer than that. Therefore, I also try to incorporate exercise into my day without taking any extra time to keep my body active. That’s what this post is about. For example, while brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush I do a wall sit for the duration of the 2 minutes it’s timed to brush. This is such a habit I don’t even notice I’m doing it. And every time my 2 year old comes into the bathroom she sees her toothbrush, puts it into her mouth and takes her place against the bathroom wall, doing a wall sit. It’s so cute. I can see her going to college and being shocked when her roommates don’t brush their teeth this way, haha!

Getting In An Exercise Mindset

It takes getting into an exercise mindset, but once you do you’ll find opportunities to exercise all day.  Here are some more examples: If I’m working on my computer but then someone texts, I automatically get up and walk around while I text back. If I have to run something back upstairs after just coming down, instead of berating my forgetfulness, I’m grateful for extra steps. 🙂 When you’re in an exercise mindset, you don’t mind going out into the yard to get your children instead of calling from the door, or out to the garage to get a hammer. You just run and do it, celebrating the fact you’re being active and getting things done at the same time. I still send my kids on plenty of errands because I think it’s good for them too and I don’t always have time, but I stop and ask myself, “Am I sending my child out to get the mail because I don’t have time, because I know he’ll like it, or because I’m just too lazy?” 

I love staying active and it’s easy to incorporate exercise into your day and daily routine. In other words, do it while you’re doing your normal stuff. That’s the key to not having to carve out any extra time to exercise. 

Ways to incorporate exercise into your day: 

  • Do a wall sit while brushing your teeth. Read something at the same time. Quote books are perfect!
  • Do leg lifts while standing over your child’s desk, observing their paintings at the table, or while filling your water bottle.
  • Do some tricep curls while your teenager is talking about the kids she just babysat.
  • Do calves while vacuuming the stairs.
  • Sit in straddles while watching tv, studying, making lesson plans, or even reading to your kids.
  • Do squats while squeegee-ing the shower.
  • Jog in place while beating the batter for 3 minutes.
  • Jog in place while your smoothie is blending.
  • Do a plank on the bed while your kids talk to you as you’re tucking them in.
  • Punch the air as you run up the stairs.
  • Do arm circles whenever you pace.
  • Do 20 push ups and tricep dips on your bed before getting in every night.
  • Do sit ups, planks, pushups, weights as you watch tv.
  • Do squats, jog in place, or do leg lifts as you push your child on the swing.
  • Ride bikes with your children.
  • Hop on your exercise bike when your mom calls. Or do a plank while she talks and see if you can do it for as long as she talks before it’s your turn. 
  • Dust and do leg lifts and squats while talking on the phone.
  • Wear arm weights while folding laundry and/or do leg lifts while folding.

Staying Active All Day

Staying active all day gives me so much energy, enthusiasm for mundane motherhood tasks, and cheers me up. Along with eating real food, it makes me feel alive. My dream is to hike the Appalachian Trail. Or to be able to hike all day everyday. I’d love to get that much exercise! But since I’m a single mom of 10 children, hiking all day every day is out of the question. I’m sure it is for most people as we all have work, school, and life. However, I can try to exercise all day at home while doing my mommy stuff. It makes me feel so much better than sitting around. There’s already plenty of that as I nurse, read to my children, play the piano, and write an email. So as much as possible I bend, move, stretch and keep active while going about my day. I hope you do too and you feel the burst of energy. Motherhood is a tiring task and we need all the energy and enthusiasm we can!

Bonus: Helps Your Kids Stay Active All Day

I was looking for pictures of me being active around the house and I found a lot of the kids being active. That led me to the thought: I’m sure parents being active–dashing out the door to catch the mailman, chasing the chickens out of the garden, or dancing while folding laundry–has a big impact on children staying active. It sets an energetic vibe through the house and shows the family the importance you place on keeping your body healthy. I know I learned to love exercise from my mom. So that’s an added bonus of staying active all day! Do it for yourself but also for your kids. Don’t just exercise at the gym. Exercise around the house and make sure they see you. They will likely pick up that energy and mentality and also desire to stay active throughout their life.

Pictures of Incorporating Exercise Into Our Day

I couldn’t find any pictures of me exercising while working as I’m the one taking pictures in the family. But I did find 2 videos of me. They’re from our old house and terrible quality but you get the idea! You don’t have to have good form or know what you’re doing, I certainly don’t! Just move!

4 teenagers are in an exercise mindset and do pushups for fun
Coming down the stairs after tucking little kids in I found 4 of the big kids doing a push-up party. I love that my kids love to exercise on their own.
5 kids practicing their splits for fun on the living room floor.
“We’re practicing our splits.”
9 kids play on a trampoline to get exercise without taking any extra time to.
Of course, the trampoline and slack line are great sources of exercise
8 kids play on a slackline for exercise

I got a little sidetracked going from you exercising all day to your kids, but you get the idea! Now get up and do something active. 🙂 Show your kids how much you love exercising and they will grow up loving it too.

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Emily March 30, 2023 - 3:55 pm

I love these ideas!! I was just talking to my husband about working out more. I used to be a personal trainer and hate that I have let that go because of the busyness of life! Thanks for the motivation 🙂

Madeline March 30, 2023 - 4:17 pm

Love this so much! I do wake up and exercise 4-5 mornings a week, but I like these ideas to get continued movement throughout the day.

Nikki March 30, 2023 - 4:38 pm

Such great ideas for how to exercise while going about your day. Totally going to try some.

krista March 30, 2023 - 8:54 pm

Excuse me while I go out on a run. You’ve inspired me 🙂


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