Real working moms share how they find time to stay fit

These moms prove that even while balancing work and family, there’s still room for exercise in their busy schedules.

Moms Fitting in Fitness
One mom fits in a gym workout right before going to her job in the same building.Photo: iStock

When your current schedule leaves you with barely a moment to yourself on a daily basis, you may not think you have any time for exercise. But as the following 14 women prove, it’s totally possible to fit in fitness while managing work and family responsibilities. From working out at night to exercising while doing chores, these moms share the get-active strategies that have been working for them—and may just work for you too.

“I started doing workout videos when my kids are playing, watching TV or sleeping. The workouts require very little space and I can do them in half an hour!”

- –Meg Lederman, Brighton, MA, teacher

“At work, I take the stairs, use a standing desk and sometimes lift 3-pound weights that I keep under my desk. I’m a single mom, so when I go to the gym, my kid has to come and play on the iPad while I work out.”

- –Christine Coppa, Riverdale, NJ, editor

“I actually got a treadmill for my bedroom. Whenever I can just bang out a mile or three I jump on—no need to leave the house, get a nanny or brave the elements!”

- –Lina Khalil Cole, Chicago, public relations business co-owner

“I work out at work instead of taking a lunch break and eat my lunch in smaller increments during the day.”

- –Marianne Dunn, River Vale, NJ, psychological counselor

“All I do are Lagree Fitness classes (a high-intensity, low-impact workout that uses Megaformer or Supra machines) one weekday night and one weekend afternoon during naptime each week. This is the best full-body workout I’ve found where I can strengthen and tone without bulking up. It’s especially helpful in getting my core back post-baby!”

- –Lindsay Ferraro Bennett, Bethesda, MD, public relations consultant

“I wake up at 4:45 a.m. two to three days per week to pump, and then I go to the gym or use my rower in the backyard. I consider these as much of a priority as my job because working out and eating right make me feel so much better than when I don’t.”

- –Kristen Hawley King, San Francisco, writer

“I became a fitness instructor as a side job to make sure working out a few times a week is mandatory for me. I get paid to do something I love and consider it ‘my time’ even though it’s work. On other days I try to make playing with my kids or cleaning the house as aerobically effective and sweaty as possible.”

- –Debbie Strong, Revere, MA, editor

“Before work is the only time I can work out. I drop my kid off at daycare at 7:30 a.m. most days, which is in the same building as my office. Other days I work out and get in to work at 8:30 or 9, but don’t feel bad because other days I am early.”

- –Samantha Walsh, Denver, development specialist

“I lift a laundry basket filled with clothes over my head while walking to and from the washer. I do squats as I load the laundry and do squats and yoga stretches in the shower to relax my muscles for better stretching. I also play like a child at the playground. My daughter thinks it’s pretty cool when Mom runs up the stairs and goes across the monkey bars. Little does she know my ulterior motive: being in shape!”

- –Mary Herrington, founder of

“Honestly, I find that just running around after my kids keeps me pretty fit. I walk with them when the weather is nice, and when naptime hits, I try to do 30 to 40 minutes of yoga.”

- –Vanessa Wingerath, Lincoln Park, NJ, doula and yoga instructor

“I go to the gym after the kids are in bed.”

- –Lindsey Dice, Ridgefield, WA, patient care coordinator

“I schedule working out like it’s a meeting, doing it every day at that time.”

- –Stacey Lager, New York City, lawyer

“I use the app 8fit and do one of the six-minute workouts with my kids. I’m not sure I am in my best shape ever, but I am sore after.”

- –Alexandra Etscovitz, Needham, MA, teacher

“I do a 30-minute kickboxing circuit at 9Round gym on my lunch hour.”

- –Brooke Glassberg, Metuchen, NJ, editor