10 Fitness Tips for Mums and Dads With Busy Lifestyles

10 Fitness Tips for Mums and Dads With Busy Lifestyles


Parenting is a rewarding journey, but it often comes with a hectic schedule that leaves little time for self-care. Amidst the chaos of balancing work, household chores, and caring for children, finding time for fitness can seem like an impossible task. However, prioritising physical activity is essential for maintaining health and well-being, both for parents and their families. In this edition of Notes for Our Lovelies, we'll explore ten practical fitness tips specifically designed for moms and dads with busy lifestyles, offering actionable strategies to incorporate exercise into even the most jam-packed schedules of UAE resident mums and dads.

Prioritise Short, High-Intensity Workouts

When time is limited, high-intensity workouts can be a game-changer. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods. These workouts are efficient, effective, and can be completed in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. Incorporating HIIT into your routine allows you to maximise calorie burn and improve cardiovascular health without spending hours at the gym. Busy parents can squeeze in HIIT sessions during pockets of free time throughout the day. Whether it's before the kids wake up, during lunch breaks, or in the evening after they've gone to bed, prioritise short bursts of exercise to reap the benefits of HIIT without sacrificing precious time with your family.

Make Family Time Active

Parents walking with a young child in the woods

Instead of viewing exercise as a solitary activity, involve the whole family to make it a fun and bonding experience. Plan outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or playing sports together. Not only does this promote physical activity for everyone, but it also creates lasting memories and strengthens family bonds. For parents with young children, incorporate active play into daily routines. Turn chores like gardening or cleaning into a game, or organise a family dance party in the living room. By making fitness a family affair, you set a positive example for your children and incorporate healthy habits from a young age.

Prioritise Consistency Over Duration

Consistency is key when it comes to fitness, especially for busy parents. Instead of aiming for lengthy workouts that may be difficult to sustain, focus on being consistent with shorter, more frequent exercise sessions. Even if you only have 10 or 15 minutes to spare, use that time to engage in physical activity. Rather than waiting for the perfect time to exercise, seize opportunities throughout the day to move your body. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a brisk walk during your lunch break, or do a quick bodyweight workout while dinner is cooking. By prioritising consistency over duration, you'll gradually build a habit of regular exercise that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle.

Incorporate Functional Fitness

A mother exercising with light weights


Functional fitness focuses on exercises that mimic movements performed in daily life, such as bending, lifting, and twisting. For parents, functional exercises are especially beneficial as they improve strength, flexibility, and stability, making it easier to perform everyday tasks with ease. Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, and planks into your routine to enhance functional strength and make daily tasks easier to perform. Additionally, consider incorporating activities like yoga or Pilates into your routine to enhance flexibility, balance, and mental well-being. These low-impact exercises offer a gentle yet effective way to strengthen the body and relieve stress.

Plan and Prepare Meals in Advance

Nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting fitness goals, but busy schedules can make healthy eating a challenge. Combat this by planning and preparing meals in advance. Take time at the beginning of each week to create a meal plan, shop for nutritious ingredients, and batch-cook meals that can be easily reheated throughout the week. By having healthy options readily available, you'll be less tempted to rely on convenience foods and more likely to make nourishing choices for you and your family.

Prioritise Sleep and Recovery

Adequate sleep and recovery are essential for optimal health and fitness, yet they are often overlooked by busy parents. Make sleep a priority by establishing a consistent bedtime routine and creating a sleep-friendly environment. Additionally, incorporate relaxation techniques such as meditation or gentle stretching into your daily routine to promote restorative rest and reduce stress levels. Remember that prioritising self-care is not selfish, but necessary for being the best parent you can be.

Set Realistic Goals

A mother attempting to workout with a child climbing on her back

When it comes to fitness, setting realistic goals is essential for staying motivated and making progress. Be specific about what you want to achieve, whether it's running a 5K, losing a certain amount of weight, or simply improving overall health. Break larger goals down into smaller, manageable steps and celebrate your achievements along the way. Remember that progress may be slower than expected, but consistency and perseverance will ultimately lead to success.

Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day

Proper hydration is vital for supporting physical performance and overall well-being. Busy parents should prioritise drinking water throughout the day, especially during periods of increased activity or stress. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and set reminders to drink regularly, ensuring that you stay hydrated and energised throughout the day. Additionally, limit your consumption of sugary beverages and caffeinated drinks, opting for water as your primary source of hydration.

Utilise Technology and Fitness Apps

Take advantage of technology to streamline your fitness routine and stay motivated. Fitness apps offer a wide range of tools and resources, from workout videos and tracking tools to nutrition guides and community support. Find an app or online platform that aligns with your goals and preferences, whether it's a guided workout program, a meal planning tool, or a virtual fitness community. Incorporating technology into your fitness journey can provide accountability, structure, and motivation to keep you on track.

Practice Self-Care and Stress Management

Amidst the demands of parenting, it's essential to prioritise self-care and stress management. Make time for activities that promote relaxation and well-being, whether it's reading a book, taking a bath, or enjoying a hobby. Practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to reduce stress levels and cultivate a sense of calm. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish, but necessary for being present and engaged with your family.


Balancing parenthood with fitness may seem daunting, but with the right strategies and mindset, it's entirely achievable. By prioritising short, high-intensity workouts, making family time active, focusing on consistency, incorporating functional fitness, planning meals, prioritising sleep and recovery, setting realistic goals, staying hydrated, utilising technology, and practising self-care, busy moms and dads can prioritise their health and well-being while caring for their families. Remember that small, sustainable changes can lead to significant improvements in fitness, overall health, and quality of life for both parents and children alike.


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