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Mandie Hall from Women are Hungry takes over the blog for our first installment of…

busy moms guide to workout habitsOne of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “How do I find the time to workout with kids, homeschool, job, etc?” I could answer that with some useless comment like “you make the time,” but that would not be true, nor would it be helpful to you in any way.

There seems to be this idea of guilt floating around that goes something like this, “If you are dedicated to getting healthy, then you can and will workout at any cost”. FALSE.  If you have ever held on to any guilt that you are simply too lazy, too full of excuses, or too fill-in-the-blank, lets just put that where it belongs…IN THE TRASH.

I would love to tell you that I have figured out how to homeschool my 5 kids, work out, keep a spotless house, and make homemade bread every day…. but that would be a lie.

I could give you a list of exercises or workouts to do everyday but that would not be helpful long term.  People know where to find workouts. What they don’t know is where to find time. The main question  I want to ask you is what you do after you wake up. It seems a little crazy but I think that is where you are going to find the answer for more time…It is called HABITS.  

Habits are a powerful thing. You will spend most of your day living in default mode, cruising through habits. When I get up in the morning, I go straight to my coffee pot. I pour the water in the back, fill the filter with coffee grounds, and get my cup ready. I don’t even think about it. I don’t wake up and think “What am I going to do?”. I know exactly what to do when I wake up- I get my coffee ready. I am running on a habit.

What do your sleep habits look like? Moms, I know that it is hard to get the required hours of sleep, but this is fundamental to a successful fitness schedule and weight management. The habit of going to bed too late puts us in this constant state of exhaustion. I remember when all 5 of my kids were small, getting enough sleep was like manna from heaven. I had so much I “needed” to get done that going to bed at a decent hour seemed impossible! I want to pose the question “What if it is not impossible?”. What if you have just developed a habit of doing chores or grabbing quiet time at night, therefore pushing your bedtime back? Let’s look into our bedtime habits and see where we can adjust this. Maybe nighttime can just  be some chamomile tea and a good book. Let’s start trying to prepare our minds and bodies for some good rest before we hop under the covers.

Now what about those dishes? I won’t lie my house could not be on the cover of Home and Garden magazine. We live in my house. Toys are scattered here and there. The floor  needs to be mopped from all the kids running in and out. The condition of my house shows that we live there. When I started working out on the regular, I had to change my housekeeping habits. My old habits were not only tiring, but did not serve my family as well as I had thought. I never wanted toys in the living area. I never wanted anybody to walk into my home and wonder “Did she mop today?”.  However, keeping those particular habits also tired me out and took up all of my free time.  I have no solid answer or template of perfect time for you to follow for your house, but I do offer the idea that maybe we could look at letting some things go or allowing ourselves the ability to let the living room stay a mess so that we can go and take care of our own bodies.  Habit changes. What habits have you built around your house that you never question, but default to, that you can change?

What about that workout? I am going to put forth a possible scenario:

  I want to workout. I need to workout. How do I find time to workout? I feel so guilty for letting myself go. Ok, I am going to get up tomorrow morning at 5:00am and start working out. No wait! I am going to just start getting up everyday at 5:00 am and go on a diet and get this done!

We tend to have an all-or-nothing relationship with fitness. We feel like if we workout, we must do it every…single…day. While going on little sleep and little food.

Lets go back to habits. If you have your life set up into a bunch of habits that do not involve fitness, does it not  seem counter-productive to slam your life 5 days a week with a new workout program? What does success look like for you with adding workouts into your life? I wish I could answer that for you, but I can’t. No two lives look the same, so it would be arrogant of me to assume I could schedule your life.  What I can give you are tips to help YOU set up success for your workout program.

Tip #1: What do you love doing? Skating? Cycling? Walking? Lifting weights?   Do that.

Tip #2: If you “only” have 2 times a week that you can squeeze in a 20 minute workout… Awesome! 20 minute sessions, 2 times a week is a great place to start! It does not have to be an all-or-nothing program.

Tip #3: What if your life is super busy and you feel overwhelmed with the idea? Just pick one day. Yep, you read that right – one day. Let’s say Tuesday= workout day. Take your pencil and write “work out” on every Tuesday. Tuesday will now officially be your formal workout day. Let’s do that until the Tuesday workout becomes a habit that you love and look forward too, then let’s add in Thursday. (See how the habit will grow and form?)

In order for us to build in consistent habits that will allow us to manage all that we have on our plates, we have to grab hold of some patience and allow for a slow steady build-up of habits that help us to meet our goals.

Take a look around. What can you start changing to help you reach the goal of consistent exercise?

Good luck!

 Chocolate Energy Balls



1 cup of prunes

2 tbsp of cocoa powder (add more for a more intense flavor)

4 tbsp of honey

1 cup of walnuts, crushed


Put prunes, cocoa powder, and honey  in a food processor and mix. Roll into balls. Roll the balls in the crushed walnuts and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Tastes like a chocolate bon bon. Enjoy!

Meet Mandie

Mandie Hall is an ACE  (American Council on Exercise) certified instructor who owns and operates a garage gym called “Women Are Strong” in the small, rural town of  Judsonia, Arkansas. She runs a community on Facebook called Women Are Hungry to help empower women. She has been featured in blogs such as Feed Me I’m Cranky and Miss Fit Blogger .

Mandie Hall from Women are Strong

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