Is it possible to be a full time working mum, have a 1 hour commute to work and still find time to go to the gym !?!

(55 Posts)
mumtosp Wed 23-Oct-13 13:05:31

That's it really...
I was just talking about this to a colleague at work who has 3 grown children and has time to go to the gym. and she says that the only way she could manage it is because she lived close to work...i.e. you cannot work full time, be a mum and commute and still find time for the gym!

DS is 1 yo and before having him I used to exercise at least 3-4 times a week.... I really miss that and there are days when I am really depressed about the weight I've put on since having DS.
I love DS to bits and would never not want him... but I just wish I could get some exercise sad

It was also easier before as I lived very close to work. But since having DS, we've moved further away for good schools...

Are there any working mums out there who have a small baby and still find time to exercise? I would highly appreciate some tips...

TIA smile

Ilanthe Wed 23-Oct-13 13:10:53

No. When I went back to work after mat leave the first thing that got dropped was exercise. I just couldn't fit it in.

If I had a shorter commute I would consider doing a longer day at work and taking some time at lunchtime to go to a class at the leisure centre, but this doesn't work if I want to do enough hours with an hour each way.

willyoulistentome Wed 23-Oct-13 13:11:43

I haven't managed it so far. However a colleague has just arranged a weekly Body Balance class in an unused part of the office. ( large building)
This will be my first 'organised' exercise in years.

..or perhaps you could join a gym near where you work, and go at lunchtime?

ercoldesk Wed 23-Oct-13 13:13:55

The only people I know who managed it did a class at lunchtime. You need a gym very close to work though, and a "flexible" approach to lunch hours.

BeattieBow Wed 23-Oct-13 13:14:11

I am planning to go at lunchtime for 45 minutes - ie join a gym close to work. i tried running near to home but just couldn't fit it in during the week and wasn't motivated enough to go at weekends.

Having said that, I visited the gym 3 weeks ago and haven't managed to join yet - I will have to block out time in my calendar to actually visit it.

mumtosp Wed 23-Oct-13 13:16:08

hmm... not sure if I can go during lunchtime given that I need to leave work exactly at 5 pm to be able to pick up DS from childminder....
maybe I need to start waking up at 5 am !! sad

iheartdusty Wed 23-Oct-13 13:18:11

or fit exercise into your commute? cycle part or all of the way, walk, run, etc.

I've not managed the gym but I did find time to exercise at home. I have had to stop for a while for other reasons, but my weekday timetable was this:

5.15 a.m. exercise
6.00 a.m. get ready for work
6.30 a.m. drop child off
8.00 a.m. start work, finish at 5.00 p.m.
6.30 p.m. pick child up, return home
7.00 p.m. dinner
9.00 p.m. bed

So it can be done, you just need to prioritise what is important to you.

evertonmint Wed 23-Oct-13 13:25:41

DH has a similar commute to you and fits it in by doing 2 big sessions from home - one class in the evening, one long run at weekends and then 2 smaller sessions at work - lunchtimes in the work gym - once to treadmill and once to do weights.

FWIW, it is easier for him to fit in exercise regularly than me as a WAHM - I do an evening class and a weekend run like him, but the rest of the week I am in sole charge of my preschool DD or frantically fitting work in to my 2 childcare days so the most I can do is one run on a childcare day.

It's entirely doable, but it's a priority thing. DH has weeks where he just can't do it at work because he's so busy so maybe ups to 2 runs at the weekend or adds in a late evening swim after the DCs are in bed.

mumtosp Wed 23-Oct-13 13:25:48

worldgonecrazy I'm impressed !!!
May I just ask how old your child is ?

BIWI Wed 23-Oct-13 13:29:11

I can do it - just - because I don't have to worry about my children in the morning as they can look after themselves.

I see a personal trainer twice a week at 7am - do a mad dash home to shower/wash hair/dry hair/change and get to work. Strictly speaking I should go to the gym at least half an hour earlier, because this gets me into work at 9.30 and technically I'm supposed to be here at 9.00.

If I had to add looking after children into the mix, then it would be much harder - indeed, for me, this was the point at which I gave up regular exercise!

However, I should also point out that exercise is only a small part of losing weight - so if you're gaining weight you should look at your diet as well.

She's 3 and 3/4. I started the regime when I went back to work - it gave me an excuse for early nights. I'm looking forward to the time when I can pick it back up again.

mumtosp Wed 23-Oct-13 14:02:18

BIWI I'm pretty strict with my diet... it's just that I'm only trim when I exercise... otherwise I tend to be a bit buly... I guess it must be my body type...

mumtosp Wed 23-Oct-13 14:03:20

I guess I'm also trying to do too much at the same time !
I should start with just 2 days a week and build it up from there smile

Wishihadabs Wed 23-Oct-13 14:05:52

I think it is possible. Things I have done include running between 630-7am (before DH leaves for work), up at 6. Exercise classes at 7:30pm (so after he's back). I go for 1 run at the weekend, 1 during the week and try and do 1 class.Our gym does do classes that start at 615, not that I've made it yet!

jamaisjedors Wed 23-Oct-13 14:07:05

When the DS were v. little, I managed an exercise class in the village, and then later, a 5k run (from the house) once or twice a week (more like once - mostly on a weekend).

The run only takes 30 mins so is do-able on a Sunday morning without taking too much time away from your children.

Now I do a pilates class one lunchtime (it's 40 mins) and an evening Zumba class in the village.

ceeveebee Wed 23-Oct-13 14:11:46

I go to the gym near work at lunchtime 3 times a week. I do either Pilates or powerplate, which can be fitted in within an hour and don't require me to shower afterwards. Run once at weekends while DH gives breakfast to the DCs.
When I was on mat leave I had a personal trainer come to the house while my DCs napped (they are twins so theoretically nap together not), or I did Tracey Anderson DVD either in naptimes or evenings after they were in bed.

cazzyg Wed 23-Oct-13 14:13:38

I find running the easiest way to fit in exercise. No travel time and it's a case of get child to bed, then go or head out when i get a spare 45 mins. As there's no travel time it doesn't take up too much time

willyoulistentome Wed 23-Oct-13 14:15:03

Do you have a shower at work. Could you run at lunchtime? I did that for a while BEFORE kids. Too knackered now.

prissyenglisharriviste Wed 23-Oct-13 14:15:07

I have a friend who gets up at 5 to go the gym, but her kids are much older, so she doesn't have to supervise the whole getting up routine. Lunchtimes are pretty much your only option.
I've been toying with early mornings, but dh leaves the house at 6, so I could only only do something here.
I actually really like my bed though, so the thought of getting up any earlier than the 6.30 I currently have to is not something that is appealing. I thought about lunchtimes, but I'm currently only taking 30 minutes - if I took an hour, I'd have to get home later, etc, etc. dh doesn't get home until 6.30 pm, by which time we are in the throes of extra-curriculars (kids not mine, natch) so that leaves the weekend.
I volunteer most weekends.
I' ve pretty much accepted that exercise isn't a priority right now. I used to run marathons. It's a conundrum.

SleepyFish Wed 23-Oct-13 14:21:06

Haven't found time to set foot in a gym since having ds 5 years ago and I used to go 5 days a week.
I just incorporate exercise into my daily life now, mainly by getting off the bus 3 stops early and power walking the rest of the way, do it on the way home too.
All in all I manage about 5-6 miles of fast paced walking most days, it does help keep the weight off, I miss my classes though.

matana Wed 23-Oct-13 16:01:33

I haven't and part of that is because when I come home I want to spend time with 3yo ds, not go to the gym. Dh is very hands on and would gladly take care of things at home, but my time with ds is precious.

JewelFairies Wed 23-Oct-13 16:29:14

Not a chance. I have a 3 and 6 year old and commute an hour down the motorway. I already get up at 5.50 to get to work early so I can leave early to pick up the girls by 4.30. Then it's dinner, play, bath, homework, bedtime stories etc. Dh gets home around 7 because he does the morning school run. Once they are in bed dh and I eat around 8. By 9 I catch up with work deadlines or chat to dh and we both deal with housework. I try to get to bed for 10.30 because otherwise I get ratty as the week progresses. We have no family to call on and step in to allow us 'me' time. I eat lunch at my desk and don't take a lunch break because I want to leave work as early as I can.
Honestly can't see how I could fit in a visit to the gym, so the muffin top is here to stay.

SquidgersMummy Wed 23-Oct-13 21:25:10

I have a bad back so Pilates really helps - we have a few classes recorded on the sky box - it's a good tester for your motivation. I have wasted hundreds of pounds over the years on gym memberships for lunchtimes that I never went. Now we have a DC I can't afford to pay out on something I bet I won't do. Depends where you work etc but you could also try a council pool/gym so there's no lost money if you don't go. X

Nevercan Wed 23-Oct-13 21:54:19

Go for an hour on a sat or sun morning whilst do watches the munchkins. I can't fit it in during the week

Xmasbaby11 Wed 23-Oct-13 23:12:58

Works out well if you go to the gym after bedtime IMO. I would come home and see DD, give her tea, etc, and go out about 7. DH put her to bed.

Wandastartup Wed 23-Oct-13 23:19:19

I can but only if DH does his share and I pay for childcare until 45 minutes after I need it! At the moment reception child is in melt down if not in bed by 6.15 so have had to forsake gym for family harmony...!

comewinewithmoi Wed 23-Oct-13 23:31:20

If it makes you feel any better, sahm here and I don't manage it. I do have 4 Dcs though.

Wandastartup Thu 24-Oct-13 07:36:13

Think it's harder as a SAHM to get any 'me' time especially with pre schoolers!

dontyouknow Thu 24-Oct-13 14:27:23

Same as Nevercan - just go once a week at the weekend when DH is around.

I used to do Wii fit at home one evening as well but that didn't last very long!

I do try to be quite active at the weekend generally - long walks, playing outside.

Bambamb Thu 24-Oct-13 14:37:57

It's really really hard.
I lost loads of weight whilst on maternity leave due to breastfeeding and being able to exercise. I loved it and was determined to keep at it. However within a year of returning to work I am about a stone up again and have hardly managed to squeeze any exercise in. Best I can manage are activities after bed time, so 8pm onwards. But I just find myself so exhausted and lacking in energy by then it's really tough to stick to.
I'm about to have my second baby and am really looking forward to getting back into it while getting to be a SAHM for a while again. JOY!

stowsettler Thu 24-Oct-13 16:08:54

DD is 8mo and I have a half-hour commute. I'm struggling to fit exercise in but have come up with this, based on the fact that I'm lucky enough to be the boss and therefore can be quite flexible about my start and finish times:-

Mon - Workout at home. Tabata-style routine I worked out myself. 60 rounds of 20sec work / 20sec rest, which takes about 40 mins. I do this after DD is in bed, so around 7pm.

Tue - either an early session at the gym and into work by 9.30am or a run at lunchtime. We don't have a shower at work yet so I make sure I have deo wipes / towel etc and keep my window open afterwards! Luckily we're getting a shower soon.

Wed - Day off exercise

Thu - Gym after work, DP puts DD to bed.

Fri - Either a gym session or another tabata-style workout - whatever I can fit in.

Sat or Sun - 1 longer gym session and / or 1 longish run.

I have noticed that the biggest hurdle is getting my arse into gear at all. Once I'm in the swing of it it's fine. Importantly I don't beat myself up if when I miss a session. This is crucial to me because if I start thinking "Oh what's the point I'll never be able to sustain it", I'll just give up. So instead, I do what I can when I can.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Fri 25-Oct-13 16:56:51

The only way I can do it is of I fit it in with my day by cycling to work or running part of the way. If that's not possible I have no idea I'm afraid!

Littleredsquirrel Fri 25-Oct-13 17:01:23




nope. Not unless you don't have to do any work/other things in the evening and can exercise then.

Alanna1 Fri 25-Oct-13 19:56:30

Put exercise in your commute.

Alanna1 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:02:15

A friend has a personal trainer come to her house at 9 pm twice a week.... Not an option for me. But walking very briskly 30 mins twice a day from the mainline station to my office does help!

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Fri 25-Oct-13 20:06:10

Rented rowing machine in the garage. It's cheaper per month than a gym membership.

YoureBeingAnAnyFuckerFan Fri 25-Oct-13 20:16:05

OP could you go in the evenings when your partner could do dinner, bedtime with the baby? even just 2 nights a week?

Going against the grain here, I manage it. But only because dh drops dd off in the morning.

I go to the gym for 6.30am classes, 45 min drive to work, start at 8.30am. Leave at 5pm to pick dd up from nursery. Then I go to body pump on a Sunday morning.

I hate getting up early but that's the only time I can do it, plus I'm too lazy to go back out in the evening.

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 25-Oct-13 20:24:48

Op if your DC is 1 is there no option to put them into pjs and a baby gro and get them in the pushchair for a walk for 30 minutes once or twice a week?

Or will it disturb too much to transfer to bed once they fall asleep?

Otherwise I'd agree - take it in turns to have a weekend gym session, and one night a week after bedtime. (have your bag by the door and make your DP push you - it helps me).

A 20 minute walk during a couple of lunch times won't harm either?

mumtosp Mon 28-Oct-13 09:35:41

Thanks all for the encouraging replies ! Have decided to start working out at home at least twice a week.... hopefully will get to do more in the future smile

emmyloo2 Tue 29-Oct-13 06:47:21

I do but I have a short commute (20 min door to door) and I get up at the crack of dawn! For me, it was a not-negotiable issue before I had kids. I did not want to give up exercise because it is my saviour. I work FT and have a 3 year old and 5 month old. I am usually back from my run or the gym before the baby is even awake. I also don't get to the office until 9am. I have a lot of flexibility as I am quite senior and I work from home at night to get work done if I don't have time during the day. I am pretty bloody tired though!

chutneypig Tue 29-Oct-13 06:57:40

Another vote for early mornings here, I do a run couple of mornings a week, then two at the weekend. I've tried going to the swimming pool recently but the travel just adds too much to the whole thing. I do have an hour commute each way, so extra driving just doesn't appeal.

I started out with the morning exercise doing 10 minutes to start, it really helped to get in the habit without being too daunting. Good luck.

Passthecake30 Tue 29-Oct-13 07:07:01

I have a 4 and 5 yr old and an hours commute, I manage by working from home 2 days a week and going then, and at the weekend if I can. Dp thinks I should go when the kids are in bed for the night so that it doesn't effect him in any way but by 8pm I can't be naffed.

cantthinkofagoodone Tue 29-Oct-13 07:16:37

I live near the gym and work 8.30 to 4.30. If I get home after collecting ds I can then go and swim for 30 mins whilst dh gets on with dinner and has ds.

It's the motivation thats hard to go back out.

superstarheartbreaker Tue 29-Oct-13 07:34:29

Could you do the shred at home with kids in bed. I am doing it and that worlout dvd is far more effective than the gym.

GinnelsandWhippets Tue 29-Oct-13 09:06:35

It's really hard. I have been doing Parkrun at my local park on sat mornings. That's quite good as it's at 9am, 5k with a bunch of other runners. I leave the house at 8.45 to walk to the park, am usually home by just before 10 and hopefully as I get fitter I'll get home earlier. I keep planning to do something in the evening but it never happens.
I did a postnatal pilates course after DS2 (7 months old) and she recommended the Nike training app for at home circuit type workouts. Also there's a subscription website called (or anywhere, can't remember). It streams videos of pilates classes graded by apparatus, focus, difficulty etc. My pilates teacher uses it and said that in her opinion it's the best option if you can't get to a class. It's about a tenner a month for unlimited classes. I haven't used it though as I'm crap at motivating myself to exercise at home.

Zamboni Tue 29-Oct-13 09:07:19

Chutney do you run in the dark? I could do early mornings and we have a big park close by, but I don't like the idea of walking running with headphones in the darkconfused

chutneypig Tue 29-Oct-13 19:07:19

I stick to the lit roads round our village, Zamboni. It's a bit dull in the winter but light enough to be safe. I wear a hi vis jacket too. I haven't managed it for a couple of weeks because our lights go off at night and they weren't switching on until 6.30 which is too late for me. I wouldn't risk the pitch black but now the clocks have changed they come on earlier.

OhOneOhTwoOhThree Tue 29-Oct-13 19:24:12

Mine are also older now, but when they were little I used to go after they were in bed (if DH wasn't working late/travelling) and on Saturday mornings (started doing an online shop instead of a Saturday morning supermarket trip). I also sometimes used to go swimming at lunch time (walk there and back, 20 lengths, shower and change just within an hour) and I go through phases of doing the 30 day shred DVD early in the morning when it's too dark to be outside. But as others have said, it's really hard and you have to prioritise - in my case it was usually time spent with DH in the evenings.

I'm now a runner instead of a gym-goer and do parkrun. I'm also looking at joining a swimming class on evening a week now that I'm not reliant on DH being home to stay with the DCs.

BikeRunSki Tue 29-Oct-13 19:28:29

I run at lunchtimes, or about 9 pm.

Hi OP. My DC are a little older than yours, but I think the key things are
- prioritising exercise over other things like sleep or the good opinion of your colleagues
- doing lots of different exercise types at different times of day e.g. being flexible (no pun intended!)
- accepting that you can't do it all but you can do what you can

I do one early morning at home, 2 lunchtime sessions at the gym and one evening yoga class -- at least that is the theory-- and then we try to do at least one active family activity at the weekend like swimming, rollerblading, long walk etc. I have never been much of one for exercise but this appears to be working.

rhetorician Tue 29-Oct-13 19:37:58

If you have a one hour commute can you do some or all of it running? I have used the run-commute a fair bit since having dcs. It takes me 35 mins to cycle, and about an hour to run the shortest route. Bus takes minimum of 45 mins, so it's using time that is committed already IYSWIM. My eldest now does swimming lessons on a Friday at the gym where I am a member so I run while she swims. The time-efficiency of this gives me an insane amount of pleasure...

BigPawsBrown Tue 29-Oct-13 19:46:52

Don't think lunchtimes are your only option!! Can't you go swimming or for a run at 8/9pm ish while your DH is in?

Fruli Wed 30-Oct-13 03:54:17

Only on the days when DH does the nursery run or I happen to be off and DD is in nursery (shift work has some advantages).

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