13 Ways Working Out is Different After Having Kids



Oh, how I wish to be one of those women who truly loves sweating it out at the gym. The truth is I’m one of those women that loves finishing her kids’ chicken nuggets and eating Nutella straight out of the jar.

Finding the motivation to get to the gym has always been a challenge for me, but after kids, this challenge takes on a whole new meaning. So, if you are like me, and trying to work off that baby weight (even though my kids clearly aren’t “babies”), or you are thinking about heading back to the gym after a long hiatus…

Let me prepare you for 13 ways working out is different after having kids:

1. Before kids, you had to log serious time on the treadmill to break a sweat. Now you’re dripping sweat from the chaos of getting the kids out the door and strapped into their carseats.

2. Jumping jacks were a great way to raise your heart rate. Now jumping jacks are a great way to pee yourself.

3. You loved your yoga classes for the physical, mental, and spiritual health. Now you love yoga because you can lie down in a quiet space and no one bothers you.

4. And at the end of that yoga class, you used to make fun of the lady that fell asleep on her mat. Now you are that lady.

5. You chose your gym based on their equipment, classes, and convenient hours. Now you pick your gym based on the child care room with the most toys.

6. While burning calories on the elliptical machine, you would blast all of your favorite tunes and the newest songs. Now you keep the volume down a bit in your headphones just in case you get the dreaded announcement over the gym P.A. “Mom that just started her workout to the daycare….”

7. And speaking of music, you knew all of the songs that would get you movin’ and groovin’. Now the only songs you have saved on your phone are from Disney movies and the third round of “Let It Go” is helping you on the bike today.

8. The mirrors in the gym were a great way to keep yourself entertained while you mindlessly worked out. Now the mirrors in the gym scare you because things are jiggling and bouncing in places they never jiggled or bounced before.

9. Your workout gear matched and was color coordinated. Now, you are lucky you remembered to wear a sports bra under a college t-shirt that has seen better days.

10. Before you had an endless supply of water bottles ready to go. Now, you tote a Doc McStuffins water bottle because you don’t own adult water bottles anymore.

11. You’d find motivation to work out for random events like your mother’s childhood friends’ son’s wedding. Now you find motivation in concrete things like your ass is starting to look like your mother’s.

12. Before you’d skip that spin class for important matters like happy hour or sleeping off the effects of that happy hour. Now you’d skip that spin class for a lot less: sleep, you don’t want to shower, the kids need to watch Frozen again…

13. Before kids: after sweating off all of those calories, nothing is better than rewarding yourself with Starbucks. And after kids: yeah pretty much the same thing. Good to know some things stay the same.


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  1. 3


    This is so true. My “baby” will be 14 this month but I still remember seeing the childcare ladies walking into the gym, holding my screaming angel in their arms. Always about 15 minutes into the workout…just long enough to be sweaty but not enough time to even call it exercise! It changes though. Now I beg that baby to come to the gym with me :)

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  2. 12

    Pudge says

    I’ve had the kids for 3 and 2 years now, respectively, and I still haven’t figured out how to squeeze in a workout. I’ve started doing squats do get down to the ground to pick up toys.

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  3. 18


    This is a great post that is unfortunately very true to life for me! lol…It’s just one more way how your life completely changes after kids! And, yes….I am so OVER listening to Frozen. It’s only been played 4,000 times in my house this week alone. :P

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  4. 22


    All so true! Our priorities change after kids and exercise often falls down pretty far on the list. As someone who develops programs to promote physical activity among moms (I am a kinesiology professor), I can say one of the factors that makes the biggest difference is whether you view exercise as a chore (one more thing on the to-do list) or a gift (that coveted me-time). We shouldn’t be talking about exercising to lose weight or have a perfect body, we should be promoting it as one of the greatest stress relievers and energy boosters around! It’s essentially one way to maintain your sanity in a life that revolves mostly around taking care of others’ needs. If this mindset sounds like one you’d want to adopt, check out our new research study, FitMinded Working Moms: http://bit.ly/FitMindedScreen

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