9 ways to find your exercise mojo now you’re a mum

Having kids is awesome, but it can be hell on your body.

I asked my friends on Fox in Flats Facebook  to describe the impact having kids has had on their bodies. The words they used painted a vivid picture:














saggy & scarred, but worth every bit! 


It’s not surprising that some of these words are less than complimentary.

Our study of 150 women who’ve had kids revealed:

65% are unhappy with their bodies, and

64% feel less confident about the way they look.


Commonsense would say, “Put down that banana-bread and hit the gym.”

Yet ‘Mr Commonsense’ hasn’t had to juggle the demands of kids, family, work, home-duties, pets, friends, and everything else mothers have on their plates. Plus the banana-bread. And when we’re busy juggling the demands of motherhood, it’s easy to put ourselves – and exercise – at the end of the list.

To prove that point, we created an exercise confessional where we shared our excuses for not exercising187 excuses later, it’s fair to say it’s very, very easy to find reasons for not exercising. And it’s normal to do so.

Crikey! I need a martini to get through this list…


That said, we also know that we should exercise. And we are all smart enough to understand the reasons why. But unless we find something that really motivates us, the excuses are going to keep on coming.

So in a bid to get fit, healthy and less jiggly, we’ve been chatting with women who are exercising regularly to get an insight into what gets them moving.  Perhaps there’s something here that will inspire you?

9 ways other mums found their exercise mojo:

1. “I use my exercise time to keep up to date.”

My daily time on the stepper is a chance to catch up on news and current affairs. There is no way I’d get to fit this into my day otherwise.”

Al, mother of 1


I watch music videos when I’m on the treadmill. It’s fun and as daggy as it sounds, it makes me feel hip and cool.”

Bree, 2 kids at home


2. “I run to get away from my kids.”

Felicity, who has 3 kids including a newborn, confided this to me as she breastfeed and we watched the older kids going nuts on the monkey bars.

Of course I adore them, but the days and nights are so full on, and exhausting. That daily half an hour out of the house, pounding the pavement on my own is bliss.”

And Cathy, mother of 2 admitted:

“2 years ago we moved and I couldn’t get the kids into a local pre-school, kindy or structured activity. I joined a gym with an amazing crèche just to get a tiny bit of kid-free time a couple of times a week. The exercise part was just a means to an end. The time apart from them was great for me mentally, and physically I’ve never felt better!”

3. “I found a type of exercise I love.”

When I joined the gym I tried every single class they had to see if I could find something I really liked. Turned out classes I thought I’d love like Pilates were just not for me. Now I’m taking spin classes every second day and I love it! Makes me feel strong, focussed and in-control.”

Bec, mother of 3


I love to go for a hike up a really steep tall mountain armed with a spray jacket and an iPod. The trip back down is wet and exhilarating.”

Rainey, mum of 2.

4. “It makes me more creative.”

Cate, a mum of 3, says on her blog that she consciously distracts her analytical mind (which tells her not to exercise) and uses the time spent exercising to think about creative and useful things.

I like to use the time to plan creative things – like my blog posts, craft projects, even rearranging the furniture in the playroom.”


5. “I’m determined to be healthy for my kids.”

“A while back I underwent numerous rounds of major surgery and had a glaring insight into what it might be like for me – and my family – should I have ongoing health issues. So joining the gym was about investing in my health for the sake of my family.”

Kelly, mother of 5


6. “It’s my chance to let it rip!”

Lisa, a softly spoken mother of 2 is bonkers for her tri-weekly boxing class.

“Being a mum to a couple of strong-willed little girls requires a lot of self-control.

I love going to my boxing class and punching the crap out of that bag.

All my frustrations get released.”


7. “Paying someone keeps me going.”

“I scheduled in a couple of sessions with a personal trainer, and joined a mummy exercise boot camp. Committing to this financially was enough to get me going, and I haven’t looked back.”

Kylie, mother of 2


8. “It’s a great girlie catch-up.”

“I teamed up with a girl friend, and we go for power-walks together. There is no way we’d get that uninterrupted time to chat with each other if the kids were around, and I always feel better after a bit of a good girlie-chat.”

Zoe, mother of 4

9. “I’m vain, and want to be hot!”

Jane, my buddy with a wicked sense of humour, made me laugh with her honesty.

“I feel better about myself at a certain weight, and it gives me more options of what to wear.

Whenever I’m doing those painful squats at the gym I just keep telling myself I’ll be able to look hot wearing short shorts in the playground!”


Want more ideas on how to get moving now you’re a mum?

What motivates you to exercise?

  • Excersising makes me feel more energetic and also more calm. I find when I haven’t excersised I’mquick to snap so I do it for my kids, so I have the patience for them! 

    • Me too tattoomummy. Makes a huge difference. x

  • Shared on twitter @tattoomummy and facebook Jessica McGinty

  • At the moment my motivation is to make sure I stay fitter than my students!
    And I shared the comp on twitter!!

    • Thanks Cate. And thanks for the great tip in the post. Love it. And I use it. x

  • Tat

    Running gives me the time and space to think (or just to listen to my audio book)

    • That’s a great idea to break up the monotony / multi-task : audio books. Good one Tat.

  • Ash Mack

    My dog motivates me. I have to walk her twice a day otherwise she will rip the house apart!  She drags me  very fast around the block so it’s a great workout!!  I have shared in my status on facebook under Ash Mack and am already a subscriber to your newsletter. Thanks for  a brilliant giveaway.  

  • I want to lose weight so I can wear nice clothes. I might be actually able to add some colour to wardrobe, instead of the usual black outfits.
    Shared on Twitter username @ShinyGlitter Bug. Tweet is here

    • Am hearing you Di. It’s always great for it to be easier to fit into the clothes we want to wear. 

  • The feeling when I finish a good session at the gym, always motivates me to go again.  I also don’t have a huge amount of time to myself, so an hour a morning to myself lets me gather my thoughts and have some quiet time in my own head! 

    • Nothing, just NOTHING like that feeling post-workout! 
      Thanks for sharing Planning Queen. x

  • I tweeted it too!

  • Danniibeauty

    My motivation to exercise comes when I start feeling tired all the time. It gives me a push to start exercising again and stick with it because I want to feel my best.

    • Dannibeauty, it’s amazing the impact exercising can have isn’t it?! Thanks for sharing your tip. x

  • Neeks

    It is simple what motivates me…
    Not only do i want to be a ‘yummy mummy’ but i want to kick butt at everything. I want to live life for the best. I want to look hot in those pair of skinny jeans. I want to walk down the street with my head held high, and think ‘yea i’ve had 4 kids, but i rock!’ AND I WANT TO DO ALL THIS FOR MY KIDS THEY ARE MY MOTIVATION I WANT THEM TO BE PROUD TO CALL ME THEIR MOTHER!

    • Neeks! Love it! And I’ll bet your kids are proud too. x

  • Mandachic84

    My children motivate me. Knowing that they look up to me I try to encourage a healthy lifestyle, I also want to be fit to be active in their life, to run and play, enjoying every minute of every day!

    • You sound like an awesome mum Mandachic84 !

  • Mandachic84

    tweeted @mandachic:twitter 

  • I think the telling thing happening to me at the moment is how grumpy and sad and tired I am feeling. I have no patience and actually feel quite depressed. What has changed? I haven’t run since last Monday due to a head cold/migraine/injured adductor muscle. Sigh. That alone is my motivation…. when I exercise I feel powerful, happy, inspired. When I don’t I feel miserable…..

    • Oh am hearing you Sarah! I twisted my ankle 6 weeks ago and had to keep off it. Not exercising for that long has made such an impact mentally. You’ll get there babe. x

  • Katie Issaquah

    Keeping my mood balanced takes exercise. Getting the alone time to hike, bike or swim allows me to keep it all in balance.

    • It’s amazing the impact exercise has on our moods. Well done for being so in tune with your body! 

  • retweeted @supersarahwhite:twitter 

  • Katie Issaquah
  • My children are enrolled into a private school starting next year- so there are no excuses for me being a ‘slummy mummy’ anymore 😀

    • Ba ha ha! Knock ’em dead Samantha. x

  • I’ve tweeted as @samclairebear fingers crossed!

  • Christy on GC

    The increase in energy and positive mood that comes with regular exercise gets me up and at my awesome stroller based fitness class.

    • Love those endorphins! 

  • I am the first to admit I loath exercise and push it far down the priority scale. The wake up call for me was that even though I am a good weight and BMI, I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure – so joined a gym under Dr orders! A voucher would be SO handy as the gym gear I’ve got to wear makes me feel anything but fab…

    • Fingers crossed! I must admit, I invested in new gear when I knew I could commit to going to the gym and it really does make a difference. 

  • I’ve also tweeted this cool comp via @NappyDaze xx

  • Dtriece

    The love of my live, a retired teacher & coach, motivates me to work out….and it really takes a coach to push me sometimes.

    • Oh lucky you to have a live in coach! 

  • Done on FB as http://www.facebook.com/pages/WHOA-MUMMA/334881903040 and @WhoaMumma:disqus .
    I love motivation number 2 – I run to get away from my kids!  I have 4 kids (with one on the way) so that’s my motivation right there!!!  30 minutes peace and quiet is worth a little sweat.

    • I’m with you on that – and I only have 2!

  • I love to jump on my treadmill with the music pumping but most mornings its in my Pj’s I would love some new gym clothing my 2 little kiddies are my motivation 

    • Hey Karen, that’s a cute visual! 

  • I shared on twitter @kazedwards23:twitter 

  • Bushbelles

    As a mum of 4 purely and simply its my time.  I put my headphones in, get a great song and run.  While I run I imagine what I want my life to look like.  When I get back I am calm, focussed and inspired.  I try to do this once a day and I even though I am not a good runner I feel fabulous after it.  The kids know that its my thing and encourage me when I dont feel like it.  I shared on Facebook and my blog http://bushbelles.blogspot.com/

    • Bushbelles, that tip is a great one ‘imagine what I want my life to look like’ I’ll be trying that one too. Thanks !

  • helenkeeler

    What motivates you to exercise is my family. They want me to be healthy and live longer.
    [email protected]

    • Your family sounds gorgeous . x

  • gilly

    lots of motivations. Mainly a well deserved escape from 3 tiddlypeeps but also…
     If I time it well then I can escape the dinner/bathtime craziness,  I get to watch Masterchef in peace at the gym, It means my glass of wine and piece/bar of chocolate come almost guilt free, It means I only have one roll of mummy tummy to tuck into my skinny jeans and just one hour away from munchkin land means bigger kisses and cuddles when you come home again!  Shared on FB as gilliankennedy

    • Love this – never occurred to me to time the gym visit with a fav TV show. Might give that a go myself! Thanks x

  • Detachable Princess

    I’ve facebooked under Jacqui Freiberg, and tweeted as detachprincess. Basically, I need to get off my ass and go for it. I need to be able to keep up with LittleDude and a newly mobile AJ. Ideally, I need to lose about 15 kilos, but I would be happy with 8.

    What I have found works for us, though, is that there are about 6 different parks near our house. I pack the stroller with snacks and drinks for the boys, and we take off and visit each park in turn. I get exercise pushing the double stroller, and the boys get to go on many different swings, slides and spinning poles. win/win!

    • Sounds like you have a great plan underway Jacqui. Well done! 

  • My son keeps me motivated!


    selinda_mccumbers at yahoo.com

  • jennifer horn

    My children and husband motivate me to stay in shape.I want to be around for them for a long time.

    • Am hearing you Jennifer. Want to see them grow up! 

  • jennifer horn

    tweeted. https://twitter.com/jen_r_horn/status/95471037986254848

  • jennifer horn

    email subscriber

  • Betsy Hoff

    My kids motivate my to stay fit! I want to be around as long as possible to watch them grow into adults and eventually have children of their own!

    • Me too Betsy. Me too. x

  • Betsy Hoff
  • Betsy Hoff

    Signed up for the Newletter 🙂

  • Kendraco22

    the children !!!

    • Me too. Want to be around for a long time for them.

  • Kendraco22

    email subscriber

  • Lauren

    Looking and feeling my best.

  • Elizabeth

    I run a monthly 5k! I hate the thought of having to walk in it.

  • Elizabeth

    I tweeted about the giveaway! @eowens18152:twitter 


  • Elizabeth

    I am an email subscriber.

  • xmd5

    my gf motivates me to exercise.

    • Great to have a partner along to inspire you!

  • xmd5

    I shared on Twitter with my Twitter name xmd5.

  • xmd5

    subscribed to the Fox in Flats weekly newsletter.

  • The wobbly belly is motivation and to be able to wear a really nice fitted dress to dinner.

  • The wobbly belly is motivation and to be able to wear a really nice fitted dress to dinner.

  • Newsletter subscriber

  • Newsletter subscriber

  • Kimbalikes

    I exercise because I spent two years with a chronic illness, unable to do very much at all. My motivation is to be able to keep up with my family x

    Shared on Facebook as Kim-Marie Williams

    • Am hearing you Kimbalikes. I had a few rounds of major surgery and it made me realise how important it is to maintain your health. Hope things are better for you now. x

  • Kimbalikes

    My other motivation is that I like to eat chocolate! 🙂

    Shared on Twitter as @Kimbalikes

    • Ah yes, it all balances out!

  • steven

    I like to exercise to be with my wife.  we do it together.

  • Alyssa Dannettel

    I get motivated to work out when I feel sick and tired.  I know that doesn’t make any sense, but if I’m tired I know that exercising will wake me up and get me goin.

  • Alyssa Dannettel

    Subscribed to FoxInFlats Newsletter!!

  • Nicole Howath

    My 3 year old for sure! He keeps me on my feet! 

  • Barbara

    By watching The Biggest Loser

  • Barbara
  • LaurenS

    My sanity motivates me to exercise.

  • Vee

    Feeling better with my more relaxed heartbeat motivates me to exercise.

  • Eaglesforjack

    My kids and my health, I have more energy and am a much happier person. [email protected]

  • Eaglesforjack

    My kids and my health, I have more energy and am a much happier person. [email protected]

  • Eaglesforjack

    My kids and my health, I have more energy and am a much happier person. [email protected]

  • Eaglesforjack
  • Elizabeth Davey

    what motiates me to exercise is the numbers going down on the scale

    shared on twitter as bessydavey

  • Jen N.

    Other people exercising with my- group fitness is the way to go for me!

  • Jen N.

    I subscribed via email 🙂

  • Jen N.
  • Pingback: Fox In Flats | 5 ways to find time to exercise when you’re flat out with the kids – and one of them might shock you! | Navigating Motherhood in Style.()

  • Ray

    I go to a pump class every Monday irrelevant of the weather how tired I am or how sick or grumpy my kids are it has become my routine. I also use my 2 year old  as a squat weight when she wants to be carried everywhere….. Oh lovely muscles keep me motivated

  • Natalie U.

    skinny girls in cute summer dresses and going on beach trips motivate me

  • Natalie U.

    subscribe to your newsletter

  • Katherine G

    I make sure I have at least one thing scheduled a month that I have to look good for – that way there is no excuse to not go.

  • Pingback: Fox In Flats | Confession Time: Reasons I didn’t exercise this week | Navigating Motherhood in Style.()

  • Sheather703

    My mom motivates me =) She is my walking buddy.

    sheather703 at aol dot com



  • Sylvieanddudes

    The two pairs of pants that I cannot wear keep me motivated.  I keep them hanging on the outside of my closet so I see them everyday and I never forget.

  • Stacy T

    Showing my children that an active lifestyle is important to me motivates me. Hopefully my example will encourage them to be active as well. 

  • Felicia Sprincenatu


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  • rosemary


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