If you feel so tired you can't think, yet guilty about all the exercise videos you're not doing, then read on. Here are a few of my exercise tips on how exhausted moms can still work out.

By Jessica Smartt, Contributing Writer

Before I start writing this post where I tell you I haven’t worked out in 18 months, first let me defend myself. I used to run marathons. Okay … half marathons. I ran half marathons.

I used to go to the gym daily. And sweat. And lift weights. And have biceps. Are you impressed with Former Me yet? Good. I’ll stop.

Needless to say, all this energy and fitness disappeared about the time my milk came in six years ago. If you are one of those super-moms who is still waking up to feed a baby three times a night and then getting up to do Zumba at 5:30 every day, then you may want to stop reading. This post might be a bit elementary for you.

But if you, too, feel so tired you can’t think, yet you simultaneously feel guilty about all the exercise videos you’re not doing, then read on. Here are a few of my exercise tips on how exhausted moms can still work out.

  • Tip number one is very important. Make adjusted, reasonable goals. For me, I am humbly telling you that my goal is to exercise four times a week for twenty minutes. This is such a pathetically simple goal it’s almost not worth making. Almost. Yet it is worth making, because it is a habit, and it is a thousand times better than no workouts. It’s a start to habitual, healthy living.
  • Re-evaluate the type of workout you can do. Especially if you were formerly a fit person, your past ideas of exercise might be harming vs. helping you. You may not have the time or energy for an hour of sweat yoga in a gym, or five mile runs through the park. There’s nothing shameful about a walk around the neighborhood or a twenty minute free yoga video on YouTube. It’s something. My personal favorite is Fit2Be, which I reviewed here.
  • Utilize energy-boosting tactics. I list a few of my favorites here.
  • Take your vitamins. Often in stressful seasons, a mom’s healthy living gets pushed to the back burner. This is much to the detriment of the whole family. I have to make myself take my vitaminsthese days, even if things are chaotic. I recently saw a huge improvement in my energy levels simply by adding a good-sized dose of Vitamin D during the dark winter months.
  • Name and claim your “why.” Though this might sound trite and cliche, it really can be helpful. Write “why” you want to exercise and tape it to the fridge. Whatever that good reason is in the depth of your soul, remind yourself daily. In my most recent season, I found a lot of encouragement by taping this verse to the fridge.
  • Find a partner to hold you accountable.  Husbands are particularly helpful for this! Or,  join my 40-Day Exercise Challenge For Moms. It starts next week!

Do you exercise during all stages of life? What exercise tips do you have for working out through fatigue?

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