How to Make Time to Exercise During the School Year When Your Busy

Are you struggling to find time to exercise during the school year? With early morning routines, after-school activities, homework, and getting the kids to bed on time, most parents feel like they are worn out before they can even fathom getting a workout in before bedtime. Parents, don’t throw in the towel just yet, we have a bunch of ideas to share with you so that you can continue your exercise routine despite the busyness that comes with having children especially if they play sports. We have come up with 6 ways busy parents can make time to exercise during the school year.

Exercise equipment at the gym

Get Up Early

As a parent, I know this can be easier said than done especially if you are heading to bed late. But give it a try and see if it works for you before throwing this idea out the window. Simply set your alarm clock and get up an hour earlier than your usual time 2 or 3 times a week. Aim to get in at least a 30-minute workout before getting the kids up and ready to go to school.

Use Your Lunch Break to Your Advantage

We have mentioned this idea previously in another article but we think it is also worth adding here too. If you are given an hour’s lunch break at work, you are likely spending a crazy amount of money on unhealthy food from the drive-thru or possibly even wasting time waiting to return to work. Next time you find idle time on your lunch break, why not go for a walk, try this 15-minute stair workout, or start a HIIT bodyweight exercise challenge?

But what about going back to work all sweaty and gross? Don’t worry we shared a post on how to freshen up without a shower so that you don’t have to worry about being stinky after your workout. This is a great opportunity to exercise during the school year.

Exercise During Your Child’s Practice

Instead of sitting on the sideline watching your child practice, get up and take advantage of your free time. Simply look around and see what you have around you that you can use to your advantage.

Got bleachers? Use the bleachers as a tool to step up your fitness game.

  • Sprint up and down the bleachers.
  • Do step ups using the first step. Alternate each leg and do 3 sets of 10. If you have dumbbells, you can even use them to strengthen your arms while you work your legs. Simply step up onto the bottom bleacher and follow with your other leg so that you are standing on the first step. Then carefully step back down using the same leg that you started with. Complete three sets of ten on each leg.
  • Perform push-ups using the bleachers. You can use your body weight and lean into the bleachers at an angle. If you are in shape, you can even place your feet on the third step while placing your hands on the ground.
  • Use the bleachers to perform tricep dips.

Use the Track

Depending on where your child practices, often times there is a track or an open area where you can walk or run while your child is practicing. Walking or running while your child practices is a great way to get in 30 minutes or more of exercise while you are waiting until practice is over. You can even ask other parents to join you too. A gym buddy or workout partner can help keep you motivated to work out too.

Who Says Playgrounds are Just for Kids?

Is there a playground where your child’s team holds their team practices? Playgrounds are a great place to work out, especially if you have other children with you at the practice who are itching to play. Use the playground’s equipment to get a full body workout while you are waiting for your child. Check out these playground fitness ideas from The Nerd Fitness. He has a huge list of body weight exercises that you can do while you wait.


Team up with other parents on your child’s team and set up a carpool. Carpooling not only frees up your time but also saves money too. Use the extra time to head to the gym or get a workout in at home before your child gets home.

Divide and Conquer

Ask your spouse to trade off taking your child to practice one day a week. Dividing up will allow both you and your spouse the opportunity to head to the gym on the days that your child practices. The spouse who is responsible for practice duty can use the day as a “rest day” or you can use the suggestions above to get in a light workout while you are waiting is a great way to exercise during the school year.

Use Weekends to Your Advantage

Keeping your kids involved in team sports is an excellent way to keep your kids active and help teach them to live a healthy lifestyle at a young age. But as a parent, running your kids to practice twice a week takes up your entire evening leaving you no time to workout. Even though your kids may have a game on the weekend, plan around your child’s game and focus on your own fitness routine. Working out on the weekends might be a huge sacrifice for you and your family but it gives you the ability to use practice nights as your “rest day”.

Are you struggling to find time to work out now that your kids are back in school? Back to school means early morning routines, after-school activities, homework, and getting the kids to bed on time can be quite challenging. When you throw in team sports or other after-school activities for your kids, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to focus on your workout routine when your evenings are cut short.

Are you struggling to find time to exercise during the school year? Do you have any other tips for busy parents to make time to exercise during the school year especially if they have kids who participate in afterschool activities?

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