Remain Sane During the Holidays: Tips for Keeping Active as a Busy Mom

Guest Blog by Megan Caldwell, owner and lead instructor of FIT4MOM Cedar Mill.

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Trying to find time to exercise while being a mom can be a challenge. Then layer on the holiday season and it may seem near impossible.  As a busy mom of three, I’m right there with you!  I do know that exercise and movement is exactly what I need when life feels extra busy & even chaotic during this time of year.

This season often brings added social events; kids are home from school or daycare is closed, family is in town, or maybe you are traveling.  Rather than look at these as excuses of why NOT to exercise, take this opportunity to get moving now! Here are a few tips to help you overcome these holiday challenges:

  1. Set a goal. 

    The holiday season should be about maintaining.  With added stressors and commitments, it’s not the time to try to venture in something completely new or set major weight loss goals.   Set a simple goal and keep it action oriented so it is easy to track: I will get outside for 10 minutes per day.  I will take the stairs rather than elevator at work.  I will get to a spin class 3x week.  Write it down! Without a goal, it’s hard to take action!

  2. Find a buddy. 

    I’ve met very few women who are self motivated to do it all on their own, all the time.  Start by sharing with your spouse or a friend what your exercise and wellness goals are for this holiday season.  Ask for what you need – maybe it’s meeting up for an early morning run before the rest of the world wakes… or maybe it’s a weekly text to check in to see how you are doing with your goal.  From my experience, my workout buddy needs the accountability just as much as I do!

  3. Schedule exercise in. 

    Just like you’d schedule in your child’s holiday concert, schedule in time for YOU.  Whether it’s a run with a friend, registering ahead of time for a fitness class, or just heading out for a family hike, we’re more likely to complete the task (in this case exercise!) if we’ve blocked time for it.  If you’re shooting to exercise three times per week, schedule in four; you’ll be more likely to hit your goal!

  4. Get active WITH your kids!

    Programs such as those offered by FIT4MOM allow you to bring your kid to workout with you.  We are also in a time where many gyms offer childcare - just don't forget to register them! Schedule a family hike or bike ride.  Plus, whoever said that blasting the music and having a pre-dinner dance party doesn't count towards your daily movement?

Fit4Mom workout


Whether traveling or crunched for time between family visits and holiday events, here is a quick at home workout for you!  Turn up the holiday music, set a timer for 10 minutes and get ready to move!

  • 50 high knees or standing marches

  • 10 Push-ups

  • 20 Speed skaters

  • 10 Hip bridges

  • One-minute plank hold

Repeat the exercises until your timer goes off.  Once complete, be proud. You did it.  Don't forget to breathe, take time for you, and continue to practice grace & gratitude this holiday season. 

Megan Caldwell is the owner and lead instructor of FIT4MOM Cedar Mill, offering all-levels fitness programs and events for moms in all stages of motherhood in NW & NE Portland.   When she’s not playing mom to her three young children, she may be found getting her own workout in by going on a run with girlfriends, taking an early morning spin or barre class, or just taking some deep breaths at home!  To get active alongside other moms, with or without your baby, visit to find classes nearest you!