How to Workout (When You’re Tired AF)

So you desperately want to to workout, but you just don’t know how to workout when you’re tired (especially THIS tired). There are lots of easy, simple ways to find the motivation to exercise when you’re tired- including a bunch of fun workouts for tired moms. Read on for our list of (almost!) fool-proof ideas.

You want to get your fitness routine as a mom sorted out. And you’re trying SO HARD. You’re eating all the right things, you’re drinking water, you’re resisting the snacks.

But you find yourself wondering how to work out when you’re tired AF. (And let’s face it- mamas are almost always EXHAUSTED.)

Sometimes finding the right workout for tired moms is so.dang.hard. So how do you form a habit when your body- and your brain!- is begging you not to make it DO THE EXERCISE?

We’ve got some fantastic fitness tips for moms to help you find the motivation to exercise, even when you’re tired AF.

Struggling to find your fitness routine as a busy mom? We've got tips to help motivate yourself to take CARE of yourself at

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1. Make it the First Thing You Do Every Day

If you get up early and start the day with exercise, it is MUCH harder to avoid. Are you gonna hit the snooze button sometimes? Or sleep through the alarm? Of course. But even if you only get out of bed in time to get it done a few times a week, that’s a very healthy start!

tired mom working out

Go for a quick run around the block, hit the gym, or pop a workout DVD on the TV. Hit it hard, and get it over with before you chicken out.

2. Make a Date with a Friend

It is WAY easier to shrug off a plan you only made internally. But when someone else is counting on you to take a walk, or a Zumba class, or to hit the treadmill together? You’re much more likely to take the extra effort to get it accomplished.

two tired moms working out

Related Post: Why You Need a MomSquad

3. Use Rewards to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Create a fitness or health challenge with your friends, pay yourself a $1 for every workout, or join a program like Step Bet.

You are more likely to stick with your goals if you are motivated to achieve them. So think of what motivates you, and put a system in place to make it happen.

4. Make a Killer Playlist

I have playlists for all my different moods- Lazy Workout, Angry Workout, “Show the Haters” Workout, Strong Woman Workout.  It helps to have music to fit my mood and my pacing, so my workout starts to feel like a therapy session.

5. Get the Right Supplies

If you’re going to workout, you’re gonna need the right supplies to keep you physically comfortable. Like this sports bra that actually works, or a headband to keep the sweat out of your eyes. Make sure your shoes fit you well and are appropriate for the type of workout you’re planning.


Get a cool water cup and put your name on it with vinyl, or some gym pants that say “Goal Digger” if that’s your thing.  I’m not saying to spend a fortune, but if you have the right supplies, it’ll make your workout that much more bearable fun.

6. Be Kind to Yourself

I like to repeat “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this” in my head during particularly difficult portions of a workout. Oh who am I kidding…more often than not I’m the fool saying it aloud. 

But I talk to myself about how strong I am, and how capable, and how I’m killing it, and it gives me the extra push I need.

Related Post: More Than “Just” a Mom

7. Lie to Yourself

I like to tell myself that I’ll go to the gym,  and tell myself I’ll just walk for a couple minutes and then sit in the lobby. And then when my few minutes are up, I tell myself “well, I’ll go at an incline but I’m NOT gonna go fast.”

Sometimes I tell myself that I’ll just go walk leisurely on the treadmill while I read. And sometimes that does happen.

book on a treadmill

But other times, once I get there, I find that I’m not as tired as I thought. Before I know it, I’m finishing up a run. Even if I only get in a stroll instead of a full workout, it’s better than I would have done if I hadn’t gone, so I count it as a win.

8. At Home Workouts for Tired Moms

Are you too exhausted to take the extra step to haul yourself to gym? Or is a gym membership out of your budget? Luckily, there are tons of great workouts that can be done at home.

If you’re a workout video kind of person, check out this amazing set of at home workout DVDs from FeFit. They are quick, effective workouts that are easy to workout into your day, while your kids are napping or even after they go to bed at night. I use them personally, and they never fail to kick me into gear.

Need a little motivation to workout? Check out these tips from on how to workout as a busy mom.

Another way I sneak in a workout is by walking or running my daughter to school in the mornings. When the weather permits, I throw the kids in the double stroller and jog them over to the school, which is about a mile away. I try to do this even when I’m running late…it’s that much more motivation to run a little faster.

9. Put Your Workouts In Your Calendar

Whether you’re really into Bullet Journals or you’re just a fan of Google Calendars, you can schedule in workouts for the week or month. I get a lot of satisfaction from checking off those boxes, and do NOT like to leave an item undone.

exercise tracker in bullet journal

By writing it down, it reminds me of my priorities and keeps me accountable for my goals.

Related Post: Bullet Journaling in a Passion Planner

10. Remind Yourself How Strong You Are

When the going gets tough, I remind myself that I had two babies without epidurals. I mean, if I can do that for FOURTEEN HOURS, I think I can handle twenty minutes worth of discomfort.  Think of your strongest moment, and remind yourself that you can do anything.


There’s our ten best tips for how to workout when you’re a tired mom, but we want to hear YOUR tips in the comments. What helps you find motivation to exercise when you’re exhausted?

Looking for more ideas on how to get yourself on a healthier path? Check out these posts-

Looking for workout motivation? Try these ten tips to help you get a workout in (even when you REALLY don't want to) from
Looking for workout motivation? Try these ten tips to help you get a workout in (even when you REALLY don't want to) from

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14 thoughts on “How to Workout (When You’re Tired AF)”

  1. Glad to hear I am not the only one who needs motivation to work out. I like your idea about reminding yourself how strong you are that is way more motivating then the think of yourself in a tank top stuff I hear at my kickboxing class.

  2. Sleep in my sports bra. If I have to take off a non sweaty sports bra I feel super guilty, so basically I’m lazy shaming myself. It works.

  3. I love this. It’s so true that if I don’t make it the first thing I do in the morning, I will find a million and a half excuses NOT to do it.

  4. My wife and I are trying to get into shape this year, so thanks for the tips on motivating ourselves. I like your point about creating an incentive if you stick to your goals. We’ll have to make up some kind of financial and food reward for if we hit our goals. Thanks for sharing.

    • My husband and I came up with an elaborate points system- workouts, fruits and veggies, water intake, etc- and the winner each week would get $10. We are SUPER competitive, so it worked for us!

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