“Would you exercise, exercise, each and every day? If the doctor said it was good for my heart, you betcha! Right away!”
~The Tinman

We all understand the importance of working out, we don’t always do it. We are busy single moms, we are tired, we don't have time, and sometimes we just don’t know what to do.

In America, working out is all wrapped up with our serious body issues. So often we have the perception that we need to workout to be skinny. Skinny becomes our goal. We need to move our thinking. Our goal needs to be healthy. Healthy is an easier goal, and allows us to focus on our lives overall, and less on our pants size. Healthy will give us a long and comfortable life.

We owe it to ourselves and our children to be as healthy as we can possibly be, and to serve as good role models for them. Raising kids takes an enormous amount of energy. Both body and mind must be strong enough for the task.

So what do you do?

I have struggled with weight my whole life, and I have learned quite a bit about what I find works. You must remember that you are developing an approach for the entire rest of your life, not just an approach to get rid of twenty pounds and return to business as usual.


You must know what body movement you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy the exercise, it will actually cause you stress because you are dreading it, and you will come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid doing it. Everyone has something they are willing to do that counts as movement. At the very least, you know what you are not willing to do. I don’t like to run. It’s just not my thing. Does that mean I am doomed to be unfit? Of course not. It means I need to find other activities to increase my heart rate, burn calories, and use my muscles.

You must understand your current barriers to exercise. If you don’t know what is preventing you from getting moving…you won’t know how to fix it. Is it time? Is it interest or motivation? Don’t know where to start? I have sooooo been there. Hang on...there’s hope!

At the time of my 25 year high school reunion (yeah…I said 25) I was about 60 pounds overweight. In fact, I weighed more than I weighed when I went into labor for 2 of my kids!! What had happened?

I was exhausted, had gone through a devastating break up, and was in a job that had very little work for me to do and required very little of my brain. I ate to fight the boredom, had no energy, and the worst part of the whole thing was…I didn’t notice a thing. By the time I figured it out, I was pretty large.

You look like a marshmallow.~My Mom

Yep…I did. Big, white, and pretty darn fluffy. Now what? I had to make some changes.


Big, fast changes don’t tend to stick.~Sara

We all want to be that miracle story. ”I dropped 500 pounds in 20 minutes!” Ha! Cold Turkey is rarely an effective approach. Both body and mind need time to adjust, to part from the old ways and learn the new ones. When you address the process, step by step, that adjustment time is far less painful!


Ok…now get moving. Pick something aerobic. Walk, dance, bike, bounce on a trampoline, stair climb, elipt, jump rope, spin, zumba, swim take an aerobics class. Do what you can, at least every other day. Any movement you do today, that you didn’t do yesterday…is an improvement! Good for you!! You are not going to crank out hours or miles of aerobic work in your first days, or maybe even weeks. Do what you can, and celebrate what you’ve done. In a day or two…do it again. Keep going. It will get easier, and you will do more. When you work up a sweat you release toxins, you release stress, and you know you are heating up and burning fat.

(There are tips for getting the kids moving at the bottom of this page.)



Time is a huge barrier for the busy single mom. You can approach the time issue in several different ways, and you will likely need to mix up your approach throughout the week depending on your schedule.

Here are some approaches to try. Walk, run, do the stairs on your lunch break. Walk the kids to school, walk back home. Get up half an hour early to do your workout. Exercise when your kids are doing something else. I used to go to the gym when my kids had soccer practice. Now, I typically ride my bike during that time. Workout during homework time, or after they go to bed. DVDs are fabulous for working exercise into your rountine. You can do them whenever you want!

OR, workout with the kids. Ride bikes together or put them in a carrier, same thing for running. Swim while they take swim lessons. Hike, canoe, play soccer, tennis, roller blade, etc. Turn on the radio and dance in the living room. Jump on the trampoline or jump rope. Race up and down the street. Do yoga. Help them to develop the habit of exercise, and you will give them the gift of good health for their entire lives. Who doesn’t want that?

Spend time thinking about how you like to exercise, do a little research, talk to your doctor, and get yourself moving!

Check out some some quick family workout suggestions here!

Love basketball but need some tips? Check out free, simple, and effective skills, drills, and drills for helping your kids shoot the hoops, or even to coach youth basketball!

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