From busy professionals to do-it-all moms, these women share their go-strategies and simple hacks for getting a sweat session in no matter what

By Sophia Melissa Caraballo
January 12, 2019
Photo: Punnarong Lotulit /

Your day likely starts off pretty early-whether you're a stay-at-home mom, a doctor, or a teacher-and that means it probably doesn't end until all your tasks are done for the day. You need time to eat all your meals, sleep eight hours, work, pick up the kids from school, maybe get some laundry done, and hopefully, you know, relax at some point at the end of all that. But where do your workouts fit in? After all taking care of yourself by exercising is a form of self-care-something many people find therapeutic. If you're thinking, yes, sure, I'd love to work out more, but there aren't enough hours in the day to do ~everything~ you want to do, listen up.

We polled our Goal Crushers-the badass women from our SHAPE Goal Crushers Facebook group-to find out how they balance their work, social, and family life while also making sure they always get their workout in. Steal their strategies (and join the group!) to keep your fitness motivation high.

"I make exercise part of my social life."-Megan Muñoz, 27

"I make exercise part of my social life. When I know I need to see and catch up with friends, instead of going to happy hour or dinner right after work, I'll suggest a fitness class like Core Power or SoulCycle."

"I chose a gym near my home to cut out travel-time excuses."-Amal Chaaban, 44

"1. Write it in my day planner (I use a paper planner, not my phone because I ignore my phone). By doing this, I have effectively scheduled my time and now that time is booked up, so it can't be moved unless absolutely necessary. 2. My gym is right on my way home-I can't miss it, and it's only four blocks from my house. I chose a gym near my home to cut out travel-time excuses and I work out on my way home from work. Really simplistic, I know, but it works for me."

"The key is to not sit down."-Monique Masson, 38

"I meal prep on Sundays, which helps a lot. As a teacher, I can be home for my kids to help with homework and supper. Once they are ready for bed, I hit the gym. Having a great husband makes the task much easier. In order to have a social life, it's scheduled in. I have a group of friends that make it a point to meet up once a month. I try to be present and enjoy the small things. When the quiet hits before bed, I take a big breath and reflect on all the good in my day."

"I change into my workout clothes as soon as I get home from work."-Rachel Rebekah Unger, 27

"I change into my workout leggings as soon as I get home. That sets me in motion to go upstairs to my workout room even if it's the last thing I feel like doing. I have all my dumbbells set out and my speaker system ready to go to play my favorite tunes on Spotify. My cat, Willy, will usually join in on the fun and slink under me as I do my planks. It's added motivation when he wants to spend his time 'working out' with me. On nice-weather days, I like to take the dog on vigorous walks or squeeze in an hour-long bike ride with the earbuds in. I make it fit into the routine and it becomes my routine!" (Related: Homemade Weights That Will Enhance Your Workout on a Budget)

"I found a CrossFit gym that lets me bring my kid."-Anastasia Austin, 35

"She's allowed to play before and after class on the rings and ropes and everyone interacts with her there. So she enjoys going just as much as I do and I don't feel guilty for more time apart in childcare. I go right when we get home from work. We change, get a snack, and go. I don't sit down or I'm not getting back up and going! As for a social life, it slimmed down a little but it makes me prioritize what I really want to do and I've found like-minded friends who make exercise a priority in their life too. I've made friends at my new gym and get to socialize with them during the workouts as well." (These fit moms share the ways they squeeze in a workout every day.)

"Entering in fitness challenges and events motivates me and keeps me engaged!"-Kimberly Weston Fitch, 46

"Making time to exercise is probably one of the most difficult things to do. I have a two-hour commute and work 8+ hours days and I have an autoimmune/anti-inflammatory disease that causes joint/bone pain. But movement is medicine, and it's not an option to not do it. I get up at 5:30 a.m. to ensure that I get my workout in either at home or at my gym, which is just down the street. My husband and I are active on Saturdays and our pups are amazing walking partners! Entering in fitness challenges and events also motivates me and keeps me engaged!" (Hear how these women wake up at 4 a.m. to work out.)

"I go to the gym at lunch to get my cardio in."-Cathy Piseno, 48

"I go to the gym at lunch to get my cardio in, and then do either strength or classes after work," she continues. "My kids are older so I'm able to make that time for myself. Meal prepping on Sundays helps a lot. I prep and cut all I can to make the weekday meals easier to prepare...It's a very busy life but I feel good to get my workouts in and manage everything else including work."

"I think about my goals and how I want to look and feel."-Jaimie Pott, 40

"It is not always easy. Actually finding time (and sometimes the desire) to work out can be difficult at times. I think about my goals and how I want to look/feel often as a way to motivate myself. I try to put my workouts in my calendar because I live by it. I stopped dieting-I just try to eat healthy foods and in better proportions. I stopped believing in quick fixes and fads because they don't work for me. I also use MyFitnessPal and my Fitbit for accountability to myself. Most of all, if I need a night to be lazy, I do it and don't feel guilty about it. I am a work in progress."