Kayla Itsines has three rules when it comes to working out as a mother

Morgan Fargo
Photo credit: Steve Baccon

From Harper's BAZAAR

Championing the home workout lifestyle since 2013, Kayla Itsines has been helping women become fitter, stronger and more confident in themselves through her guides and online community.

The 29-year-old, who welcomed her first child last year, firmly believes that a good sweat at home can be all you need to see some serious fitness gains without going to the gym.

However, when you're a parent, finding a sliver of time just for you can be a hard ask – particularly amidst a global pandemic – something she's crucially aware of.

"What people have been doing [in self-isolation]... is amazing," she says. "These Google hangouts and Zoom where people are working out together as a community and still holding themselves accountable – but digitally – I think, is incredible, but, I'd be lying if I said working out from home is easy."

So, to make getting your fitness fix that little bit easier, Itsines has shared her top three tips for getting an effective workout in at home:

1. Create a dedicated space for exercise

"Try to make sure you have a space that's dedicated as your area," Itsines says, adding that making children aware that this is your space is very important. "Saying, 'This is mummy's workout area, this is where she works out' – and making sure they know that means no touching. Keep your water bottle and headphones [in that area] so you're ready to work out whenever."

Photo credit: Victoria's Secret

2. Schedule workouts

One way to create more of a routine and expectation from your children that you're going to work out is by scheduling it in regularly.

"Book it in as a routine and get them to join," says Itsines. "Try saying, 'Mummy's going to workout at 1pm, do you want to join in or not?' Kids love workouts like BBG [Itsines' 12-week HIIT workout plan] and the burpees and the push-ups are a great workout to get them tired before bed."

If they're smaller, Itsines suggests having some colouring or an activity to occupy them ready for them to do while you exercise.

3. Don't get hung up on kit or clothes

Before the coronavirus pandemic, packing up you, your children and heading out to work/school/the gym would have been a feat itself – with commutes totalling anywhere from 30 mins to four hours per day. Now with most people in self-isolation, the commute time from work to workout has been cut down exponentially, as has the need to wear your best kit to get a sweat on.

Itsines advises people to fit it in where they can – and if that means 20 minutes first thing in the morning with your pyjamas on, so be it.

"People at home, now, in their pyjamas with their sneakers on, have 28 minutes," she says. "And I think that’s awesome."

But, and this is crucial, Itsines knows working out from home isn't ever 'easy'. It's a balancing act between the different hats we wear as caregiver, worker, partner and person.

"I'd be lying if I said working out from home is easy – it's extremely difficult. You have to combine being a mother, being a business owner or employer [or employee], cooking and cleaning and when you're working out it's extremely difficult," she says. "This is why I say it's extremely important to set up an area that you know is your switch off time – minimise distractions or include your children and know that you have booked it in... because if you don't, you'll end up doing something else instead."


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