When my kids were babies, I stopped exercising altogether. Between taking care of them, housework, hospital work and keeping up with everything else in life, there was never any time for mere exercising.
One day, I realized I was wasting precious opportunities to sneak in workouts into my daily life. There are so many activities you can do with your kids that would burn calories and build stamina.
Adding physical activity into the daily routine can be invigorating for all of you. And help them sleep better. Which is priceless.
I do these activities regularly with my toddlers:
Dancing to The Wiggles
Kids love to dance and its good for their development. Music focusing on movement is a good way to keep children entertained and distracted while dance-exercising.
Claire’s favorite songs are from The Wiggles. She would dance all day if I let her. Admittedly, I love dancing to their songs too. Our shared favorite:
I never thought that Claire would care for yoga, but my 3 year-old loves it! We do a few poses and movements, then do some deep breathing exercises.
With Claire, I do a more active version of yoga with more creativity and flow movement instead of just poses.
On the odd occasion, we stand in front of the TV and follow an exercise video. I’m not such a fan of this one because sometimes the kids stop following the exercises and sit down to watch instead.
Any game that involves moving can be made into a heart-racing exercise that will tire both you and your kids out.
Ball games, hide and seek, scavenger hunts, running up and down the stairs and balancing games can all be modified to be more challenging.
As long as you are all running, jumping, skipping, commando crawling, crab walking or squatting, you’re good.
An obstacle course is a fun way to exercise and learn skills for toddlers. You can create an obstacle course from household objects like boxes, blankets, and chairs.
You can even get them rolling balls or jumping through hoops. This gets your child moving and working on basic motor skills.
Playgrounds can be a great opportunity to exercise with your child. Playgrounds offer a variety of activities that are enjoyable for both parents and kids.
Be aware that some of the equipment may be too small for you. Make sure you know of the playground restrictions in order to avoid penalty or injury.
I usually climb on the monkey bars with Claire or race her around the playground.
Walk the dog or go for a walk as a family. This always tires kids out. The only downside is that their little legs can’t walk very fast or very far and there is a really good chance you will be carrying them home.
I also found I could use daily activities as workouts. I try to be inefficient so I need to walk across the room a dozen times to put their toys back in the box. I park further away so we need to carry our shopping further. I carry Tommy more than he needs to be carried for weight-training. I also spend most of my day standing, on purpose.
Putting your kids to work in the yard is also good exercise. Kids are amazing and clearing leaves and watering the flowers!
Working out during nap time
Of course, if you would rather do some high intensity adult workouts, take the chance when they are napping to get some exercise done. I thought about it and would rather rest and have some ‘mommy time’ while they are asleep.
Why I work out with my toddler
There are so many benefits to working out with your toddlers. The main one for me is that I wouldn’t be working out otherwise. But it’s also:
- a great bonding experience
- sets a great example to your children
- teaches them that fitness is fun, not a chore
- teaches them new skills
To wrap up
Working out with your children can be fun and rewarding, and they’ll learn important life skills along the way!
The main thing to remember is to embrace the chaos because toddlers never follow the program. As long as you’re flexible, you’ll all have fun.
Exercising regularly is an integral part of healthy living so starting your kids young is a great way to set them on the right path.
Exercising while you are in your fasting window can increase ketosis. Read about the minimum fasting length to see benefits from time restricted eating.