It’s bad enough that you didn’t heed a very common piece of advice for the mother-to-be and spectacularly failed to prevent excess pregnancy weight gain; now, your children won’t even make exercise possible. Either their needs and demands preclude any opportunity to exercise, or they simply won’t allow it, deeming it one of the things that warrant a tantrum.
Exercising with little kids around may seem like, well, an exercise in futility, but it’s very much possible. It all goes back to that tired cliché about finding a way when there’s a will. As it happens, will is the operative word. You must be resolved. You must be committed. Otherwise, you’d easily throw your hands up in frustration and defeat.
Compelling Reasons to Persist
What would motivate you to give exercising a solid effort? In your mind, you know all the benefits of exercise, but in the face of a steep uphill climb, it’s easy to just let them sink to the bottom of your priority list.
Here are the reasons why you should bother and overcome the challenges of exercising.
- With its toning and contouring effects, you will look better.
- With amped up energy levels and increased happy hormones, you will feel better.
- With improved strength and flexibility, you will move better.
- With all the positive effects on your body parts and organs, your health will generally be better.
- With improved physical fitness, you can do your multiple roles, including being a parent, better.
- With demonstration of healthy habits, you become a better role model.
Exercise obviously makes everything about you better, so you should definitely go through the trouble.
Ways to Exercise with Toddlers
Once you’ve mustered sufficient resolve and commitment, you can then start trying out the following ways to work out with toddlers.
1. Exercise in short bursts.
Forget the 30-minute or hour-long workout. Ten minutes here and there throughout the day also achieve the same effect in helping you lose or maintain weight and tone your muscles.
This is ideal if your strategy is to invite your kids to work out with you. Longer than 10 minutes and they’d lose interest.
2. Do a daily dance hour.
It doesn’t really have to be a complete hour, but it should be a set time so it can be part of their routine. Kids love music and automatically feel an urge to groove and bop to it. Take this chance to work out to music and run.
You’ll be surprised how much movement and cardio your body can get just from doing children’s action songs. You can even learn silly dances that kids are sure to love. Those Internet dance trends like Gangnam Style or the Fortnite dances are funny and tiring.
3. Use a stroller.
Buying a jogging stroller might be worth the expense if you use it a lot. A tandem stroller would definitely serve its purpose really well if you have more than one kid who can’t keep up with your walking or jogging.
Going around the neighborhood is something little kids are sure to enjoy, so they can’t complain about you taking some time to go for a jog or brisk walk as long as they get to go with you.
4. Let them be your training coach.
It will be pretend play for them, but it will be a real workout for you. Watch a training scene with them, and then tell them that they get to be the trainer and you have to do as they say. It’s like a more intense “Simon Says.” When they say “give me a lap,” you have to run around the room. When they say “drop and give me 10,” you have to do 10 pushups.
5. Let them be your workout equipment.
Your kids can take the place of kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells. You can bench press, do bicep curls or goblet squats, etc. using your kids as weights. They’ll love it. Just make sure that you can actually manage their weight.
No More Excuses
Exercising with toddlers is clearly very much possible. If you have to ease into a formal workout routine, start with just playing with them. Playing tag, having tickle fights, wrestling with them — these all burn a lot of calories.
You might have already started without realizing it, so just put everything in a system to better keep track.