Being a full-time mom isn’t easy, and being a fit full-time mom is even harder. Chances are you’ve tried and failed to establish some kind of a workout schedule for yourself, but time isn’t what it was before you became a mother, and that’s okay. To help make it a little easier for you, here are some great ideas for working out when you have a toddler running around the house:
Dance to Workout Music
The best way to sneak in a workout on a busy day is to disguise it as play time — and what better way to do that than through dancing? Your toddler will have a ton of fun and you get to burn calories! According to Live Strong, you only need to allot 20 minutes a day for this fun activity to start seeing some results. So pick out a fun workout playlist, get in some yoga pants, and get ready to exercise the day or night away with your charming dance partner.
Try to Strollercise
Yep, strollercising is exactly what it sounds like, and moms across the country love it. It’s arguably the simplest exercise out there for new mothers and is fun to do with a group or a friend. Whether you’re out there brisk walking or jogging, what matters is you get your heart rate up while getting some fresh air. The best part is, you get to take your toddler out for an exciting adventure! If you have more than one child, iCandy points out how double pushchairs can be a godsend for exercising with more than one small child, as this lets you have your kids sit in front of one another and provides them lots of space to enjoy your stroll. Be sure to choose a sturdy pushchair that you can easily convert to a single unit when needed. You can usually find local strollercising groups in your area through searching Facebook.
Bike and Run
Biking is a great way for your little one to keep up with you on a run, and get more practice for their bike riding skills. If they are still a little wobbly and on training wheels, you’ll be right there next to them for support. Once they graduate to just two wheels you’re guaranteed to meet your cardio goals and then some. If you want to up the workout, challenge them to a race around the block. No toddler can resist a good bike race.
Play Tag in the Park
This one’s another great way to get you sweating — playing tag in the park or in the yard is a great cardio workout. Bonus points if you have a pet to run around with or other kids in the neighborhood you can invite to play. You’ll definitely end up having a great bonding experience and a satisfying workout. Before you know it, your toddler will be asking to do it again!
This idea is perfect for those hot summers when you’re stuck feeling lazy at home. Swimming is a relaxing exercise that’s easy on the joints and enjoyable for kids. Additionally, every toddler needs to learn how to swim, so you’re killing two birds with one stone. Former Olympian Rowdy Gaines explains that teaching your kids how to swim can lead to a lifetime of fitness, as it normalizes physical activity for them at a young age.
Dedicate 10 Minutes
It can be discouraging to miss a workout, and it’s far too easy to spiral into inactivity because of how tiring being a mom can be. No one can blame you — it’s difficult to make time for that half-hour routine you used to follow daily. The good news is – you don’t have to! By setting realistic goals for yourself and being disciplined about following through, you can soon carve out smaller blocks of 10 minutes twice or even three times a day for exercise. After all, you know you could spend that 20 minutes of freedom while your child watches PAW Patrol better, and you should definitely push yourself too.
If you want to get back into shape or simply inject some physical activity (that doesn’t involve chasing your kids or cleaning up after them around the house) into your life, try the ideas above. You’ll find that the few minutes you spend exercising will boost your mood and your self-confidence, making you a better mom and role model for your little one.
Vanessa Anne Olson is a California-based writer and full-time mom who loves dedicating her time to helping other families raise their kids. She enjoys writing guides about how moms can stay physically and mentally healthy by drawing inspiration from her own everyday experiences. When she’s not writing and taking care of her child, you’ll find Vanessa in her local park practicing calisthenics or yoga.