Many of us mums would love to find the time to exercise more, but when you happen to be the mum of a toddler, there isn’t much time for anything – except chasing behind them!
Finding time to go to the gym can be a hard for mums between busy work schedules and time with the kids. Moreover, toddlers are extremely demanding. They tend to power around the house like a bull in a china shop and need eagle eyed supervision at all times.
So, how can you get that all important workout in while taking care of your supercharged little one? Try killing two birds with one stone and make working out a fun activity you can both be involved with!
Of course, the toddler age group (ages around 1-3 years) can be difficult to do activities with. Most aren’t quite coordinated or focused enough to follow instructions in order to follow your actions, plus, they get bored easily.
Therefore, if you want to try exercising with your toddler, it’s best to use them as a weight or spotter and make it a fun game for you both.
Let’s take a moment to look at 5 fun exercises for you and your toddler that are both effective and easy. Remember these are just a guide – you can adapt them to whatever works with your family best.
You can do these exercises indoors or outside. Try doing each exercise 3 times for one minute each with a 20 second rest in between sets. This gives you a great, fun 20 minute workout.
#1 – Piggyback Squats
Most of us mums find bums and tums a problem area. Anyone who knows anything about fitness will tell you that the best way to firm up that booty is by doing squats.
All you need to do is get your little one in one of three positions – either in the traditional piggy back position (on your back) or in the same position but on your front, facing you. If you’re more advanced at squats and have your balance down, you can sit your little one on your shoulders.
Then proceed to squat as normal, keeping good form. You can count with your little one and the bonus is their added weight adds resistance.
#2 – Sit Up and Clap
Lie down on the floor as if you were going to do a sit up. You can stand your toddler behind your knees like a spotter. Each time you sit all the way up you both clap or give your toddler a high five. If you find that doesn’t entertain your little one much, you can try sitting up with a “BOO!”
#3 – Piggyback Press Ups
You can do this one in one of two ways. If you have a toddler on the older end of the scale, you can let them sit on your back like they are riding a horse or even lie on your back. As you press up and down it’s like a buck and bronco for your little one and great fun – be really dramatic with “woah!” noises and tell them to hang on tight!
If they are younger, you can lie your little one on the floor and place your hands either side of their head. Every time you press down you can give them a little kiss – this was a particular favorite for my daughter when she was small. This works great with babies too!
#4 – Jump Squats
Again you can do this one of two ways.
You can either carry your child in a piggyback position (front or back) and jump from a feet together position to a squat position repeatedly. This gets a lot of giggles!
Or if your toddler is a bit older and more coordinated, you can stand in front of your little one and hold their hands, encouraging them to jump squat with you. If they can’t get the squat, they can just jump up and down.
#5 – Downward Dog
This seasoned yoga favorite is a great way to cool down and your little one will love to copy you (and probably adapt it by lifting their leg!)
It is easy for us to go a little stir crazy when stuck in the house all day with a hyperactive toddler. So whether it’s a snowy or rainy day outside, try these exercises with your little one. Not only will they have fun activities to do, but you’re both being active and you get a little bit of a workout! Everyone wins!
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