How to exercise when you have a toddler

06 July, 2021

father holding toddler and dumbell
Finding the motivation to exercise is difficult at the best of times – add a toddler into the mix and it feels almost impossible. The secret? Finding small opportunities to workout in your existing routine. Here are just five of them.

Buy a pram you can jog with

You don’t need to be a runner to enjoy the benefits of a jogging pram. Not only are they a great way to give your child an exciting adventure – or even put them to sleep – but they also allow you to walk or jog while you’re out an about with them. If you are lucky enough to eke a nap out of it, you can use that “me” time to sneak in some strength training and stretching at your local park or back home.

Play with your children

If you can’t beat them, join them! Whether you purchase a skipping rope or a light ball to toss or kick back and forth, don’t underestimate the benefits of this type of incidental fitness – not only for your physical health, but for your mental health, too. The activity doesn’t really matter all that much. From hula hooping to hopscotch, there are so many ways you can get your heart rate up while you play with your children.

Find a toddler-friendly workout class

So many new mums will attest to the power of bub-friendly group fitness, not only for their physical health, but for socialising, too. Be it a stroller group or mum-and-bub fitness class, these kinds of supportive environments allow you to connect with other new mums and create friendships both for you and your child. These classes are also great for postnatal-specific exercises. Win, win!

Step to it

If you typically drive or catch public transport around town, consider changing your route to fit in some extra steps. This might mean parking a couple of blocks from school and walking the rest of the way, hopping off the bus or train a few stops early, or parking in the far corner of the shopping centre parking lot. If you can, try taking the stairs instead of riding the lift or taking the escalator – you won’t just get a sweat up, but you’ll also be strengthening your legs and glutes.

10 minutes is all it takes

Gone are the days of expensive workout DVDs and hour-long ‘bikini body’ guides. YouTube is where it’s at when it comes to DIY fitness, and the best part is, it’s free. Next time you have a spare five or 10 minutes (we know, they’re few and far between) whip out your phone and enjoy a short workout courtesy of YouTube. You won’t need any equipment or prior experience – there is sure to be a video or channel that’s perfect for you.

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