“I never have any time to exercise” … I know I’ve said it before.
But let’s change that to “I have a toddler and we exercise together!”
Why isn’t chasing a toddler around all day considered exercise? Well it should be. But there are also ways to incorporate structured exercise into your daily routine with your toddler. Here are a few ideas for you to try…
If you have a yoga mat or exercise mat put that down on the floor. This will let your toddler get used to the idea that when he/she sees it, that means it is exercise time!
Tip/Suggestion: START SLOW AND EASY. After a few days with each exercise, your toddler might be able to cooperate enough for you to do a couple of repetitions
As always, please consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine. These are only meant to be something you can a little here and there. :)
1) Kick those feet in the air
Lie down on your back and put your legs up in the air. Then start kicking your legs around. Ask your toddler if he can do it too! Have him lie down next to you and count to ten while your legs are kicking in the air. For the parents you can make sure your abdomens are tight and maybe even lower your legs a bit to get a good workout. Your child will have fun kicking in the air. (You can also hold your hands above him and try to have him touch your fingers with his toes while he kicks in the air!)
2) Touch your nose to the sticker on the rug!
These are secretly pushups for the toddler. Put sticker on the rug/mat and have your toddler get on all fours. Then ask her to see if she can touch her nose to the sticker! You’ll probably want to show her how at first. Then count each time she does it and celebrate! Do it together and start with just a few. For fun, if your toddler is just learning to start counting. Just do as many as she can count. If it’s only 3 that’s great!
3) Lifting diaper boxes as weights!
Put those diaper boxes to work. Tape up some empty diaper boxes and let your toddler lift and stack them, then push them down. She might even want to climb up on one while your hold it for her…the “toddler stairmaster!” You can just do a few quick lifts up in the air with the boxes.
4) Modified sit-ups for Mom
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet about a shoulder width apart. Put your toddler sitting between your legs on the mat, facing you. Now lift your head and upper torso up to reach with your arms between your legs and tickle your toddler’s belly. He’ll get a kick out of it and you’ll be able to do some crunches. Repeat 10-15 times.
5) Modified Push-ups for Mom
Put your toddler down on the mat, back down. Get down on all fours so that your head is over your toddler’s head, upside down. (so your feet should be at the other end of the mat from his feet). Then cross your feet and try to put your nose on his nose by bending your arms and keeping your back straight. (You might need to scoot your knees back a bit). Repeat 10-15 times.
6) Playground pull-ups
The next time you are at the playground with your tot, find a bar to hang from and try some pull-ups. If you are not able to do a pull up. Try to get yourself up on a bar with your chin above the bar to start (by stepping on something else), then try to slowly lower yourself down. Do this several times until you gain the muscles to pull yourself up once! Set a goal to be able to do 5 or 10 pull ups!
Children are great at imitating
If your child grows up seeing you exercise and understanding it as a part of a daily routine, she’ll be more inclined to exercise in her life.
As always, please consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine.