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Motherhood is BUSY!
It can be a total challenge to stay on top of childcare, chores, cooking, hobbies, not to mention finding time to look after ourselves too.
Today I want to share some tips and strategies for squeezing in working out with toddlers (and young kids). Not only is it important to prioritize our health, I also find when I actually get my workouts in, I have more energy to chase my daughter around! It’s amazing.
Towards the end of the article you’ll find some fabulous stay at home mom workout options as well as some of my favorite free fitness hacks too, so stick around!
Stay at home mom workout schedule options.
When do parents work out, anyways?
There are plenty of great options depending on your preferences:
Workout at home before your kids wake up.
I can practically hear the groans from all the non-morning people reading this. But, it is an effective time to fit in a workout! It’s typically quiet and one of the most distraction-free times of day.
It definitely takes some getting used to if you aren’t a morning person. You can’t expect to suddenly wake up every day an hour early and fit in a full workout without burning out quick. I’d recommend starting small… Try waking up just 15-30 minutes earlier and slowly work your way up to an hour as your body adjusts.
Bonus tip: for this method to work try to get to bed early so you can get a quality nights rest before the alarm clock goes off bright and early!
Workout at home while your toddler plays independently beside you.
This is honestly my favorite way to squeeze in my workouts.
For one, I think seeing me work out and look after myself sets a great example for my daughter.
She’s only 15 months old at the moment, and she already comes over and does some stretches with me. Then she will go back to happily playing when she gets tired. Obviously you need to make sure there’s nothing dangerous around, that everything is childproofed and that you can watch your toddler while working out. If you have a toddler then you know they can get up to all kinds of mischief in no time at all…
The second reason this is my preferred way to fit in my stay at home mom workout is because it leaves her nap time for me to get things done around the house and work on my blog.
If you want to make this schedule work for you, I highly recommend finding a safe activity for your toddler that they love (ours is the Melissa & Doug Musical Instrument Set) and try to do it right after a snack or meal time, so the kid(s) are well-fed! I’ve played around with this a lot and right after morning or afternoon snack seems to work best for us. If it’s too close to a meal time it’s usually a disaster…
Workout at home during nap time!
If you are lucky your toddler will take a glorious 1-3 hour afternoon nap. This is a great spot to fit in a workout if you don’t want any toddler distractions!
Workout while out and about in the stroller.
If you have a baby or toddler who is content going for nice long walks there are plenty of stroller exercises you can do!
Have you seen those stroller stride fitness classes? You can totally take inspiration from them and do your own version if you aren’t up for joining a mom fitness group (although that’s a great option too!).
You can definitely find me out at the park working out with my daughter. We take a nice long walk, and then she has a snack in the park while I watch her as I’m doing lunges/squats/hinges etc.
Check out this stroller fitness article at Parents.com for more inspiration.
Join a gym with childcare.
Of course, covid has this one on hold at the moment. But it is a phenomenal option for the mamas who want to work out distraction free. Plenty of gyms and studios have free or paid childcare. The kids get to play with toys they don’t have at home, burn some energy and play with new friends while you get in a kid free workout!
Find a mommy-and-me fitness class.
This is a great option for making mommy friends and bringing your baby/toddler along! I’ve seen mommy & me yoga classes, stroller workout programs and even stroller barre classes.
Okay, so now that we’ve worked out a bunch of ways you can squeeze a workout into your busy day with your toddler, let’s chat about some of my favorite home workout programs!
3 excellent workout at home options to get you started.
There are so many fun ways to work out at home, friends. Keep searching until you find something you love and get excited about doing!
Youtube is a great free resource. One of my favorites is Yoga by Adriene. She has videos of all different lengths and has great yoga flows for beginners too.
The Nike Training app is another great one. They have workout routines for those with home equipment or you can select equipment free options too.
If you have some dollars to invest into your home fitness routine, I’m a fan of BeachBody (no, I’m not a coach or affiliated in any way… I truly enjoy their programs and have personally seen great results!). If you aren’t familiar with them, it’s basically a Netflix of workout videos.
I know many people get turned off by the pushiness of their coaches and the MLM system, but their actual workout programs are pretty awesome. I can’t speak for their nutrition as I prefer to eat whole foods over using supplements.
Shoot me an email [email protected] if you would like a coach recommendation or 2 you can sign up through. I do know a few great ones!
Free fitness hacks every mom should know about.
Use your toddler as a weight!
I swear my arms are more toned than they’ve ever been just from carrying my daughter around.
Use random paper plates you have lying around as sliders.
Here’s a great article of 19 slider exercises that will work your core and glutes!
Use drink or condiment bottles as light weights.
Instead of buying 1-2 pound weights when I did a barre class, I used two of my husbands smaller Gatorade bottles. They weighed in at 1.5 pounds each, it was perfect! Also, increase your reps with lighter weights and you can still get in a great workout.
My favorite fitness products.
I am a huge fan of resistance bands. You can grab a versatile set here on Amazon. There are so many great exercises you can do with loops, and they aren’t near as expensive as buying weights.
Here’s a great article to get you started on resistance band exercises.
Adidas Workout Clothes.
Here are a few of my favorite workout clothes. You can see me wearing these leggings in the photo above. They are nice and light and are the perfect length for me (I’m 5’5″). PS – I don’t own the Disney shoes below, I just have my eye on them. Did you know Adidas has a whole Disney line?!
I hope you are inspired and ready to add some awesome workouts into your life.
I know how hectic days can be with toddlers. It’s super important for us parents to make sure we look after ourselves too, so we can be the best versions of ourselves and keep up with their seemingly endless energy!
Happy working out!
You might also like:
7 tips for losing weight while breastfeeding
How to find happiness as a stay at home mom
8 thoughts on “How to Actually Squeeze In Working Out With Toddlers (and Babies)”
I miss those nap times!
My five year old will let me work out sometimes, but I usually get interrupted.
So many great resources in here! I love the stroller workout as an option. Not sure why I didn’t think of it before!
Really helpful tips!
Great tips! I’ve had to get creative sometimes with workouts since having kids. Its easier now that my kids are older they actually love doing yoga with me! YouTube is my fave to get stuff in at home.
I’ve been working on doing at least a 10 minute cardio while my toddler is playing. He actually joins in sometimes (or runs in circles around me and throws me off balance) but we both have fun! Thanks for sharing!
Resistance bands and great shoes have made such a big difference in my workouts! At home workouts have really made a difference in my mental health
What has worked for me has been working out early like you stated or taking a walk with my little in the stroller. I have slowly been getting the hand of things.
Love these tips! I’m learning it’s hard to find time for anything with a toddler!