Once your child begins to walk, run and explore you may find that the only exercise you can actually get is chasing after him. Gone are the days that you could strap him into a pram and walk the streets for an hour or more without a single cry or peep. Most toddlers will not happily sit in a pram for more than a few minutes once they discover how to walk. And thus, your daily walks may turn into a barely moving crawl with your toddler trailing behind, pointing out every tree, dog, leaf, worm and speck that he sees along the way. While this can be great for his learning and development, it can’t be too good for your cardiovascular health, especially if your walks were your main mode of exercise.
Many mummies can’t afford to put their children into childcare so they can spend their days at the gym and some mummies are simply too tired to pound the pavement after hubby gets home from a long day at work. And thus, you may need to find child friendly ways to get your thirty minutes of gentle exercise a day with a toddler in tow. Is this seemingly impossible feat actually possible?
Possibly. It all depends on your child. Below are some options you have to speed up your walks and incorporate exercise into your daily toddler-filled activities.
A trike or run bike is your best option for children aged two to three years old. With a trike your child will need to pedal and this can take some time (and practice) which means plenty of sloooow walks until your son has mastered it. A run bike or a pedal free bike means that they push with their feet. As soon as your child gets the hang of this nifty little gadget, he will be off and running, literally! What this means is that you can actually walk at a decent pace and work up a sweat down at the park.
Get a workout at the pool
If your child loves to swim then use this to your advantage. While you cannot expect to leave him in the kiddie pool while you go and swim lengths, you can watch him and get a little workout as well, especially for your arms. While your child is playing, use the pool edge to do triceps lunges and push-ups. Rest your arms against the side and balance using your abs while kicking your legs. Do each exercise for 30 reps as many times as your child allows.
Kick a ball and crunch
Toddlers love to kick but you will probably not get a good workout by simply passing back and forth for a few minutes. So, work up a sweat by dropping down and doing crunches in between passes. Your toddler may think you are crazy or that you have invented a super fun game! Either way, you can burn a few extra calories all the while having a blast with your child. And, this is what it is all about in the first place.
What are your ideas for exercising with a toddler?