I know its hard to find time to work out when you have toddlers. I mean, just keeping them alive and clean (enough) takes all of my effort. I haven’t actually done a specific exercise on purpose since I took up running again after Eli was born. Then it became July and I remembered why my cross country team met so freaking early in the summer for our runs. I wasn’t about to wake up earlier than my baby just so I could run a couple miles and not feel like I was going to pass out from the heat.
So I have compiled a list of my favorite work outs, ones that I do on an almost daily basis, that any mama can do with her toddlers.
1. Wind Sprints. This is most effective when you have a large great room. Just stand at one side of the room, and put your 15 month old monkey on the other. Wait until she climbs all the way to the top of the couch and attempts to sort of hurl herself over it and then sprint to her before she hits the floor. (This also works great when you’re cooking dinner and she stands on the kitchen table.)
2. Wrestling. I love doing this when I’m attempting to apply sunscreen, then the toddlers are extra slippery. If being out of breath after effectively applying sunscreen to both toddlers doesn’t qualify as exercise, then I don’t know what does.
3. Sandbag exercising aka baby wearing. Strap your barely thirty pound three year old onto your back, using the Ergo Carrier, or your preferred baby wearing contraption. Start at the back of the zoo, and try to get to the front before the one year old in the stroller falls asleep. (Burns the most calories if you walk briskly.) This exercise can also be adapted to any household activities, such as cooking and vacuuming.
4. Squats. This one is trickier. First, you have to take your three year old to the mall and let him walk (run) around. Once he hides in between and under clothing racks you can begin your squats to try to find him before he destroys something.
5. Stair climbing. No need to get a pricey stair climber machine. Simply let your toddlers play upstairs unattended while you try to do laundry downstairs. Then, when you hear a loud thud, run up the stairs, as quickly as possible, and make sure no serious injuries have occurred.
6. Obstacle Course. First, you need to go to Target and get one of those super long carts. You know, the kind with the two kid seats on the front. The kind that you looked at before having children and thought, there is no way I am going to ever push that around the store. So get that cart, and put your toddlers in it. Make sure you don’t strap them in, it will be more exciting. Next, attempt to maneuver this giant cart around Target without hitting any other shoppers. or aisles. or displays. You also need to turn it just quick enough that you avoid slamming it into an employee, but not so quick that your three year old who is now on his tummy under the cart doesn’t fall off. Good luck.
7. Somersaults. I don’t remember it being such an intense workout to do a somersault when I was a kid. But teaching your toddler how to do a somersault by demonstrating it again and again is a real ab workout. You could also demonstrate handstands, but I don’t recommend that if you are anywhere near as clumsy as I am.
And be sure to hydrate properly and get lots of rest in between. Rest around here usually involves cuddles.