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Mommy and me fitness: 5 ways to exercise with your toddler


When you become a parent, sometimes things that used to be important don’t seem that way anymore. Before I got pregnant with my daughter, I went to the gym six days a week for two hours a day. Now, that seems crazy. I’m thrilled if I get through a whole 10 minute shower without my 3-year-old coming in to announce a disaster has occurred.

I want to be a good example of keeping active and actually having fun doing it. And I know I’m not the only mom who wants to instill good fitness habits in their child without busting out the push-up, sit-up chart. Here are five ways to keep you and your kiddo fit:


Yoga is low impact for growing bones and joints, and it’s easy to modify into simpler positions for less coordinated bodies. I’m guessing my daughter could easily out yoga me if she put her mind to it. It’s a good exercise to do at pretty much any time of the day. In the morning after you wake up but really aren’t ready to have your kid(s) ripping through the house at full speed, it’s yoga time. It’s also a good way to induce calmness when it’s time to settle down, like before a nap or bedtime. The other great thing is that yoga fosters a quiet environment when everyone, including mom, needs a break from the noise of everyday life.


Parents are micromanagers. We oversee everything. We make sure no one gets hurt and everyone is fed and, at least partially, clean before they crawl into bed. In all that, we sometimes forget that the best thing we can do is to get down on the floor and actually play with our kids. Wrestle, play hide and seek, have a tickle war, or my personal favorite, turn your bed into a lava boat. Not only will you be burning off those delicious bake sale indiscretions, you’ll be making memories with your kids. Lava boat is a game we used to play with my dad all the time when I was a kid and it’s one of the fondest memories I have of young childhood. Now I get to pass it on to my daughter.

Dance party

This is the number one exercise in our house. We dance party daily. Make a playlist, pump up the volume, and shimmy until you just can’t shimmy anymore. Lately our rotation has been featuring a lot of Kanye West, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Walk the Moon, and Lupe Fiasco but anything that’ll get you moving, dipping, and twirling will do the trick.

Push a stroller or stick them in the baby backpack

Don’t forget, you can take them with you. No really, it’s not crazy. Were you a runner before your little blessing graced your life with lots of meaning and no time to workout? Buy a jogging stroller and get going. Love hiking? Find a nice trail without any terrifying drop-offs to dangle your toddler over and go for a nice long walk.

Go swimming

Find a local Mommy and Me swim class. It’ll get your child used to being in the water and ready to start what could be live saving swim lessons. Or take them to the beach and play in the surf. We frequently take our daughter to the ocean, strap her into a life jacket and help her jump over the incoming waves. It’s a great leg and torso workout for her and my abs are sore the next day so I know I’m burning some calories.

There are many ways to be active with your kids. What are your favorites?

Photo via Flickr

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