Why I Work Out With My Toddler – 3 Reasons Working Out With A Toddler Rocks
When it comes to working out, most moms find it getting pushed down on the list of things to do. Then, by the end of the day, we’ve no energy left to “make gains”. This reason is exactly why I work out with my toddler. Working out with a toddler is chaos, it starts and stops, it’s nuts… but it’s also effective.
If you’re a mama you’ll know that making it to the gym is, ah, an event. Seriously, by the time you have your stuff packed, drive to the gym, workout, shower, come home it pretty much kills two hours.
Add in a regular job, cooking, time with babies and you know LIFE and the gym doesn’t exactly hit high on the priority list.
Or, if you’re lucky enough to complete your workouts at home you attempt to do so while your wee one is napping. And while I can understand that mindset, personally, I find it just creates more problems.
For starters, I make it a rule to do something during nap time that I can not do at all with kids (computer work, lay down haha). Working out with a toddler, while tricky can be done.
Plus, I find that when you work out during nap time it always goes wrong. You warm-up and they cry, they need a bottle etc. It leaves you feeling more stressed than when you started.
This leaves most mamas frustrated and attempting to complete their workout in twelve-minute intervals throughout the day (so it pretty much takes the entire day to get it done!).
The truth is, working out without your baby can be next to impossible.
Why I Work Out With My Toddler
Instead of trying to squeeze in “you time”, learn to embrace working out with a toddler. yes, I’m serious!
The biggest benefit of working out with my toddler is that it keeps me consistent with my fitness goals.
If you’ve ever watched a video of mine, chances are you’ve heard a “stop there!” or “don’t move” yell in the middle of a set. Both of which are frequent.
Because I work out with my kids five days per week. And have since they were born.
For myself personally, my workouts are non-negotiable. Truly. Not because I’ll feel guilty if I don’t work out or because I think I haven’t “earned” my food, but because working out keeps me sane.
Truly. I love being strong (check out the other benefits of strength training), getting sweaty and doing something beneficial for my body but at the end of the day, I’m a better mom on the days I workout.
I’m happier, more patient and literally just a better person. So, my workouts have to happen.
So, to be honest, much of the reason I workout with both a toddler AND a baby is because if I don’t work out with them, then my workouts won’t happen.
And that’s not an option (read more about how mamas can stay consistent with workouts!)
Outside of staying sane though, I’ve found there are so many other benefits to working out with a toddler!
Why I Work Out With A Toddler: It Sets A Great Example
The truth is, I love working out. Truly. Working out keeps me sane, it makes me have more productive days and it’s one thing that I do for myself and love.
I don’t “suffer through my workouts”- I actually enjoy them! And I think that message is huge. During my workouts, we laugh, joke around, play, and make exercise fun.
I want my daughters to love being active, no matter what activity they choose.
My girls will never see me “drag” myself to a workout and “suffer” through it. I will never promote the message that I need to work off something I ate. They will never see me work harder because I need to be skinny.
Instead, we talk about exercises that make mama strong. About which ones are fun and silly. It sounds silly, but it’s my hope that maybe then, they’ll enjoy being active as much as I do. Thus, exercise is a gift, not a punishment.
There are a lot of things I wish for my daughters and one of those is that they will grow up thinking that fitness is FUN and not something they “have to do”. I’m not bitter, sad or angry when I’m working out but playful, happy and occasionally jumping with joy if I hit a PR (personal record).
Working Out With A Toddler Encourages Independent Play
I’ll be the first to admit that while I do have eyes in the back of my head as I lift heavy things around two little kids, my girls are somewhat ignored.
Not ignored but definitely on their own.
Neither babe is gated into a pen or strapped to my chest. They are free to roam around, explore, play and learn… and they do.
Likewise, while I’m doing my workout, I’m not right beside them as I usually am trying to “teach”. Instead, they learn to figure things out on her own while I watch. It’s amazing what kids will learn when you give them space.
I definitely have to stop throughout my workouts to help read a book, diaper a doll, or roll some playdough but watching them play by themselves is amazing.
It Helps Keep Them Active
While I work out the girls jump, swing, hang, squat, and generally play with all the workout stuff. This helps them sleep better, learn, and generally be active!
Physical activity at any age is awesome for kids (one of the pillars of raising healthy kids). And watching the girls mimic my movements only melts my heart more.
With so many benefits of physical activity for kiddos, who am I to stand in the way of them bouncing around like maniacs?
What If I Have No Space Or Gym?
Whil I’m lucky enough to have a killer home studio, there are so many ways to work out using just your own bodyweight (here’s a 10-minute, no-equipment workout)!
And not to worry about your kids, they’ll learn to play with whatever is around. Or, set yourself up so you have some equipment at home. Here are the best pieces of equipment for moms who work out at home.
Working Out With A Toddler – The How To
I mentioned how crazy it is working out with a toddler, right? I’ll be the first to admit that’s it’s not easy!
But, there’s a lot you can do to help kids get used to your workouts. These activities for kids in the gym have been my staple rules these last few years. A few quick tips:
- let them use the equipment (so long as it’s safe). My girls wing on TRX use mini loop bands etc
- bring a snack down for the time you’re working out, you’ll save time
- let them get involved! They’ll want to squat and push too– and that’s awesome!
Honestly, my biggest tip is to embrace the chaos. Let them roam, mimic or play at their leisure. It really comes down to it just being a day in and day out routine that everyone will get used to.
Working Out With A Toddler Helps:
- me stay consistent to my goals
- keeps me active and healthy
- sets some great examples for the girls
- provides a lot of laughs and learning opportunities
Don’t forget to pin Why I Workout With My Toddler
I strive for my girls to embrace fitness as much as I have. and that begins with showing them how much fun it can be. It took a long time to embrace working out with a toddler. There’s tears, chaos, and meltdowns but that occurs regardless of me doing my workout 😉