Gone are the long hours at the gym for an hour or two.
You can barely get a workout in. Your physique goals are over completely.
Well , this is what I thought when I had my little one, till I started to re-evaluate the way I approached exercise.
You just got to be creative and if you want to get the little one engaged it needs to be fun.
Isn’t it our responsibilty to get them to love to be active to set them up for a great future ?
Here are a few ways I have I get my workouts in now whilst engaging my little one.
- Baby Joggers – one of those push-chair type devices with big wheels. However my daughter hates being in it for too long, so I reserve this option for when the mood is right with her. An alternative I have found is one of those trikes which I use to gently jog with her, it can be fairly bumpy but she likes it on smooth surfaces.
- Playground workouts– she loves going to the playground but so do I ! Especially the ones with monkey bars. This is more of an I go , you go strategy, okay more like I hold you whilst you pretend your moving from bar to bar. Then you run around the playground and Daddy has a go quickly whilst keeping a close eye on you! Some playgrounds also have ropes and areas to do dips and pull-ups.
- Dancing –Bloody hard work! Especially if you lack any rythym and have two left feet. I used to think dancing was easy but I was proven wrong. It is also extremely engaging for a toddler as they love dancing! I look forward to continuing this tradition into her teenage years to embarass her with # Dad Dancing!
- Crawling- Okay toddlers seldom want to take to the floor crawling again, as why? They are all grown up now and walking but it’s a real fun way to chase after the little one. Crawls can be done in numerous ways there’s the classic bear crawl or other variations such as crab crawl or crocodile crawls. All silly and fun. But great for the upper body and a burner for the legs.
- Hopping- Hopping forwards, backwards, side to side all help build agility, co-ordination and are just fun . My little one loves it and probably is one of her favourites.
- Sprinting- Okay, these aren’t the hardcore stair sprints you see rocky do but sprinting forwards ,backwards, lying down popping back up again. Just tired thinking about the number of times Ive done this !
- Chase Daddy!- Okay , this is kind of like sprinting , but way more engaging and fun for the lil tyke!
- Burpees! Yes, the very exercise designed to strike fear into everyone’s hearts, but it can be literally incorporated into any of the above workouts. For example whilst I’m being chased I may drop down and do 5 burpees. I got to admit ,my chase speed drops down significantly after a few of these but hey it’s fun.
- Toddler weights!- Your child is the ultimate form of progressive overload. They are constantly getting bigger and heavier. You can do bicep curls, standing presses, squats ,lunges etc. But be careful and gentle and obviously if they are getting bored put them down!
- Toddler carries/hiking- My wife’s upper body strength has gone up leaps and bounds since our daughter was born. I attribute this mum strength to her having to carry my daughter to various places as our daughter hates being in the push chair. I invested in an osprey carry pack( disclaimer-expensive) and it has been used on a lot of hiking expeditions. I also opt to carry her long distances if she’s tired due to the previously mentioned hate of the push chair- it fries my upper back and its great for the arms!
So there you have it. These are a few ways in which I in-corporate my toddler into my excercise regimen. I used to be more regimented in the way I trained but to be honest , this is more fun , it builds real world strength and fitness and has improved my agility and endurance to levels higher than it was previously.
So go and out there and have fun with your kids or nieces and nephews .
And pull out that inner child in you !
I would be very interested to hear anyone else’s thoughts on how they approach their fitness with their children.