Successful Workouts as a Toddler Mom

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Don’t let your fitness take a back burner. As a busy mom, you can still workout with a toddler, I’ll show you how! It’s simpler than you think.

Finding The Time

As a new mom it can feel like as soon as you get a routine down, it changes again. Making motherhood all the more exciting, right? LOL. It seems as though our little ones like to keep us on our toes, just to be sure we are at our best. Of all the trial and error I have gone through to fit in my workouts, I can say that there is still not an exact science. I still have to be ready to adapt for when life gets messy and my toddler’s routine changes yet again. However, I have found so many ways to make it work that at this point it is no longer a wrench in my fitness. Let me share with you how we make it work!

Utilize Your Workout Time With Your Toddler

The simplest place to start would be to look at your schedule. Remember that tried and true advice of making your workout a meeting with yourself? That way you view it as something that is too important to cancel. Just as you would with a doctor’s appointment, date night, or work event. You see where I am getting at. Look through yours and your toddler’s daily schedule. See where you have an hour, half an hour, or even 15 minutes to get in some kind of workout.

Times that I have taken advantage of are when they sleep like nap time, before they wake up, or after they go to bed. If you need to use those sleep windows to get other stuff done, try lunch time at work. If you’re home you can utilize your toddler’s lunch time since they are occupied and squeeze in a session (with them in view of course!). You could also encourage them to be solo while mommy works out by using their designated screen time or independent play time.

Make a Workout Routine

If you are going to workout with your toddler awake, I would say this is one of the most important places to start. I am sure that most of you have read or heard at some point that babies, toddlers, and kids like reliability. They like routine. Don’t we all? It makes us feel safe as the experts say. And I cannot agree more. Now don’t get me wrong, my daughter and I do not have a set schedule by any means. But my husband and I have found that consistency is a major factor in the ease of life with a little. We kept to a fairly consistent schedule when it comes to naps and sleep. And man oh man it worked. For us. Then it gave me the idea to make my workout routine just that… a routine.

So I gave it a try. Everyday I started to workout before nap time. I didn’t start with high expectations. I wanted to keep it stress free. So if my workout got interrupted by a tantrum or she just wouldn’t have it that day then so be it. But she learned my cues (mommy in workout clothes, music, workout gear, etc.) and now we are at a point where she knows what to expect. You may be thinking that a workout while your toddler is awake is just not doable. I totally get it. I did not always do a workout when she was awake. But our lives got to the point that it was the only way I was going to make it work. So we did!

Tricks For a Successful Workout

Toddlers are very needy. They want your undivided attention. And working out is not exactly all eyes on them. That was one of our biggest hurdles. So I had to get creative if I was going to get her to let me workout with little to no interruptions. Again, I kept my expectations low until we progressed.

It may sound like a contradiction to earlier but, I got her involved! I realized that she was associating “workout time” with “mommy ignores me time.” That got us nowhere. So I got her excited by using her in my workouts as a weight or giving her tickles between sets. I got her play dumbbells or gave her my resistance bands to explore so she could join me. It was also a great opportunity to try and teach her some basic movements like squats or jumps or balancing on one leg. Sometimes I would even whip out a new or less frequently seen toy to keep her distracted. So find what works for you, and be ready to mix it up when needed!

Reward Your Toddler’s Cooperation

Going along the lines of the positive reinforcement, you want to be sure to reward their good behavior. This can be done a number of ways and depends on their age. Although I believe they are so much smarter than we usually assume or give them credit for. The easiest thing to do is to end your successful workout by complimenting them on how good they did. “You did so good when mommy worked out!,” or “Mommy is so happy with how you played!” My daughter got excited to “join” me for my workout sessions when she realized we could have fun.

You can also physically reward them with a special snack, toy, episode of their favorite show. Those are not my favorite methods because I feel like it sets them up to have expectations of those things. Especially if you will be doing this everyday. But maybe a couple times in the beginning or days you are desperate for that workout time.

I also liked to tell her that after mommy worked out we would go to the park, or have a dance party, or read some books. Something she would look forward to and I could remind her when she got antsy. You could even take it a step further and use park time or dance party WHILE you workout so they are partially distracted or feel like workout time is for them!

Workout with a toddler!

I clearly have demonstrated that I am a toddler whisperer with all of the secrets, right?! LOL but really these are the best tips I can give you to make workout time simple and fun, even with your toddler. So join me here for a workout that is designed around this advice. We keep the workout short and sweet with built in break (AKA play time) so you can get your little one involved!

This IS a prenatal workout as I was expecting when I recorded it. However you can TOTALLY do this workout if you aren’t. Just use a challenging weight and work at a pace that is good for you! It was made AMRAP style, so I give you the exercises and you cycle through at a pace that works for you.

If your are looking to keep it quick, I also have a great 10-Minute Core Blaster Workout for those days you are short on time!

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