I’ve received several questions about how I manage to stay fit with a toddler. I totally understand where these questions are coming from, because I know it can be difficult to find time (or place) to exercise with a toddler around. Here is my advice.
1) Invest in a Treadmill and/or Jogging Stroller I have both, but it’s not safe to take out the jogging stroller in Dar es Salaam. Plus, my toddler pretty much refuses a stroller. Because of this, my treadmill is one of the best things I’ve ever purchased- and it was not as expensive as you’d think. Back in 2010, I bought a brand new, top-of-the-line treadmill for my birthday. It lasted three months. I had a treadmill technician in our house to fix it three different times before we returned it to Sears just in time to get our money back. Despite vowing I’d never buy one again after all the trouble, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to jog when we moved to our new country in 2012. I would die if I couldn’t jog. Right before the movers hauled away our stuff from Hawaii, I went on Craigslist and bought a used one for $100. I use that sucker every. single. day. Except Sundays, of course. I’m so glad it worked out.
2) If you go the treadmill route, place a baby cage around your treadmill. I use the Northstate Superyard Playgate. The rest of the room is baby-proofed and there are various toys everywhere. I go on my morning run while supervising my busy toddler. It’s magical.
3) Invest in either: a gym with a kid’s club or weightlifting equipment. Back in Hawaii my amazing gym had a kid’s club. Eva went there as soon as she met the minimum age requirement (actually, a month or so beforehand since I lied about her age). Now, it is a bit more difficult for me to make it to the gym, so I’ve been doing more home workouts. (I still try to make it to the gym about three times per week). I can’t afford a whole mini-gym, but I have found a Pull-Up Bar,Kettbells, a set of adjustable dumbbells, and an exercise ball to be relatively sufficient. I obviously have to adjust my workouts tremendously when I do them at home, and I don’t prefer it, but sometimes I just gotta do it. Utilize nap time for these at-home weightlifting sessions.
4) Workout WITH your Toddler! Use your toddler as weight for shoulder presses, chest presses, pushups, situps, lunges, and squats! I have found some pretty neat articles and videos with suggestions on how to incorporate a toddler into a workout. Maybe I’ll make my own one day.
6) Be flexible. Before having a toddler, I was convinced that if I didn’t complete my morning run first thing in the morning, there was NO WAY I could do it later in the afternoon. Having a toddler has pretty much thrown any attempts at scheduling out the window. I workout when I can. Don’t get me wrong, I still workout everyday, and I don’t use a toddler as an excuse to skip workouts, but I don’t always workout at the same exact time everyday anymore. If my toddler is being too fussy and/or clingy in the morning, I’ll run later in the afternoon.
Have any questions or ideas to add? Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment!