Whew! Mum life is exhausting. Our little ones love to keep us on our toes. But what if we could treat our day-to-day toddler mum lives as opportunities to gain fitness?
Think about it. Immobility ain’t an option when you’ve got a toddler to run around after. Spend hours with your feet up and the consequences are endless (and extremely messy)!
We’ve all seen those adorable baby work-outs with tiny tots laying on yoga mats while mum completes 20 “kiss me push-ups”. But stationary babies become super-mobile toddlers who will wriggle free before you’ve even gotten down on your hands and knees. Involving your kiddo in this traditional kind of work-out loses its charm fast.
Luckily, with the assistance of zero fitness experts or personal trainers, we’ve compiled a list of work-outs specifically engineered with toddler mums in mind. You’re already doing them anyway, so why not label them for what they are?!
1. Stair Climbing
For toddler mums with stairs at home, every day is leg day. A toddler personal trainer with a flight of stairs in their line of vision will make a dash for them faster than your *actual* personal trainer could ever spit out “drop and give me twenty!” Up and down, up and down; stairs are fascinating to our littles. And we get dragged along for the ride.
Granted, a toddler-driven stair climbing session is a little slower paced than a grown-up personal trainer might recommend. But trust us, mumma… you’re still working those glutes!
2. Standing Crunches
AKA ninety reps of bending over to pick up an intentionally dropped toy over the course of a 30-minute “quick” trip to Woolies. Sure, you could refuse to give the offending item back to your toddler after the first ten reps. But honestly, what’s worse: a screaming kid in the pasta aisle, or slightly tender abs? (And knees. And back.)
3. Running Laps
We’re talking those short laps you run between the car and back inside the house as you prepare to leave on any outing with your toddler. “Oh, forgot his drink bottle.” (Lap 1). “Nope, he snuck the BBQ tools out of the house again.” (Lap 2). “Oops, my shoes don’t actually match.” (Lap 3). Squeeze in just five of these bad boys each and every time you leave the house, and watch your Fitbit cheer you on!
4. Reverse Squats
If you haven’t sunk into the couch for a few minutes of R&R, only to be immediately summoned by your tiny human… are you even a toddler mum? Make the most of these squat-ortunities and work those thighs as you rise up and sink down 20 times in a row to satisfy your toddler’s every desire.
It may not be the WWE, but wrestling with a strong-willed little toddler WILL leave you huffing, puffing and red in the face. Arms are flailing, legs are kicking and supple little cores are bending clean in half in a desperate bid to escape your clutches. Be it bath time, nap time, dinner time, or time to head home from the park, your child’s ability to make their opinion known will generally result in impressive calorie-burnage for you. Yay…?
6. Bicep Curls
Make the most of those “Up please, mummy!” demands and get those mum-guns ripped. The average 2-year-old weighs 12.5kg, making them a generous chunk of resistance. Pick them up, put them down, carry them around – all of it counts.
If you’ve ever taken your eyes off your toddler for a second, only to have to turn around and make a superhuman dash to snatch her out of harm’s way, you’re not a horrible, distracted parent. You’re a normal one. Clocking one of these sprints every day (while not an ideal parenting situation!) will boost that heart rate and give you a rush of adrenaline you never knew you wanted.
So when you’re time-poor and can’t squeeze in those early AM neighbourhood runs you used to love, never fear! Your toddler’s got this. Your fitness is in his tiny little hands…
(Or, you know, if you’re still keen for actual socially-acceptable exercise, check out our 6 golden rules of exercise for busy and time-poor mums.)