Yesterday evening as I flung Junior into his cot with a spin which would see me make the Munster rugby team, I was thinking how in God’s name am I going to fit in work when my maternity leave is over? But that’s another blog in itself. The current focus, well fine, one of the current focuses, is to get the body back to something that might resemble a former me 🙂 I know, some challenge.
Thankfully, we live within a few mins walk of a fab new community centre which has so many classes. Best of all there is an exercise together class, an hour long workout where you can bring your babies or toddlers, or in my case both. So twice a week I pack up enough snacks and mats to keep us all happy for what would appear to be a weekend away, but in fact everything is consumed by Missy within the first 20 mins.
There is a play area the little ones can wander out to if they fancy playing on the slide. Missy runs out, freaks out that other people are there, then runs back in and sits on the floor eating, eating and eating while she watches and judges the mums all working out. Yes, she may be only 2 but she’s well able to have a big judgy head on her, just because she’s able to run rings around me for 12 hours a day!!!!
The classes are great, Sarah, our instructor, mixes it up every week between aerobic, mat work and weights. She then follows up with a weekend workout for us to follow at home. Also included is great nutrition advice, I just wish I could follow it better but those biscuits just keeping falling into the shopping cart ;-).
10 Top Tips to Get Fit with Your Toddler in Tow
We were so fortunate to be gifted a fantastic play mat when Missy was born. She used it while I attempted post-natal Pilates and now herself and Junior cosy up on it while I sweat buckets. We also use it at home all the time.
Ours is similar to this newer one.
Even with a playground to hand you still need to ensure your toddler picks out what toys they would like to bring with them. That way it’s on them when they’re bored, oh no wait, that’s not how it works!!!
If you’re exercising at home, just accept they’re going to pull ALL of their toys out while you’re not looking.
3. Snacks & Bottles
Like any outing, it’s rare I arrive home with snacks left over. Fruits and crackers are the favourite at the moment. Invest in a cooler bag, or 5 as they are really cute. Like your phone, the toddlers snack bag is an extension of your hand. Nearly forgot to mention bottles for any babies!!!
Same goes for at home, make a tower of crackers between you and your toddler, hopefully it will keep them happy for a few mins. Or at least build it high enough that you can’t see them.
Missy doesn’t get one during the day, I’m working on getting rid of the night time one but there’s always something going on in her little head. For Junior, some naps just don’t happen without him getting a 30 secs hit on his soother. Again, have one or a million close by to fling in their direction.
5. Water for everyone
It’s on every list wherever you’re going. Just keep an eye out for when your toddler uses yours and backwash’s the bejesus out of it.
Your going to get interrupted to tend to the little ones, that’s ok, it’s life. Check on them and then get back to your work out. Remember, you can always do squats or lunges while pushing the buggy.
Why, why, why don’t I do this? Every week it’s a panic to fly around the house and gather up everything listed above. Because without one item the whole hour of exercise has the potential to fall apart. Then where would we be, five cups of tea, twenty biscuits and a half stone heavier, that’s where!!!!
As well as packing everything needed beforehand, it’s also good to prepare your little one if you’re heading to a new environment for them. For Missy she is familiar with our community centre but has always been there with her friends. So the day before, I introduced the idea of us going to an exercise class together and that it was up to her if she wanted to watch, play or even join in. Getting the timing right to mention new ventures to Missy is a balancing act, too early and she wants to go now, too late and there is potential of a freak out.
8. Get them jumping
Going to the classes is great, but fitting in another session at home can be trickier. But in fact the thought of it is worse than reality. Just bite the bullet some morning and start jumping. It’s so cute watching your toddler trying to do jumping jacks, squats or even reverse sit ups.
9. Always a time to learn
So this one is dependent on how much your trust your toddlers counting skills. During last weekend’s exercise at home I really lost confidence, I’d still be jumping going by her counting as it kept resetting before hitting 20.
As a good friend said to me ‘When you’re doing any exercise, you’re doing more than most people’. So be chuffed with yourself and enjoy it. The endorphins it will bring you are fantastic!
So folks there you have it, grab your favourite work out gear (or just go to Lidl) and get going.
Till next time, Grá