Ideas For Exercising With Little Ones Present

Michaela B. hiking with her baby

How do you fit exercise into your daily life? As a parent of small children, you’re typically in motion. However, this doesn’t equal a satisfying workout for everyone.

Recently, Jen posed this question to the LLL USA Facebook community. She said: “I always feel better and happier when I get my body moving, but I don’t have time for a full workout with three children under five years of age. How do you fit in exercise with littles?”

Sometimes you have the option to head to the gym for a childfree workout. Or, you may have a partner who can help you fit that time into your day. Clarissa C. freely admits that trying to exercise while her children are with her just doesn’t work.

“For me, it has to be in the morning before my kids (3 and 1) are up and before my husband leaves for work. I am not disciplined enough to work out at home consistently.”

Clarissa is not the only parent who needs focused fitness time without any distractions. For those who may not have that option, the ideas in this blog post are geared toward parents who will have children present.

Michaela B. has found that timing is everything if she wants to work out, so she chooses a time of day when her children will be happiest without her undivided attention.

“Mine are happiest the longest first thing in the morning. We grab a snack and head downstairs to the treadmill. Baby gets time in the (playyard), mama gets in a mile.”

Perhaps you’re thinking that your children would never be content to entertain themselves while you work out. That’s okay! You’re not alone. Other parents shared ways they are able to exercise along with their children.

Kayla H. has discovered exercises that she can do while her infant is along for the ride.

“I do sumo squats, arm exercises, and short barre workouts and lunges while baby wearing. My nursling is four months. Walking is good too!”

And when your children are older and want to join in? No problem! Take advantage of their natural desire to move and have some fun at the same time.

“My three-year-old loves to dance. If I don’t get my workout in during naptime, I’ll put on a video that he can follow along with and dance around with me.” – Leah A.

Kira L. has found that a similar strategy works for her.

“Put a cartoon on and (exercise) in the living room or (turn on) music and let them do it with me. I have a workout space and for anything that’s just body movement they can join me in the gym area with toys. Burpees, squats, lunges, and sit ups can all be done with the littles around me.”

Now that the weather is warming up and outdoor time is an option, many parents are heading out to nearby parks or surrounding neighborhoods.

“(I have a) four-year-old on a bike with training wheels (and a) two-year-old in a wagon. Right now, we go slow but eventually I’ll be trying to slow them down. My goal is to keep motion/exercise in our schedule and let it grow with their abilities.” – Randee K.

Lara J. looks forward to outdoor time as well, and always has a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

“We love to go on walks and bike rides around the neighborhood and local parks. When the weather doesn’t permit outdoor activity, we have dance parties and do yoga indoors. The yoga is mostly me trying to relax while they climb on me.”

In reality, there will be days when fitting in a trip to the park or an exercise routine doesn’t happen. If that’s the case, Natalie H. reassures other parents that any activity is still beneficial.

“Since a nursing toddler thinks sitting down is an invitation to nurse, I do lots of not-sitting. Just keeping up with all the household chores is a pretty good amount of movement each day!”

How do you incorporate fitness into your day? If you’d like to share your ideas or read the rest of the conversation, go to


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