Choose Active, Love It – 10 Ways to Stay Active with a Toddler

Change Habits, Choose Active, Love It

This is the slogan for the 5×50 Challenge.  A brilliant charity challenge that I’ve taken part in for the last few years.  You basically have to run, walk or cycle 5k a day for 50 days.  Getting you in the habit of exercise regularly.  We kept a whole log of our adventures last year that if you want a little inspiration is worth a read:

5×50 Challenge 2016

Next Day at the top of a hill

This year however I am not going to take part.  I love the ethos behind the challenge but there is one thing that is stopping me into making that commitment…

Being a Mum to a toddler

This time last year during the challenge the Robot was strapped to me in a sling at 7 months old he was light enough.  We’d walk 5k a day easypeasy.  We even got him on the bike for the first time and I’d cycle along the canal and back. He was easy.

Then he grew and started walking. My exercise levels have plummeted.  He doesn’t always want to be carried and goes in a buggy under duress, he walks quite fast for a toddler but it’s nowhere near enough to be getting my heart pumping.  I loath home exercise videos and I can’t even contemplate stepping into a gym so with my exercise levels plummeting so is my fitness!

Slingy baby in at a trig point
No more baby carrying to the top of hills!

You could say that doing the challenge would be a good idea to get fit again but I have a toddler to contend with and a partner who works loads.  Not an easy way to fit exercise in by myself or is it?

Now it’s not all doom and gloom because there are always ways to get a bit of exercise in you just have to be a little bit creative with your time and energy.   I’ve come up with 10 simple ways to help keep up with a bit of exercise while still entertaining a toddler:

  1. Run around the park while the toddler plays.
  2. Still got nap times? Force him in the buggy and go for a fast walk to sleep.
  3. Garden… Like seriously dig the garden. The Robot loves to help!
  4. Run up and down the stairs with the washing – one item at a time.
  5. Catch catch – chase your toddler round and round your living room.
  6. Zoom zoom zoom – weight lift your child through nursery rhymes.
  7. Tag team parenting. While one parent toddles with the toddler the other one can run on ahead come back and tag for the other to run.
  8. Get on your bike with a child bike seat.
  9. Dance – turn that music on and just be silly.
  10. Play sleeping lions – shut your eyes and imagine exercise.

Just because I’m not committing to a challenge doesn’t mean I’m destined for the sofa.  On the contrary if any of you know me well enough the sofa is the last thing we do.  We’re constantly on the go and are always off doing something.  Adding in some of these tips to our daily routine will just help get the heart rate going a bit more, well maybe not number 10.

So I may not manage 5k a day for 50 days but I am pretty sure that I’ll be getting out and about doing 50 days of something!

How else do you maintain fitness with your toddlers in tow?

35 Comments

    1. isntitpretty

      We still manage to get him in the rucksack for bigger walks out from the car with a bit of wrangling but if he could walk he’d really try. He gets very determined! It’s still slow though and I suppose that’s what this post is about, wanting to go faster!!

  1. I like no.10. I think I could commit to that for 50 days . Trying to hold on to two dogs and push a pushchair at the same time for 45min everyday used to be my exercise but now that L hates the pushchair it tends to be a very slow amble round and doesn’t exactly get the heart pumping. Other tips that I’ve used in the past and really need to start again are doing things like squats and calf raises whenever you’re brushing you teeth, stirring the tea, waiting for the kettle to boil etc. I also keep a kettle bell on the corner of the kitchen worktop to sneak in a few exercises when I have a few minutes. They’re not much but added together every little helps x
    #FamilyFun
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  2. My fitness levels have plummeted since the Popple gave up her buggy! Plus there’s the fact that I work almost full time and it’s hard to fit the gym in between work and watching a toddler. We dance around and I spend a lot of time walking up and down steps with her (one of her favourite activities) – not quite as much activity as I’d like but it’s better than nothing. #FamilyFun
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  3. Wow, I’m in awe that you did that challenge with a baby in tow! And more than understanding that a toddler makes it a bit harder! It sounds like you are being very clever finding ways to keep active within the constraints of family life. Me, I struggle to go out for a run 3 x per week. I’m training for a 10K in May but only manage 2 x 4k in the week and a longer run on the weekend. But I guess it’s better than full time sofa life! #familyfun

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