7 ideas on how to exercise with a toddler

Riding a Rookie 12

Toddlers have low really low boredom thresholds, by design, as they haven’t as yet learned what patience is. Sure if you can get a babysitter then go for it, but your toddler needs exercise too – so exercise together!

One positive is that toddlers rarely sit still so you will be surprised at just how many steps you are doing and the bending and stretching required in stopping toddlers from painting the walls with your mascara!

As busy parents of young children, how do we get the exercise we need, with an attention-demanding toddler to take care of?

NHS recommends three hours of exercise a day for children!

  • Get into a routine. Toddlers need routine so build in short exercise sessions for you both at regular times. Don’t pick just before nap time or straight after a meal though! Tired hungry toddlers have even less patience than normal as you know!


  • Buy a balance bike and jog alongside them. If they aren’t quite up to riding at a fast enough pace yet, our tips on how to encourage your rider could be useful. Once your toddler has a little bit of speed and control why not jog alongside! you will be surprised just how far they can ride and providing you choose a location with no vehicle hazards such as a park then you can both relax and get in some miles. There are lots of benefits, not just cycling. You can also play games with them when they are riding.

Jog with Toddler on bike

  • Bring the gym exercises into your lounge. Get your toddler in on the action. Make push-ups into a game. Have your toddler lie right underneath you, and for every push-up you do, they get a kiss. You can also enlist your toddler for modified sit-ups. Place them on your stomach, bend your knees, and then roll up and roll down. The added weight will act as resistance and will increase the calories you burn. If your toddler is learning to count, get them to shout out how many you are doing as you go. Piggyback squats with your toddler on your back. The list is endless so if you come up with more ideas let us know!


  • Dance with them – Put on your sounds and dance furiously to get your heart rate up! Your toddler will soon be showing you their moves.


  • Join in at the playground! Go on the monkey bars and practice your pull-ups. Do walking lunges around the park and make it into a game. If you’re pushing your child on the swing, perform a squat before the swing comes back; it’s enjoyable, keeps your toddler happy and you get to exercise.


  • Yoga exercises are good fun for kids! They will often mimic you and join in. Maybe teach them one new pose a day.
    Go swimming! Why not push your toddler through the water by holding them in front of you and just using your breaststroke kick.


  • Lift them in and out of the water to work your arms. If you are nervous about just the two of you swimming join a baby-parent swim class. Just be mindful that you can’t take your eye off them for a second in or near water to avoid accidents.
General - April 21, 2022
Written by Karen Wood

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