Finding the time to exercise can be difficult, especially when you have young children at home. But this shouldn’t be a reason not to exercise. Finding time to exercise can decrease day-to-day stress, as well as inspire your children to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older.

There are different ways to exercise with a toddler at home and they are achievable. For example, you can do your workout when your toddler is having their afternoon nap or you could go for a long walk together. It’s important to make ‘you time’ and regular exercise is great to keep a healthy, positive mind.

Here are our top tips on how to exercise with a toddler at home.

Sleep Time

Take full advantage of your toddler’s nap and bedtime. Whether its 20 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour, this is the perfect time to put on your gym gear and exercise. Plan your workout in advance to ensure you have the correct equipment and exercise plan ready. Remember, time can be limited when your toddler is sleeping, so make every minute count.

These short bursts of exercising can be more effective because you’ll be more time conscious; therefore, most likely to push yourself. Also, if you find yourself tight on time, HIIT workouts are perfect for busy parents. They have the same benefits, if not greater, than a 60-minute workout.

Pram Strolls

person walking with a pram

Don’t forget that walking is an effective exercise. You might not break into a pool of sweat, but walking is still a great and underestimated cardio workout. Not only will you be getting the steps in, but you’ll be surprised at how far you can cover while walking throughout the day. Weather permitted, go on regular walks with your toddler and find a couple of uphill routes to really work your legs and burn calories.

If you’re feeling ambitious and confident, run instead of walking with the pram. You’ll be surprised at how common this is. If you decide to go for long walks, pick up the pace and turn it into a power walk rather than a leisurely stroll. Keep this workout to a maximum of 45 minutes to avoid shoulder strain.

Your toddler will benefit from the fresh air too, which is another reason to include this workout in your weekly routine.

Working Together

If you struggle to find time during the day to exercise, wait for your partner to come home. Your partner can look after the children, whilst you exercise and vice versa. The family is about working together as a team, and a creating an unbreakable partnership. This means you can continue to exercise without being time conscious.

You and your partner can also exercise together to keep motivation and energy levels high. It’s an effective way to achieve your fitness goals and set new ones. Plus, it helps to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle which is important when you become a parent and still spend quality time with your partner.

Playground Fun

a parent and child having fun on the monkeybars

If your toddler enjoys the playground, turn it to your advantage. Go on the monkey bars and practice your pull-ups. Or do walking lunges around the park. 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. Everyone’s a winner.

Don’t feel self-conscious about it. Chat with other parents at the playground for advice. They might surprise you with their own playground workout routine!

Playtime

It shouldn’t be just the kids who enjoy playtime, parents can too. Whilst your toddler is happily playing with toys, or watching their favourite TV show/ film, why not do some exercises? Create your own supersets or circuit with a variety of exercises to complete, whilst watching over your toddler.

Even it’s only for half an hour, 30-minute exercising is better than not exercising. You’ll understand how your child’s mind functions too, which will help plan your workout more effectively.

Here is an example of a circuit workout:

Exercise Reps
Lunges (with or without weights) 8-12 per leg
Bicep curls 8-12 reps
Crunches 25 reps
Jumping Jacks 8-12 reps
Push-Ups 8-12 reps
Russian Twist (with weight) 20 reps
Squats (with or without weights) 8-12 reps or hold for 30 seconds
Triceps Dips (use the sofa as a prop to assist you) 8-12 reps
Sit –Ups 25 reps
Burpees 8-12 reps
Plank 30 seconds
Mountain Climbers 30 seconds
Kickbacks 8-12 per leg
Kettlebell Swings 8-12 reps
Side Plank 30 seconds each side

The above table can also be split into 4 different supersets, with 3 exercises per set. If you choose to perform supersets instead of a circuit workout, repeat each set 3 times, resting up 60 seconds after each completed superset.

Music

Children love being entertained by music, which can be used to your advantage. If you’re someone who enjoys working out to music, there shouldn’t be any stopping you exercising to your toddler’s favourite tunes – even if it means listening to the same songs over and over.

Music that your toddler enjoys keeps them distracted and exercising to the same music, might keep you entertained. You might even have more fun listening to random children’s music than your typical workout playlist.

Get The Children Involved

person doing a pushup with their toddler on their back

Ok, so we’re not expecting your toddler to start squatting, but they can help you with your workout. Turn your exercise plan into a game for them. Get your toddler to count, be responsible for the stop clock and motivate and cheer you along the way.

Kids are great for keeping you inspired. Their enthusiasm will keep you motivated, which will make you perform better and have a great workout.

Also, involving kids from an early age will encourage them to exercise as they get older, making it easier to maintain a healthy family.

We hope we’ve inspired you to continue exercising at home with a toddler. You might find exercising more enjoyable with a young child, which could improve your performance.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.