5 Easy Exercises To Do With Your Young Child
As parents, we’ve all been there: You have a young child and that little teacup human is demanding all of your time and attention – maybe you’ve been constantly keeping your toddler from climbing up the bookshelves, or perhaps your infant screams whenever you’re not holding them.
Whether you’re missing out on your normal workout routine or just realizing how much your Mini Me is consuming all of your once-free time, you can still make the best of the situation by squeezing in a workout!
Below are some simple exercises that you can do while still interacting with your youngster:
Hold your little one at chest-level in a secure fashion. This can be done by wearing them in a carrier on your chest or even holding them across your arms.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly squat down so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and remember to maintain control of your balance. When you’re as low as you can go, pause for a three-count and then slowly raise back up to standing.
Start by trying to do 3 sets of 10-15 reps and increase the number of reps and/or sets as you feel able to.
Stand up straight with your feet together. With whichever foot feels more natural, take a step forward with that foot and then proceed to lower your body into a kneeling position. Stop lowering just before your rear leg touches the floor.
Inhale as you lower yourself and then slowly push yourself back up to a standing position, in a controlled motion. Continue by alternating the leg you step forward with, so that the exercise is performed an equal number of times with each leg. You can do with with your child on your shoulders or in a baby carrier if they’re small enough.
Do 4 sets of 10-20 reps (half of the reps with each leg).
When your baby is playing on one of those tummy time play mats, you can do push ups while they wiggle around. Another fun thing to do is to lay them on the floor below where your face would be, so that you can nibble their belly when you lower yourself. If you child is older, have them sit or lay on your back while you do these push-ups, for extra burn!
Keeping your back straight and your abs tight, slowly lower yourself and pause for a two-count, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. Try to do 4 sets of 10 push-ups.
The important thing to remember is to use proper form, so if you can’t do as many as I’ve suggested, focus instead on performing as many as you can in a controlled motion with proper form.
This may seem like a strange exercise to do with your little one, but as a parent you’re going to be carrying your child in one form or another, for years to come. Small children can be buckled into their car seats so you can use the handle, have older children wrap their arms around your forearms while you lift, or any other safe and creative way you can think of to perform a standard bicep curl.
Go slow and use controlled movements to avoid jostling them as much as possible. Try to do 4 sets of 8-10 reps, resting for about a minute between each set.
Lie face down with your forearms on the floor. Many people tend to clasp their hands together on the floor in front of their face, but it is not required for this exercise. Extend your legs straight out behind you and lift up onto your toes. While keeping your back straight, tighten your abs and hold the position for 30-60 seconds. Lower yourself and rest, then try again for as many times as you can.
Just like with push-ups, you can do this exercise while your baby plays on the floor or have older children sit on your back to give you an extra challenge.
Help spread the word! Next time you’re playing with your kids and being active with your family, snap a few pictures and tag them with the hashtag #FitToBeDad when you share them online! My hope is that we can encourage other fathers and parents to get out and play, and reduce the obesity rate that is out of control!
Photo Credit: Thefixer