Staying active with a toddler is probably not too difficult. You get to chase those buggers around all day long! With an infant, it can be a little more difficult. Lack of sleep aside (if your baby is sleeping through the night, you can just keep that to yourself lest I stab you with a fork through the interwebs) your baby probably requires a lot of attention. It can be difficult to feel motivated to go to the gym when you've been peed on, puked on, and cried at incessantly all before breakfast. Luckily, your body doesn't know if you burned those calories on the treadmill or your living room floor. In honor of my gym membership expiring at the end of the month, I've come up with a short list of things you can do with your baby to burn calories and even build a little bit of muscle.
- Play with your baby! This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are a few creative ways to turn this into exercise. My little monkey loves the "airplane" move, where I lift her over my head and then bring her back down to eye-level. Obviously, you want to do this in a safe place. God forbid you drop your child! Moving in different directions works different muscle groups. My chunkster is at least 15 lbs, which is much less than I normally lift, but it'll do.
- Lift her over your head while standing, that's an overhead press. Lift her while lying on your back? Bam! Benchpress! Do that for 15-20 minutes, and you've got a complete upper-body workout!
- I'm not sure how to describe this, but I like to lay down on my back and pull my knees to my chest. Then I put Monkey on my legs and move left to right, until I am just about touching the floor. This is a killer oblique workout!
- And, of course, you can always do squats while holding your baby. That one is pretty self-explanatory.
- Take her for a walk. I prefer to wear her in a carrier or sling. It's more effective than trekking around your neighborhood wearing those silly ankle weights. You can definitely push a stroller if you prefer, but I find this to provide less resistance, and I like to get everything I can out of my workouts. Some towns even have strollercise/strollerobics groups if you'd like some company. If your area doesn't already have one, start it yourself! :)
- Pop in a workout DVD while she naps. (If she naps... Mine does not.) Nobody says you have to finish the whole thing or that you have to do the 30 Day Shred from start to end.
- Just get moving. If you get 10 minutes or 30 minutes, it's better than zero minutes!