How to Deal With a Baby Next to You

An active lifestyle is important for your health and mental well-being. We all know this, and yet in the frantic struggle to balance work from home and childcare – not to mention all the existential worries associated with experiencing a pandemic – fitness is one of those habits that are all too easy to give up. This is doubly true if you are caring for a toddler. Of course, these babes have a lot of energy, but this is a constant job – just to keep them alive and whole, not to mention spending a little time on their physical shape along the way.

Keeping active and caring for your baby does not have to be mutually exclusive. Given how active toddlers are and how much they enjoy imitating others, training together can be a source of pleasure for parents and toddlers, and also set an example of the importance of exercise.

“You just have to understand that your workout is going to involve your child,” says Amanda Garza , a former pro boxer and owner of Counter Punch Training . Garza knows the fight is real: she is currently isolated at home with her partner and four children. “I may not get the workout I want, but I know I’m starting to move. And best of all, the kids are having fun. “

Here are some strategies for training with young children:

Play can be an exercise in its own right.

Now is not the time to be picky about what kind of play equipment you have in your home. Toddlers have a lot of energy. They enjoy running, exploring and trying new moves. Adding a child to your workouts can be as simple as trying some fun yoga poses , running with her, or letting him watch and imitate you as you try different stretches and movements. The pleasure of a toddler is unique and, when directed in a healthy direction, offers an invaluable communication experience.

Simulating baby movements is harder than you think.

If you’ve seen this ridiculously adorable video of a toddler teaching a dance class while an adult imitates her movements, you’ll find that just being a toddler is a workout in its own right. They are constantly bouncing up and down, zigzagging all over the place, and constantly doing the equivalent of squats, bends, and army crawls. Throw in some music, turn on some play, and you both get some exercise, although your child won’t get any wiser.

Let your kids follow you

Unlike adults, following the movements of a toddler, children are natural imitators. If they see you doing jumps, squats, lunges, or burpees, chances are they’ll want to follow suit. It’s also a good idea to let them – even if that means your workout will take longer than usual or not quite what you planned.

This method not only tires your little one and gives you exercise, but it also helps to develop healthy habits.

Toddlers make good weights

Instead of a barbell, use your child as a weight, letting him roll on his back. In this way, you can perform lunges with weights, squats, push-ups and planks. In addition, over time, your child’s weight will increase; the necessary additional resistance is built right into it.

When all else fails, don’t be afraid to distract them.

If your toddler just doesn’t want to follow his directions, there are a number of strategies to keep your kids busy while you get to workout. This could include having toys nearby or simply showing them their own dance / yoga video so they bounce as you walk up to your workout in the next room.

Things are really hard right now, but adding a little physical activity to your daily routine can help both parents and toddlers by offering them a productive outlet to relieve stress and anxiety.

“It’s really two birds with one stone, one stone when parents exercise and children have fun,” says Garza. At the very least, it will help set your baby up for a sound and sound sleep.

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