Fitness is a Family Affair

You can do some exercises with your toddler

We had ants in our pants this weekend. Kiddo was running wild, definitely restless, and DEFINITELY not up for sitting in the bike trailer for an hour while mommy and daddy went for a joyride to get some exercise.

So. We did a family workout instead.

I’ll admit it, that even though I often feel like being lazy, I LOVE exercising.

I made a plan, based on the tiny park layout. There was a bench, and some cement ball sculpturey things, and a small lawn to work with. We brought one set of 10-lb weights, my phone with an interval timer app, an exercise mat, water, and towels (and some snacks for the kiddo).

HIIT workout plan
Failure to plan is planning to fail…or somesuch.

~Please note: I am not a trainer or a medical practitioner. Always check with your doctor before trying a new fitness regimen and never work beyond your ability. Do your research for proper form and technique. This routine is for people who are fitness-savvy.~

Part of the plan was to have mommy and daddy doing different activities that would allow us to engage our daughter, or at least watch her while we worked out. Let me tell you, kids love frog jumps. I HATE them. But they work.

Toward the end, she got sick of not being the center of attention. So I got a little extra ballast for the last few exercises! 30 more pounds for step ups? Sure! A lap buddy for triceps dips? Bring it! She got a kick out of doing mountain climbers under me (I used the bench to make them a little easier, she thought it was funny). And we got to do some fun stretches together. She actually said (without prompting): “Exercise is FUN!” which made me so happy. I mean, she liked me bouncing her around on my lap, but still. It’s a positive association and I’ll take it.

You can do some exercises with your toddler
If they get bored, get them involved! Step-ups are much more challenging!

What’s my point? That getting fit can be a family affair. If you’re on your own and don’t have childcare, try taking them with you. (I say this because I have one child–I don’t know how I’d do with 2 or more!).

Here’s the workout. Please ask me or look up any of the moves if they don’t make sense to you. DON’T GET INJURED!


90 seconds each. Do all 4 exercises of the group without rest. Rest 30-60 seconds between groups. Be sure to warm up for a few minutes before starting.

Group 1:

  • Step ups with knee up, 10-lb weight in standing hand. Shoulder press as you rise. Pause at the top. 45 seconds on each leg.
  • Jumping jacks
  • Toe touches (squat, touch the ground, stand up, reach to the sky). Go fast!
  • 180˚ jump burpees (instead of jumping straight up, pretend to hop over a line, turning 180˚ in the air)

Group 2:

  • pushups
  • mountain climbers
  • side shuffles (width of a room, get going both directions)
  • balance on one leg, same arm above head, straight w/10 lb weight, other knee (45 sec/leg)

Group 3:

  • Frog jumps (squat, touch the ground, then leap forward, swinging arms up. Land in a squat and repeat. Say “Ribbit” as you go, makes these less torturous.)
  • Side plank with reach through (45 seconds each side, no weight)
  • Burpees
  • Deep squats

Group 4:

  • Quick stepup/downs on a bench or step.
  • Triceps dips or triceps curls
  • Lunges with bicep curls, alternating legs. Can do this walking or stationary.
  • Dumbell swings (like kettlebell swings, but with a 10-lb weight)

Cool down and stretch well!


I need to give a shout-out…

Although they may not know it, these people have been hugely influential in my quest for health (especially after having a baby). Please “like” their Facebook pages and enjoy their motivational posts!

Fit4Mom West Seattle: When I was battling postpartum health issues and working hard back toward health, this group of mamas was so inspiring and helpful. They got me out of the house and MOVING, and showed me that exercise and motherhood didn’t need to be mutually exclusive.

EvoFit: These 2 moms are AMAZING trainers. I love their motivational posts and humor.

BFit Bellevue: amazing cross-training facility. You get an even better workout than with a trainer, but in a supportive group setting. I’ve done things in just a few classes that I never thought I’d be able to do. Still can’t do the one-leg hop ups…yet.


What are some of your favorite workouts? How did you get healthy after kids?

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