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Let's Get Fit! Infant and Toddler Exercises for Parent and Child

written by: Lisalyn • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 3/2/2012

It can be hard to balance the duties of a new parent with personal fitness. One solutions to this is to incorporate fitness with caring for your baby. Try some of these exercises that benefit parents and children.

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    Fitness and the New Parent

    Nothing changes your life more than becoming a parent. Your wants and needs that were once so important, fall quickly to the wayside as life begins to revolve around the needs of your child. In order to continue to take good care of your child, it is important to take care of yourself. This can be difficult. Finding a way to involve your child will increase your chances of regaining your fitness. Below are some toddler exercises that you can do with your child!

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    Exercises You Can Do with Your Child

    One way to involve your child in your new fitness routine is to incorporate your infant or toddler within your exercises. Exercise often looks like play. By including your child, you can begin to work your muscles while giving your child some fun one-on-one play time. Here are a few examples:

    • Sit-ups can be done with your infant or toddler lying across your belly. This will invoke giggles in your toddler while your infant will find the closeness and rhythm relaxing.
    • Airplanes, placing your toddler's belly on your knees or feet and lifting him into the air, will work your core while your toddler gets the thrill of flying.
    • Arm exercises can be done using your infant or toddler's body weight as resistance.
    • Same for leg exercises. Just think about doing lunges while holding your child! This will work your core, along with those major leg muscles.

    Most basic exercises can be modified and performed with a small child in tow. Sure, it would be easier to do these alone. However, you probably do not have the free time. Plus, you would be missing out on the additional play time!

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    Exercises Your Child Can Do with You

    You can include infant and toddler exercises in other ways. Instead of using your child to work out your body, you can allow your child to enjoy the benefits of exercise along with you. Of course, infants will not be able to participate in this way. You can still include an infant in your fitness routine and also enjoy some parent/child bonding time. For example, an infant will be content in the stroller while you walk or jog through the park. A front carrier is also an option.

    Exercise with a toddler can be active play. Here are a few examples:

    • Go for a morning walk together. Remind your toddler to pump his arms and step high.
    • Allow your toddler to do mat exercises beside you. Sit ups, push ups, leg lifts, and jumping jacks are all good choices.
    • Play ball together. Take turns trying to kick the ball the farthest or the highest.
    • Put on your favorite music and dance together.

    Make exercise a part of your daily schedule as early as possible in your child's life. This will increase your chances of getting and remaining fit, while teaching your child the importance of having a healthy and fit body.

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    Establishing a Lifestyle of Fitness

    Fit children are becoming rare in our country. Try to lead by example with an active lifestyle that includes basic Infant and toddler exercises, as much as possible. Make exercise a part of your daily schedule as early as possible in your child's life. This will increase your chances of getting and remaining fit, while teaching your child the importance of having a healthy and fit body.