While I love the “me time” that comes with a kid-free workout, that luxury doesn’t always happen as a mom of two. So, I’m sharing how (and why) I work out with my preschooler.
By the way, I totally balked at typing preschooler, but she isn’t a toddler anymore!
Working Out with Your Preschooler
It’s important to have a good feel for when you can safely use equipment and work out with your child. Each one is different! There is no chance I could get anything in with Cole at 14 months old, so I wait until he takes a morning nap to train. Jada is 3.5 years and asks me to work out. What?!
1. Choose an Appropriate Workout
I typically select workouts that are not timed, where I can break to wipe a runny nose (do they ever stop??), grab a snack, or answer another question. Don’t get me wrong, I still go hard, but the clock is not in control of me.
2. Invite Your Child to Join You
If I see Jada pausing to watch what I’m doing, I always ask her if she wants to try.
There is zero pressure on my end to actually exercise, but if she demonstrates interest, I see that as an opportunity to teach.
3. Be Prepared
This is probably obvious, but I have learned to always prepare a small snack, grab her water bottle, and have some activities/toys ready when I’m getting ready to train.
If not, I’ll have to pause mid-workout and grab something.
In the winter months, I typically train downstairs where she has access to her favorites like puzzles, Thomas the Train, and such. She’s becoming really good at independent play, creating these stories, and letting her imagination go. It took a while to get there, so be patient with your littles who want you to play with them non-stop.
4. Explain Your “Why”
Kids are smart. I started telling Jada why I like to work out. I told her it makes me a better mommy. It really does.
I also told her that I want to be strong for her and Cole. Now, she repeats those things to me. I think that’s a good thing?!
5. Quality Time
For Jada, working out with mom isn’t necessarily about the exercise. It’s about spending time together.
When Cole’s asleep, it’s just us again. As much as she loves her brother, she enjoys having mom to herself…with Cooper of course. He’s non-negotiable.
Do you work out with your kid(s)? Why or why not? Any tips?