15 Oct 2013

25 Ways to Exercise for a SAHM

It is almost impossible to incorporate structured exercise into your daily routine when you are a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM) to a toddler. 

Unless of course,  the other half takes over and you get some precious time to yourself. Exercise is the last thing on my mind at the best of times, let alone in 'me-time'. I would rather use it to put my feet up with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

If you have ever tried doing any structured exercise with a tot in tow, you will know that they perceive it as the perfect opportunity for adventure. You get climbed upon when trying to hold a Yoga pose. Running becomes a game of catch. The Wii Fit board refuses to recognise you because you cannot stand still. How can you, when you are trying to claim board space from your meddling toddler!

If you can't fight them, join them.  So forget structure. There are ways to get moving that can be fun for both you and your tot.

Here are my top 25 exercise tips for when you are parenting a toddler. Best results are achieved when done with said toddler.

1) Go to the park. Swings, slides, roundabouts and climbing frames are great to burn some toddler energy and adult calories.
2) Go exploring in the back garden.
3) Kick a ball around.
4) Play 'catch me' indoors or out. Random running about is so much fun.
5) Dance to any music. Make your own music if you wish. Or just create a racket.
6) Start potty training. There is no better way to keep you on your toes.
7) Go to a soft play centre. Help your tot with the climbing and scrambling. Scramble with them and rediscover your own flexibility (or lack of it).
8) Climb up and go down the stairs for no reason at all.
9) Remove the stabiliser wheels on your kid's bicycle so you are running after them to keep them from falling over.
10) Buy them a scooter or a balance bike. Ditto the running above.
11) Do bunny hops together. Do not be surprised if your tot outlasts you.
12) Pretend to be a choo-choo train and puff around the house.
13) Jump or jog on a trampoline.
14) Jump anywhere.
15) Be a climbing frame for your child.  Just take care of the health and safety bit when attempting this.
16) And when carrying your toddler around on your back like a sack of potatoes.
17) Also when pretending to be a horse/elephant/lion or some such four-legged animal that takes your child around the house on its back.
18) Go for a walk.
19) Go for a swim/splash session.
20) Do a trolley dash around the supermarket.  Choose a quiet time to avoid bumping into other shoppers.
21) Have a session of rough and tumble. Preferably on a soft, mess-free carpet.
22) Sing some action songs and rhymes.
23) Chase after a balloon, a butterfly, bubbles, anything.
24) Dig, plant and tidy your garden.
25) Put on your welly-boots and splash in puddles.

You will be amazed at the rush of endorphins as you unleash your inner child. The feel-good factor only gets multiplied by the giggles, laughs and cuddles that usually follow. The calories burnt are just an added bonus.


  1. Some great ideas! I seem to be constantly on my feet since becoming a SAHM and I am definitely noticing some weight loss!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Mummy of Two. They don't let us rest, do they? But all worth it.

  3. I love this post and can definitely relate to most of the activities with a toddler at home! They definitely keep us on our toes! ;)


    1. Thanks Fiona. It is difficult to even have a cup of tea quietly!

  4. Oh, this is so true :) Although, I managed a run this morning for the first time, leaving the wee girl in the crèche! It was wonderful :)

    1. Good work, Sara. I have started squeezing in the occasional Zumba class when the OH takes over.

  5. You're absolutely right. Having a small child is the best exercise I've ever had!

    1. Great way to lose all that pregnancy and BF fat :-D


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