14 answers

When Is to Young to Take to the Gym

I hav a 3yr old little darling who loves to run and climb on everything. I want to take her to the GMY with me, not for her to loose weight or any thing, but to hang with mommy and run off some extra energy. She is so active in the winter we can only run around the house so much. Any ideas or thoughts would be helpful.

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I think right now is the perfect age. I take my little girl with me right now and she is 29 months and has a ball. After we play then she goes to day care so I can jog, then we go for a swim and sometimes we go at night so daddy can join in. She loves it. It is good for her to start early.
Those will be some of her best memories and she will remember a portion of them... she isn't too young.

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Sorry to say they won't allow her! They have to be 13 or older to workout on the equipment and cannot run around the areas. However, in Washington state there were some that offered childcare in the facility. I don't know if that is available here. Do you pick her up from daycare early? I always felt guilty if I was off work and didn't pick my kids up IMMEDIATELY! That ended when I realized I had gained alot of weight and it was threatening my life! I started taking the 45 min between my time off work and the latest time I could pick my child up and hit the gym. It was so worth it and my husband picked up the slack at home with the other school-age kids. In the summer, you could try finding a park with a walking trail around it. When my oldest was 3, she had her first bike and we walked a trail, she rode and it was really wonderful for both of us! Maybe the playgroup would be a great idea, anything to get your pulse up for an entire 20 to 30 minutes is perfect for you! I hope this helps and I wish you the very best. Oh, another thing, my kids love to "workout" with me! I put on my ball video and they do the crunches and push ups right along with me! For her age, it may be tough to keep her focused. Good luck!

I would not take a 3 year old to the gym. There are too many things for her to get hurt on, but I do suggest a discovery house/museum place. Or put her in tumbling/dance class.

Hi A.,

I have to admit that I agree with previous posters that a gym is not a safe place to take a toddler unless it is a specific program for children that age. The Little Gym is such a program, and I'm sure there are many others, according to what area you are in. Check the yellow pages, then go visit each one. Take her with you so she can see kids her age having fun. There should be lots of smiles, and definitely no yelling at kids! I took my children to gymanastics for years - it was recommended by my younger son's OT, and my older son had a ball too. It helps with all kinds of things - coordination, overcoming fear, learning to take turns, stand in a line, and using body parts more efficiently. I know you want to run around with her, but do that in a different venue. Give her the reins in this one!


In MO our local rec center had classes during the day for mothers and children. They called it Mommy and Me, for activites to do with your children. They ended up changing it the Parent Child Class because there were a fair number of stay at home Dads who wanted something to do with thier young children. You should also check with your gym to see if they have rules and age limitations for using the facility. Good Luck

we just joined the northeast family ymca... man its awesome!!! they have a play area for kids who are potty trained where they can climb run ect its like a big (nice) mcdonalds play thing. then they have the toddler room behind that if shes not potty trained. then they have the heated pool for familys and they even have exercise classes for familys. i would highly recommend checking it out. if you are like us and dont have alot of money they have something called the spirit campaign and its for familys who cant pay 80 a month its basically a way to join for less. its great!

I don't know that a regular gym will let her run around with you. If you are looking for things you can do together, there are Mommy & Me classes at lots of places like My Gym, Gymboree & other local kids type gym. For 3 year olds, there are also ballet classes, kids gymnastics classes and other fun things. Check around for the one that fits you best.

I dont think the gym is a good place for a young child to hang out. Other people working out aren't going to want to watch out for kids (most gyms wont let kids under 14 or 16 near the equipment). Spending a little time in a childcare area while you work out is one thing, but if you want her to be able to run around, why not take her to an indoor playplace or a museum? Some malls have indoor play centers, too.

I used to live in Chicago and Green Bay (you might have heard about their weather recently, 20 below with windchills at 40 below) and it's too cold to even think about playing outside. I used to take my son to places like Chuck E Cheese, or McDonalds to play in the indoor play area. Sometimes we'd have lunch at McD's, but sometimes we would just buy a dessert (ice cream in winter, we have issues!) then play.

You could try your local community center or YMCA - they will have acitivities (and equipment) geared towards a young child so that she can run around in a safe environment and burn off some energy. Also, as long as it's above freezing, don't be afraid of the outdoors. Bundle her and yourself up in layers and take her to your local park for a bit. Depending on the temp, she might only get 15-20 minutes of playtime but fresh outside air has a way of tiring kids out :)

several places have My Gym or tumbling at rec centers. That way you can both do the exercises together. Or, you can join a gym and she can play in the nursery. I would call your local rec center YMCA, etc and they have classes that start at age 1. Have fun!

Well, your gym probably has age rules and guidelines. If they have an open room and you can reserve 30 minutes when it is not in use, definitely go and run, show her yoga, play with the exercise ball, etc. You may also look into classes in your area for her age. There could be music, gymnastics, yoga, soccer, etc available. Good luck and have fun.

What I wouldn't give to have your daughter's energy! Taking her to a place where she can run, climb, tumble and just be an active kid is something you should look into. It's a great way to teach her to be active for the rest of her life. Look for a class called Mommy and Me where you can bring your little one with you to do fun exercises together with a group. If you have a YMCA nearby, they've got cool stuff for families to do. Or you can sign her up for tumbling classes so she can get that interaction with other kids her age and work on her large motor skills. Go for it!

You don't say where you are, but here in middle TN there are gyms designed specifically for toddlers. They're called "My Gym." Here's the link: http://www.my-gym.com/
It is a fitness gym for babies and toddlers. They offer free play as well as classes.
Hope you can find one in your area. My grandchildren love it!
Their mom takes them there on cold days so they can work off their energy.
Hope this helps!


I think right now is the perfect age. I take my little girl with me right now and she is 29 months and has a ball. After we play then she goes to day care so I can jog, then we go for a swim and sometimes we go at night so daddy can join in. She loves it. It is good for her to start early.
Those will be some of her best memories and she will remember a portion of them... she isn't too young.

Most gyms don't allow children under 12. A 3 year old wouldn't be safe on a treadmill. My 3 year old loves his preschool because they have an indoor gym with basketball, trikes, and other large toys. He also takes swim lessons twice a week. If your kids not getting enough excersize there are plenty of activites for her through the YMCA, Gymboree, and neighborhood preschools and playgroups.


She is the perfect age to enroll in a gymnastics class. Some of the gold medalists start at this age.

Go to the below link and read all the wonderful benefits of gymnastics:


She can swing and climb like a monkey all day long.

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