SAHM With Toddlers: When Do You Exercise... ?

Updated on December 13, 2011
L.H. asks from Washington, MI
15 answers

I am a stay-at-home mom with my almost 2-year-old daughter. It is just the two of us from about 7:45 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. when my son comes home from school. That's a lotta hours, but I still have a hard time figuring when to exercise.

When do you moms with little ones exercise? Only when your kids sleep? If not, how do you keep them busy and safe enough to get on a treadmill for 30 minutes or so? What other exercises do you do? Any help and details are appreciated.


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answers from Dallas on

I belong to gym that has a great child center. I go in the morning, maybe run an errand then lunch and nap. I have a 2 yr old and 5 yr old. The child center is great for them to socialize and get some energy out. Also, a good kid break for me.

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answers from San Francisco on

I would do 20 to 30 minute workout videos in the family room while the kids played nearby, usually right after breakfast or lunch :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm a working mama, but the best time to exercise for me early in the morning, like 5:15am...get it out of the way and then that way if you are able to squeeze in a walk with the kids later than that is great too!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

I trained my babies to stay off my yoga mat and away from my kicking legs during DVDs from about 18 months! Also, my gym membership is invaluable. I dump them in the daycare, they have fun, and I exercise.

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answers from San Antonio on

When I chase my 3.5 yr old, that's my exercise.
When I walk FAAAR from my car to the store, that's my exercise.
When I grocery shop, that's my exercise.
When I carry groceries from my car to my house, that's my exercise.
When I hand-wash all of our dishes, that's a tiny bit of my exercise.

But if I had a treadmill, I would likely turn on Olivia or Batman or whatever my kiddo wants to watch and get my exercise then. Or go to the library and rent a 'kids exercise' video and wiggle and dance with them.


answers from Los Angeles on

After their breakfast and before the babies morning nap. They like to hang around me when I do ex. videos.



answers from Honolulu on

I am also a work out video mom. I do belly dance, yoga and a mish mash of other videos I can get on netflix. You would be surprised, my kids like to try to do them too and it is really cute to see the 18 month old it!



answers from Los Angeles on

I tried the daycare center at my gym but my child hates it.
So for now I will exercise at home.
When he was smaller, I would exercise (treadmill or workout dvd).
Now that he rarely naps anymore, I wake early & go for a decent fast walk before hubby leaves for work (& after I've fed the dogs).
When he's home, I can do the treadmill.
For you, I'd recommend doing a DVD workout while daughter is occupied watching a dvd for 1/2 an hour or playing.
If you belong to a gym, can you go after dinner when hubby home w/the kids? On the weekends?
I fit in what I can when I can. I walk (tried to get bk into jogging yuck), DVD's etc.



answers from Cleveland on

If I go on the treadmill my 14 month old goes in the playpen. I have a 3 1/2 year old too and he's fine to play nearby, but he actually likes going in the playpen with his sister. If I work out in the living room ( I have a Xbox Kinect and use a exercise game to work out sometimes) I will just have them playing in the same room. Sometimes I will wait until my husband gets home because it's just easier.


answers from Houston on

From 3 to 3:45 every day...give or take 10 minutes. I set up my daughter with cartoons, a snack, or games on my iphone.......or all three. Sometimes i roll out a mat for her and she does it with me. (nothing is cuter than a 2 year old doing yoga)

I do this every day and have for about a year now, after a few weeks she has learned not to bother me, she has learned she cant get anything from me during this time.

Although at times she satill thinks its funny to pretend i am a bridge while i am in downward facing dog......but ive learned how to be mindful of her as well.



answers from Milwaukee on

It depends on their ages. When they were younger (1 & 2?), I used to put them in their high chairs and do a 30 minute work-out while they ate their breakfast (they were in my sight) - they sometimes fussed during the last 10 minutes or so, but they got used to it.
As they out-grew this (once they older dude could get out of his chair himself), then I started working out during their naps.
Once they started taking crappy naps, this was no longer possible. At that point, I joined a gym & utilized the babysitting service (I LOVE it!!!!!!)
If that's too expensive for you, then you can always go for a walk or jog outside with a stroller. You can find really nice strollers that keep children nice & cozy warm (Chariot, for example). If you find a walking partner (somebody who also has kids) - then you'd have it made!! :)
I find that if I get my walk or run done in the morning, then I can easily exercise every day...but if I wait until evening, then I skip. :( Sometimes I think, "I'll wait until my hub gets home & then I'll exercise quick!!!" - usually doesn't happen. There's too much going on at that hour. But if you're diligent, you can make it work. :-)
The nice thing about having a gym membership is that you can also utilize the free classes (body sculpt, boot camp, spinning, etc) and the weights/weight machines. I try to weight lift 2 times/week.
If you can't get to a class, try Bob Harper's Living Room Fat Burner. It's 30 minutes long and really simple. Just google it.
Good luck and have fun!!!! :-)



answers from Dallas on

turn on the radio ... everybody dance! LOL

This is what I did with my kiddos, but it was for fun, not purposely for exercise.


answers from Santa Fe on

I have a 2 yr old daughter and a 7 yr old son. I am home w my daughter all day like you are. Once a week (Wed mornings) I do a run exchange with a friend. We take turns watching the kids (she has a 2yr old too) and going for a run. 1 or 2 evenings a week I run to the YMCA after dinner and do a 45 minute exercise class (yoga or a weight class). I try to go for a run every weekend as well. I get up early Sat or Sun morning and try to leave before the kids are up. In our town I know of 2 mom exercise groups and if I wanted to be super exerciser woman I could join them - but I feel like I do enough. One group meets at someone's house every M and W. Some parents stay and watch all the kids while other parents go running. Another group gets together once a week at the pool. There is a play area and some moms swim while others watch kids and then they switch. My friend who has a toddler gets up at 4:30 every single day and goes for a 10 mile run. She is home right at the time her husband is getting up for work. That is dedication! I admire her but I can't do it! She says she cannot be happy without doing makes her feel good all day.



answers from Houston on

I don't think I would get on the treadmill while your child is awake. I'd wait till naptime.

We had a gym membership as well as a membership to the YMCA, and both places offered 2 hr childcare. So I was able to work out every day at either place for at least 2 hrs.

I would also meet up w/some girlfriends at the park and we'd go for a walk w/our kids in a stroller.



answers from Chicago on

We go for walks. I wish I could do more than that..and I was putting my almost 4 year old in front of the computer for 20 minutes so I could do yoga...must do that again...But yes, I exercise when the toddler is sleeping.

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