Ways to Keep Active

Updated on October 22, 2010
L.M. asks from Washougal, WA
17 answers

What are some activities I can do to get my heart rate up? I am a SAHM with a 21 month old son and I don't have money for a gym membership. I was going on walks with him everyday. Then he hated being put in the stroller, so instead of a long walk for me, we would do little walks around the block 3 times a day, with him walking too. but now whenever i ask him if he wants to go on a walk with me, he says no and won't budge.
Also, fall's here and winter's approaching, so i need an alternative. I really want something that will raise my heart rate that i can do at home. Or am I confined to running around in circles in the house at naptime?
Any advice?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses! I'll definatly try them!

Featured Answers



answers from Anchorage on

I had this problem. I liked to walk everyday so I choose a store that was a good distance away, and we would walk there and than I would let the boys get a small treat, that seemed to keep them motivated for the daily walks. For the bad days I got an elliptical trainer. I could do it while they kids slept or while they watched tv and played.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I would suggest a small trampoline for the house......and get you some dance exercise video's.....the ones with music you can exercise too....also, I found playing music when doing house work steps up my pace a bit....

Good Luck and take care.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Medford on

Dance parties. I am out of breath a couple minutes into our dress up/dance parties. Just find some tunes that make you want to shake your booty and swing your kids around. You can turn dance party into extreme squat sessions.

Trail running. I take my kids to nature/hiking trails and chase them around pretending to be a monster, or fairy or dinosaur. It's so much more pleasant than walking on roads because they don't have to hold hands and they get to run themselves ragged as well.

Interpretive walking, follow the leader or jump, jump, jumping jacks, walk like a ______(frog, bird, dinosaur) make walking (indoor or outdoor) a lot more fun for my kids. When they are doddling or refuse to walk we make it into a game (well, when Mom is up for it) and it turns out we get to where we are going much more quickly and with many more giggles. When I don't have the motivation or patience for a game like that I put the little one in a backpack (ergo baby is comfy) and then have my eldest hold my hand and we speed walk. Carrying 30 lbs on your back for an hour is a pretty good workout.

Indoor games like: Mama swings you around and around, lifts you up and drops you down, gymnastics, hide and seek, how fast/high can you jump, airplane, etc.

Cleaning - with gusto. Gets the job done in a hurry and burns a couple of calories.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I am also a SAHM. Similar situation to you, gym's are not my thing.
One thing that REALLY helped me...

I didn't really follow the entire website but they have a whole section of pilate type exercise videos.
I used to workout to those every day and i lost about 20lbs.
They have stretches, cardio etc. It really was a great help.
Another thing..turn your son into exercise equipment. My son loved it.
I used to lay on my back, on the floor. put him on my legs and lift. Or sit him on my stomach and lift my hips off the floor.

You'd be surprised how many exercises you can do at home that are actually really effective.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

I can't always get out to exercise and can't do a gym membership either. If you have cable you can look in the "on demand" section and find great free workouts.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Pogo stick or jumping rope will raise your heart rate. They are both pretty fun, too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Look up on the internet for exercises:

Push Ups

Go to walmart and get some of the Biggest Loser workout DVD's, You could buy "The Wave", get yourself some cheap weights, a mat, kettle ball, resistance bands, and a body ball ! Get the Bender Ball !! Most of that stuff comes with workouts, or even a DVD ! I have all of it and I love it all ! I was fortunate enough to afford a trainer last year, went from a 17 to a 4 ! But now I am pregnant and have to do it all on my own. . . 3 kids I will be poor :) But I used all of that stuff at the gym . . . if you go to walmart its cheaper .... you can have a mini gym in your house :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I usually go old school. Jumping jacks, running in place, jumping rope.

I love dancing vigorously around the house too for about 30 minutes at a time.

If you are into weights, there are loads of things around the house you can use to tone up your body. Simple things like jugs of water, detergent, fabric softener or cans of beans. Also exercise videos are always fun if you actually do the workout. I usually get the ones that are only 30 minutes at a time.

Have fun and think outside the box. There are plenty of things you can do that cost nothing to get into shape.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Do you have a nearby Y. It is $5.00 per day. You could do water aerobics while he is in childcare. You can stay the whole day. Many Y's have swim classes for babies and toddlers. They are in the water with their mothers.



answers from Boston on

P90X is a GREAT workout....one of the best out there. It is 12 DVD's that are guaranteed to change your body. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

When my son started hating the stroller, we learned he would happily go anywhere in the wagon. It saved our walks :). It may be worth a shot. If you don't have one, maybe someone would let you borrow one to try before you buy.


answers from Chicago on

On my TV there is an On Demand channel that has belly dancing that is what I do and love it



answers from Seattle on

I also LOVE on demand on Comcast. I can try a different workout everyday or do several shorter workouts. For mindless cardio I have a step - my husband got it for me for Christmas. It's great because I can just step up and step down. I do that every morning while I brush my teeth (125 up and down on each leg = 1,000 steps). I also recommend getting a pedometer. It really makes you conscience of your movement. I went from 7,000 steps a day to about 15,000 steps a day. A lot of those steps are just slipping in 1,000 steps on the step, or playing chase with the kids in the house or back yard. The step also really gets your heart rate up, especially if you add jumps or kicks.



answers from Portland on

Go to your local library and borrow a cardio workout DVD or tape. There are some that even have ten minute workouts.



answers from Portland on

I would say check out the local library for exercise movies for parents and kids. I did that with our oldest and she really liked the movements.

I tried all different types, yoga, pilates - anything!!

I hope this helps :)



answers from Portland on

Jumping jacks, squats, lunges with heavy weights, sit ups, dumb bells, planks, jump rope,bear crawls..... just do these each for 2 mins straight and do about 10-20 sets.. you've got your heart rate up, and building core strength! Get a mini trampoline and run in place for 2 mins between each set:-) I'm sure if you find a video that would keep you motivated. Also I heard P90X is great !
I like Sommer's idea.

Do you have a community center? They sometimes have free or near free aerobic classes with childcare?



answers from Portland on

I think it's great that you are already finding ways to exercise when your little one is napping. It's hard when you have so many other things you could be doing. If you get comcast, do the on demand fitness programs. I don't have comcast, but I've tried hulu.com and I found Jillian Michaels on there with some short routines. You could do those and repeat since they are short, but I did them one time and OUCH. I've been thinking of running the stairs at home too, but haven't tried that yet. I also invested in a treadmill a long time ago and use it every day. That way I can fit it in, even with the kids at home. I caution you to be careful to only use it when your child is out of the room. My little guy took some skin off his fingers when he reached under the darn thing as I was turned the other way using it!

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