How to exercise with a toddler

Trying to exercise while you have a toddler running circles around you with a pair of undies on their head, can be a challenge, and somewhat distracting. When she was a baby, you could just strap her into the carrier and do a little workout with a weight on your chest, or you could lay her on the floor, and she’d stay there. But now she wants down, and if you turn your back for 3 seconds, she’s gone! She wants to run around, poke you in the eye, pull all the DVDs out of their cases, pull that cat’s tail, and dump your clean, folded laundry all over the floor.

It’s not easy to get a workout done, you will have to be patient, and you might need to accumulate your exercise in smaller blocks. But there are some things that you can do that will get you some exercise, get your toddler involved, and hopefully keep everyone happy for a couple of minutes.

Here are a few ideas of exercises you can do at home with a toddler.

Have a dance party

Put on your favourite music and dance around as silly as you like. Your toddler will have a blast, and you’ll be boosting your cardio and burning calories.

Crawl around

You’re going to be down on the floor picking up all the toys your toddler has strewn across the floor anyway, why not make it a workout? Chase your toddler around on hands and knees, and then take breaks holding a plank position to get your core engaged.


Toddlers love to play peek-a-boo, you can make it a work out by squatting or lunging down behind the couch or under the high chair  as you ‘hide’ and then jump up to say ‘peek-a-boo’

Swing between legs

Holding your toddler under their arms, bend your knees slightly and swing them between your legs and then up into the air.

Squat, throw in air

Holding your toddler under the arms against your chest, squat down, and push back up to standing as you ‘throw’ them up in the air. You don’t actually have to let go of them if you’re not comfortable.

Ride the horse

Sitting down on the floor or on a chair, sit your toddler on your knees facing you, and bounce the toddler on your knees like they’re riding a horse, you can go fast, slow, gentle, rough and side to side.

Walking feet on feet

Place your toddlers feet on top of your own and onto their hands while you walk/stomp around the house with their weight on your feet.


Hold your toddler under the arms, or around the middle  or whatever feels comfortable for you, and ‘fly’ them around the yard like superman

Hip Lifts

Lying on your back on the floor, sit your toddler on your hips and lift your hips up as you squeeze your glutes.


Sitting on the floor, hold your toddler on your lap and roll backwards onto the floor, and rock back up into a sitting position.