Use your child to get fit

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Having such a lack of time like most mothers, sometimes the only option there is to get fit is to carry our kids with us at all times and transform the distances with them into your daily exercising routine.

I did it since the beginning. Since Luísa first started to feel cholics and at 5 weeks I took her for a half an hour walk before the 2-hours-scream session started and suddenly, this was cure.

We would walk for 40 minutes at sunset time, the most beautiful colors of the day, a spectacle to offer yourself and your baby, plus the physical connection, that eternal hug.

While the baby is small, it´s really easy to do this. And many people would tell me to use the stroller and I could have (I only used it at home to feed her), but I couldn´t let go of that baby hug, it was too good and I was too addicted.

I imagine that if you live in a city, it could be really cool to take the stroller to a park and push it for 40 minutes. Again, an awesome experience to share with your baby.

The exercising you can make with your baby can vary a lot. The basics exercises are: walking, pushing the stroller, riding a bike, playing on the ground and playing in the water but you can be more creative and use your child as a weight to lift (more advisable for men). This and much more is what Leo does when using his kids as the gym.


I kept walking with Luísa, holding her in my arms. When she was little, I would carry her in the superman position, or standing up and hugging me.

When she was a bit bigger, I would carry her sitting on my sholders too.

These days we walk at the beach and since I sold our car, we walk way more than just ride the bike.

I have to say that using Luísa to go on walks to exercise was much easier when she was a little baby, now that she is 3 years old, I prefer much more to use our exercising time with swimming and riding the bike. Luísa still struggles to be picked up when we are walking and she makes us take twice the time to get anywhere (plus a grumpy mother). It takes lots of patience to walk with her nowadays.

Playing in the ground

When she was crawling, I would often sit with her and try to repeat her every move. It  was a game that would make me exhausted in a few minutes, like power yoga.

Now that she is 3, it´s just plain playing, I don´t think I get much exercising from playing on the floor with the stuffed animals.

Riding the bike

I ride the bike with her since she is 8 months old. At some point, we had a morning bike ride around town. I would pedal for a good 30 minutes straight. And as she grew and got heavier, so did my exercise to take her around.


I´ve been taking Luísa to swim at the beach since she is 3 months old. While she was a little baby there wasn´t much I could do besides holding her, but now that she is 3 years old, we swim together, she clings to me and we dive and swim holding hands. When we are at a shallow place, I try some underwater abs of any sort.

Exercising with your child is not just about your body, it´s about cultivating good habits for you and your child.

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on January 13, 2011. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.


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