Fit in a Workout (Without Hiring a Babysitter)

I love going to the gym, a yoga class, or out for a long peaceful walk. Now that I’m a mom, that can’t always happen exactly when I want it, since I have to make sure someone is watching my little girl. I really appreciate when my husband, mom, dad, a friend, or even a sitter is watching her so I can do my thing, but I like to be able to get some movement in more often throughout the week.

mom walking with strollerThe former US Surgeon General (and many health professionals/websites) recommended taking 10,000 steps per day for healthy weight management. It’s important to keep moving and stay fit for your physical health, but I find it helps my mental health as well when I have enough movement in my day or week.

Throughout the past year, I have discovered, learned, and created ways to fit in a workout (or at least more movement each day) while still being on mom duty!

mom with baby in carrier

Baby carriers for the win!

Incorporate your baby/child into your workout

  • Get out the stroller or body carrier and go for a walk! Sometimes I even play music on my phone so she and I can both hear it and jam while we walk.
  • On a rainy or cold day, try going to the mall and walking early in the day when it’s less crowded. Also, when you can, go to a park or a friend’s neighborhood for a change of scenery and terrain.
  • Like to bike? There are a couple different options to take your little one along – seats that attach to the bike, as well as trailers to pull them along behind you.

Work Out While They Play

Find a nice space in your house where you can work out while your little one plays. Simple body weight exercises and cardio can be done while they play nearby. Favorites of mine include variations of pushups, squats, lunges, and jumps.

Put on some music, and go for it! You may need to take breaks here and there to play with or help them, but I’ve found that my daughter enjoys watching me move – she claps when I do jump squats!

Older children can try some of the moves with you, and you can positively influence their relationship with exercise. Smaller, cooperative babies can even be weights that you use to supplement your workout. My daughter enjoys being held while I do squats, lifted and held during crunches and twists, and kissed during pushups.

Find a Class

There are many gyms and studios that hold classes to which you can bring your child with you! Some yoga studios have mommy and me classes for moms and babies, or family yoga classes that any age of child can come with a parent. Other facilities may have parent/child or family classes of different exercise styles, like circuit training, dance, or swimming.

Some facilities offering such classes in the Cincinnati, Ohio area include:

Check with fitness facilities in your area, as well as the local YMCA, JCC, and community recreation centers to find out what’s available!

mom and baby do yoga

The perfect workout buddy?

Make Play a Workout

Throughout the day, play actively. Lift, toss, and carry your little one. Dance with them. Chase them. If you have older children, play on a playground with them, or play outside – tag, four square, hop scotch, jump rope, hula hooping… Get creative and enjoy this time! You may forget you are exercising.

Utilize Nap Time for Exercise

There may be other chores you need to do, but working out is important physically and mentally. You can squeeze a 20-30 minute session in while your child naps. You will be happy you did.

There are a lot of ways you can work out in your own home. If you’re not sure what to do on your own, or have trouble thinking of a workout or staying motivated through it on your own, explore the internet for help! There are many great videos available online, or even free on YouTube. There is so much to learn on the internet!

There are also different fitness podcasts you can use. One of my favorites is Yoga Download, which has nearly 100 20-minute well guided audio yoga classes available for free!

Whatever route or routes you choose to get moving, remember to enjoy yourself!

Lisa is a wife and mom of a baby girl. She enjoys trying out new forms of exercise and fitness, but her favorites are pole dance fitness, aerial silks, and yoga. She also volunteers some of her spare time to a local cat rescue. Since discovering her sexy strength a couple years ago, she is the happiest she has been her whole life, and is happy to share it with you. Got a question for Lisa? Write to

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