I must admit, the thought of taking my toddler to exercise with me was somewhat unnerving; but taking him to my first hiit session?! I must be mad. He’s now two and a half, and so any chance of him sitting quietly in his pram eating rice cakes are long gone (oh, those beautiful Buggyfit days, how I miss thee).
This week however, due to various work schedules and a delightful bout of gastroenteritis that took out the entire family, I hadn’t managed to get to my usual gym sessions. You see, I use exercise as ‘me time’ and can usually be found in my local gym at various unsociable hours to ensure I get my regular solo sweat sessions in. I was going to need to get my head around this one.
Enter Fit & Healthy Mum’s Postnatal Hiit class – a toddler friendly class starting at a very sociable start 10:45am – not like my usual horrendous 6am gym sessions!
On turning up to the class, I was so relieved to see a playmat with toys right in the centre of a huge ray of exercise mats. Any mum who’s ever gone anywhere with a toddler knows the palpable sense of relief when you find a welcoming venue for your small significant other. It was also so refreshing to watch Keri greet everyone with a big smile and, most importantly, by their name. It sounds silly, but I’m used to baby and toddler classes where I’m known as ‘Archie’s Mum’ – enough said.
The class was buzzing. There must have been around twenty postnatal ladies there ready to get their Hiit on.
Instantly at ease, I tied up my hair and prepared to sweat.
Keri guided us through 45 minutes of hard Hiit. I say hard because I stupidly chose the hardest options of each exercise we were given. The beauty of these sessions is that no matter where you are in your post-natal journey, Keri can tailor the session for the individual with varying degrees of difficulty for each exercise. Everyone worked hard and worked to their own abilities.
As for my little guy? He was pretty happy to play for most of the session, but discovered it was quite fun to ask mummy to ‘pick me up’ whilst she was performing deep sumo squats. He weighs over 15kg, so you could say he was helping mummy tone up!
MY TOP TIPS FOR HIIT WITH A TODDLER:
- A Workout is a Workout – even if you have to stop during some of the exercises to sort out your small person, you’re still doing more than you were sitting on the sofa this morning watching Phil & Holly.
- Keep Going – If you find your toddler gets a little grouchy, find ways to incorporate them into the session. My son and I had fun bicycling our legs in the air, and as I mentioned, he makes for a great squat weight.
- Bring Snacks (for them) – ‘If in doubt, get the rice cakes out’ is my toddler mantra.
- Bring Drinks (for you) – I forgot to bring my water. Don’t. You’ll need it!
- Enjoy it – I really was surprised at what a brilliant workout it was.
And do you know what? I’d choose bopping around with my little guy over the gym any day.