Don't Worry About Gaining a Few Holiday Pounds. With a Toddler You'll Get All the Exercise You Need!

During the busy holiday season, many of us find ourselves abandoning our usual exercise routines. But don’t worry. Just follow this simple, daily exercise regime and you’re sure to stay fit and trim through New Year’s. All you need is one toddler and you’re ready to go!


Begin by leaping out of bed and sprinting down the hall in a panic to your toddler’s room. (He will help you with this exercise by creating an alarming crashing sound which will provide incentive for your early morning dash.) Allow your adrenaline level to rise when you discover that the sound you heard was, in fact, the bookshelf toppling over because your toddler has apparently discovered that, on tiptoe, he can shove the bookshelf as hard as he can and make it fall down (he’s working on losing his Christmas baby fat).

Bend your knees, widen your stance, and lift the bookshelf. Now bend, extend, and pick up a book. Twist, reach and replace it on the shelf. Repeat until all the books are put away. If necessary, pause here to catch your breath and reign in your temper.

Next, lift your toddler out of his crib and set him down on the floor. Careen wildly down the hall after him and into the living room. Plant one foot firmly on the ground, extend your other leg out behind you and reach gracefully outward with one hand to catch the Christmas tree as it falls toward the ground.

Breathe deeply and yell “No!” as loudly as you can. (This is designed to frighten your toddler so badly that he backs away from the approximately one million ornaments that now lie smashed on the floor.) Lower your outstretched leg and plant both feet firmly on the ground. Bend your knees and lift the Christmas tree back into its original position (minus the one million ornaments).


Extend your arms and hoist your toddler onto your back (and away from the broken shards of shattered Christmas dreams) while you get the dustpan and broom. Balance your toddler on your back while you crouch down and sweep the ornaments into the dustpan. Plant your feet and engage your quads to stand up. Deposit your toddler on the floor and the debris in the garbage.

Pause to take several deep breaths then fling yourself at the bedroom door, just as it’s closing (with your toddler on the other side) and crash into it, shoulder first. Extend your hand and, with a twisting motion (at first gentle, then becoming more insistent), try to turn the doorknob and discover your toddler has locked himself in the bedroom.

Pause for more deep breaths. Next, run into the bathroom, rummage frantically around in all the drawers until you find a bobby pin. Straighten it out and inert it into the small hole in the bedroom doorknob to unlock it. Stand in the doorway in horror for several seconds before springing forward (make sure to plant your feet before doing this), and grabbing the roll of wrapping paper out of your child’s hand. Throw it (the wrapping paper roll, not your child) onto the pile of unrolled wrapping paper, unspooled ribbon, and pieces of tape that are now strewn all over your bedroom. Exit the bedroom.


Next (you’re doing great, almost there!), crouch down in front of your toddler, take a few more deep breaths, and explain kindly, but firmly that he should never, ever, ever do that again. Then, still in a crouch position, grab your toddler and, engaging your quads, rise to standing. Carry your toddler to the kitchen, strap him into his high chair and collapse.

When you feel ready (and able) to stand up again, brew yourself a cup of tea, hand your toddler his breakfast, and treat yourself to a Christmas cookie. You deserve it!

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