As the mom of a toddler, it’s pretty easy to find endless excuses not to work out. She’s all over the place, my house is a wreck, and sometimes it feels like we never stop for a minute. Also, she gets whiny and frustrated when I do — or even try to do — anything that doesn’t directly involve her. Recently I realized that I was mistakenly using these truths as a crutch to get out of exercising, when really I should be maximizing them as a way to tone up. Rambunctious little always on the go? Come on, Mama, I decided, It’s time to start going at her speed.

Here’s the thing: Before they’re mobile, it’s actually much easier to work out with your kid. They can be included in so many at-home workouts, worn in a carrier as you clean the house, or even toted along to mommy-and-me workout classes. But as soon as my now-19-month-old started walking, we were so out of there. Aged out of baby-barre class and all our other favorites, I fell into a slump. With a husband who works very long hours and not much extra cash to pay a sitter, I pretty much stopped working out for months. My body felt the impact, and that’s when I decided to get creative.

Every day is not going to see victory; life with toddlers is unpredictable and sometimes I’m lucky to get a meal in, much less the opportunity to burn it off. But little by little, I’m toning up, moving around, and stepping away from my phone to have a lot more fun with my little girl. And it really feels amazing. Here are some of our favorite at-home workouts that are easy — and fun! — to integrate into your life with a toddler.

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