My New Personal Trainer Is a Two-Year-Old

Forget hiring one of those beefy personal trainers at the gym. My new fitness guru is my two-year-old nephew Patrick. "Little P" came to Fresno this week while his parents are traveling. Since his arrival, I have yet to make it to the gym, but that's alright since his Nana (my Mom) and I are getting quite the workout chasing him. We moms "of a certain age" need a reminder about how physically demanding it can be to care for a toddler 24/7.

Here are some of the fitness lessons Patrick's taught me this week:

— Eat mini-meal several times a day. Cut your food up into little pieces and eat it slowly. When you are full, instead of continuing to eat, say "no" really loud and push your plate away.

— Run around all day with a cup of water. It tastes great, you'll stay hydrated and it doesn't stain the carpet when you have accidents.

— Take naps and go to bed early. Sleep is good, and helps you stay fit for life.

— Giggle lots. A good belly laugh several times a day is important. Laugh at silly things like spilled milk or someone kissing you on the tummy. Smiles are contagious, and giggles spread like wildfire.

— Play like a toddler today. Run everywhere, climb everything, stretch and reach for stuff, and don't stop until you drop. Treat it like fun, not like exercise.

— Look at life with awe and wonder. Recognize the precious little blessings in life, like rolly polly bugs, rocks and each word of a good book. When something strikes you as truly wonderful, let your face light up the room.

My new personal trainer goes home on Tuesday, but hopefully the lessons I've learned this week at Toddler Camp will keep me going strong.


Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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