Fitting Exercise into Your Day with Kids ~ Getting Back into Shape after Baby
You are noticing those extra pounds you’ve put on, and you want to address the situation. But you’ve got a baby and a toddler to take care of. What’s a mom to do?
- 1. Take the kids for daily walks. Each walk should last at least a half hour. Have a stroller for your baby and your toddler. Your baby will obviously be in the stroller throughout the walk; your toddler will likely weary of the walk long before the half hour is up.
- 2. Engage in physical play with your toddler. Kick the can. Hide and seek. Anything to get you both moving. (Your baby will need to be on the sidelines – in his/her stroller, crib, or other infant-friendly location – for this activity.)
- 3. Plant a backyard garden that you and your toddler can tend while your baby takes in a beautiful summer breeze in his/her stroller.
- 4. Turn everyday activities into opportunities for exercise. For example, don’t drive the four blocks to your neighborhood grocery store: walk there (see #1 above).
- 5. Take exercise classes intended for mother and child.
- 6. Exercise while doing other activities. Nursing your baby? Try “bun” clinches while you’re at it. Watching your two angels nap? Use two or three pound free weights to work on your biceps and triceps. Holding baby? Try doing lunges at the same time. Laying down with baby on your tummy? Lift baby up, hold him/her at that level, lower him/her back to your abdomen, then repeat (virtually, you have a baby free weight here).
- 7. Partner with other moms to establish and maintain exercise regimens.
- 8. Hire a personal trainer that specializes in postnatal fitness.
It bears noting that no exercise regimen should begin until at least six weeks after the birth of your baby. Right after your baby’s birth, you are tired and your body is recovering from a major event; you need that six weeks for rest and recovery. But once you are physically ready for exercise, you can do it! It is healthy not only for you, but for your kids as well!
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