Finding the time to exercise is particularly difficult for new mums. With all the extra responsibilities of parenthood - and the sudden disappearance of any and all free time - exercising is usually the last thing on your mind. And yet, despite the undeniable difficulty of finding the time, many new mums are eager to get back on that thread-mill and on the exercise bike. But how exactly can you balance the demands of motherhood with a desire to stay in shape?
From joining an exercise group for new mothers, to practicing cardio at home and with your baby, these simple but effective techniques should help you get back in shape in no time. Take a look!
Exercising on Your Own
One of the most difficult challenges for new mothers - when it comes to fitness - is finding people to mind your baby while you work out. There are, however, a number of ways in which you can do this.
- Firstly, why not make an arrangement with your partner or spouse to give you at least 30 minutes a day (or a couple of times a week) to exercise? If you’re a stay at home mother, perhaps you could wake up an hour before your partner and hit the gym or go for a run. Alternatively, if you’re working during the day, try waking up an hour earlier to do the same. You could also try getting out for a quick run - or work-out - during your lunch break at work, or at the end of the day.
- Also, if you know any other mothers who are in the same situation, arrange to babysit for each other on occasion and swap days. This is a great way to help each other get in shape.
- Do some research into your local gyms, yoga centres, and health clubs. Some of these might have child-minding facilities or day care services for their customers. Before deciding to go down this route, needless to say, ask other mothers and member about the quality of the child-minding service and inquire about certification and background checks for the staff.
Exercising with Your Little One
There are numerous ways to get some exercise while taking care of your baby. From strolling and jogging with your baby as they get a little older, to mother and baby fitness classes, these are wonderful ways to get your fitness levels back up.
- Put your baby in a stroller and go for a walk at least once a day. If you have some smooth, easy to navigate paths or routes nearby, you can power walk with your stroller to improve the benefits. Similarly, when the baby gets a little older (at least 6 months old), you can use a jogging stroller and jog with your baby.
- Use a sling or baby carrier to go hiking with your baby. This is a great way to spend time with your little one, and get back into shape. Be cautious about which sling or carrier you use, however. Make sure that your baby carrier is able to support your little one in a more extreme environment.
- Why not take advantage of the playground while your little one plays? If you’re not the type to feel self-conscious, you can use the climbing bars for pull-ups, the swings for weight resistance, etc. Turn into a game for you and your little one.
- There a variety of exercise classes and programmes that involve both you and your baby. Why not try mother and baby yoga? Or mum and baby pilates? Here at U Mamma, in fact, we offer a variety of mother and baby fitness classes. Take a look here to find more about these classes: http://umamma.ie/classes
Exercising at Home
Why not take advantage of your time at home to do some basic exercises? Aerobics DVDs; basic cardio using the stairs or steps; skipping a rope in the living room while your baby naps. There are numerous ways to get back into shape at home.
- Look into buying some exercise equipment for the house. What about an exercise bike, or an elliptical trainer, or a threadmill? You can use these while your baby naps or even while your little one watches TV. Just remember to keep use caution when having these around the house, as they can cause accidents.
- Purchase some decent aerobics DVDs and get sweating. Some of these DVDs are specifically designed for mothers with kids, and so they include the children in the work-out. These are perfect for mothers with toddlers and young children.
- There are also a wide variety of simple, do-it-yourself exercises you can do at home. Over at our sister company, Medicare.ie, they’ve written up an article on five such exercises. Although these are targeted at expecting mothers, they’re still suitable for recent mothers. Take a look here: http://www.medicare.ie/medicare-news/gentle-exercises-for-pregnant-women/