Welcoming a new baby into the family is an exciting time; it’s a brand-new person in your life, who you love with all your heart. But it’s also a time of intense change, both for you and your body. A workout with your baby may be just the ticket to getting you up and moving while spending quality time with your littlest one.
While there’s no need to rush to the gym or even think about it, you may find that light exercises at home, help you cope with your new parent duties. So, why not build yourself back up, at home, with a workout with your baby.
The ready to exercise checklist
Having a baby takes a lot out of you, and it doesn’t matter whether you went the natural route or a C-section. Which is why, before you start any exercise routine, you need to make sure you are ready.
Checklist point: Love your body as it is and forget about snapping back
Warning! Those glossy magazines lie (or at least don’t tell the whole truth). While some women do snap back into their pre-pregnancy shape in no time at all, for others, that’s just not a reality. We’re all different. The important takeaway here isn’t weight; it’s health, so look after yours. After all, you’re a warrior!
Checklist point: Feeling ready?
Depending on where you are in the world, postpartum doctor’s appointments may vary, some may officially give you the ‘all clear,’ and others not. If this applies to you, best hold off until the doc gives the go ahead. If it doesn’t, wait until you feel strong enough.
Checklist point: You want to
Right now, you’ve really got a lot on your plate, adding extra pressure to yourself to exercise when you don’t feel up to it isn’t going to make life any easier, and may make you more miserable. Wait a little, and after some time your energy will return, and you’ll be ready to get going.
Top 5 postpartum workouts with baby you can do at home
There’s no need to travel to the gym, no need to go anywhere, just hit the play button on your favorite song and let’s get going with these five postpartum exercises with your baby.
1. Baby crunches
Lie on your back on the floor, or better yoga mat, with your knees up and feet firmly on the floor. Sit your baby on your belly, with their back leaning against your knees, hold their arms or waist gently to keep them secure.
Now, do a small, sit up towards your baby, hold for 2-3 seconds, then lower yourself again. Repeat, 10-15 times.
2. Tiny-tot squat
Standing on a mat, step your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Hold your baby so that the back of their head is on your chest, their legs are dangling down, and your arms are wrapped around them.
Lower yourself down into the squat position, hold, and then rise slowly. Aim for 10-15 reps.
3. Little and large lunges
Hold your baby so that their head is facing your chest, keep them secure. Next step forward with one foot into the lunge position––the thigh of one leg should be parallel with the floor, and so should the lower leg of the second.
Rise to a standing position and repeat 5-10 times for each leg. If you’re feeling particularly active, you can even try walking lunges.
4. Cute reverse curls
Grab a mat and lie flat on your back. Lift up your legs, but keep them bent at the knees, place your baby securely on your lower legs, and bring them closer towards your head. Remember to keep holding the baby tightly.
5. The baby lifts
Gosh! When did they get so heavy! Now that your little one is rapidly growing world-side, it’s time to make use of them. Sit in a crossed-leg or kneeling position, hold your baby with both hands and raise them upwards towards the sky. This utilizes your upper and lower arms, and shoulder muscles. Lower them down gently and repeat 10-15 times. They’ll love it.
Top 3 outdoors exercises with baby
Being cooped up inside is no good for you and baby. Time to take a short trip to the great outdoors. Here are three exercises you can try on the go.
1. The stroller lunges
As you take a walk around the park use that stroller of yours for balance as you incorporate lunges into your routine. It might look a little like the ‘ministry of silly walks’ from the outside, but your legs will appreciate the burn.
These can be done anytime, anywhere. Ensure you have full control down there, by clenching, holding and releasing. Build up those Kegel muscles, and you’ll be thankful years in the future.
3. The baby carry
A simple bonding (and exercise) activity for mom and baby. Grab a wrap or carrier and place your baby inside, close to your chest. This helps promote bonding. As you walk, you’ll not only have the chance to tell your little one all about the world, but you’ll be able to exercise your own body too.
Finding the time
Many new moms experience challenges with adjusting to new family dynamics and fitting in activities you previously enjoyed, even if you were a keen gym-goer before, now it might seem like too much time away from your little one. These are natural fears (and if you don’t have them that’s ok too).
Aside from helping you build up your physical strength after birth, exercise provides a powerful feel-good chemical to your body, helping you better regulate your emotions and de-stress.
For new moms looking to get back into a routine, mom and baby workout could be just the ticket to set you on the right track. We recommend starting simple, even 15 minutes a day, and working from there; you don’t even have to go to the gym. In no time, you’ll be feeling healthier and more energetic.