How to squeeze in exercise when you're a new mum
It’s coming up to Mother’s Day and some of you reading this blog will have just moved into this new ‘category’. So congratulations on your little bundle of joy! Naturally they won’t be at the stage of bringing you breakfast in bed just yet (I'm, still waiting for this from my now 7 year old!), but hopefully they will at least give you a little more time to sleep!
Being a new mum is amazing but can be tiring at the same time, so how do you get the energy back in your life? Eating well, getting as much sleep as you can (hard I know) and staying active will all help. But how do you fit in that all important exercise when you’re constantly in demand by a little person and where simply taking an uninterrupted shower is a challenge? Here are some ideas on how you can fit it round them:
Get outdoors – taking a walk is the best and easiest thing to do. Wrap your baby up and head over to a local park or stroll round the block. The fresh air will revive you and quite often the baby will sleep so you have a bit of time to relax your mind too. Go at a slightly faster pace to get the heart rate up a bit.
Pelvic floors – you may say they’re boring but they’re essential to bring back the strength to your pelvic muscles and ensure you don't have any incontinence issues further down the line. Kegels are easy to fit in while you’re feeding, but be sure to also think about engaging those muscles in every day movements too. I've written other articles on this!
Have fun with your baby - while your baby is having tummy time or simply lying on the play mat, why not do some press ups over them (give them a kiss when you lower yourself down!)? Don’t forget you can drop your knees for this one to start with. Alternatively, press ups against the kitchen surface while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil works too.
Get creative - If you find yourself holding /rocking your baby (I had to do a lot of this with my fractious one!), do some squats at the same time. Remember your form: knees behind toes and contract the stomach and pull up the pelvic floor when you come up. Raise your baby up and down in the air to give an arm and abs workout. Got stairs in your home? Put baby where you can see them and walk up and down a few times to get the thighs working. There really are loads of exercises that can be done without any equipment, so if you need any ideas then just let me know.
Get someone else involved - Get your partner to take over with the bathing / feeding /bed routine and take 15 minutes to do a workout on the lounge floor. You only need a short window of time to get in some good exercise.
Join a class - find an exercise class that allows you to take babies (if you’re in my area, take a look at my BabyFit classes - both indoor and outdoor). Not only do you get to exercise, but you’ll get to meet other local mums.
Exercising will bring new mums loads of benefits, including, among others, reducing anxiety and stress, strengthening up your core and alleviating aches and pains. But, a lot of the ideas above also allow you to have bonding time with your baby, which is a great bonus!
***Don’t forget: don’t jump into things too quickly. Starting proper exercise should be gradual and after your 6 week check (normal birth) or 12 weeks (c-section). It's about doing what's right for your body and ensuring you give it the recovery time it needs.
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