Exercise has many benefits, including warding of diseases, improving health, and boosting mood. The benefits don’t end after having a baby, but it certainly complicates things. Finding time to exercise with a baby at home can be a challenge, but it is definitely possible when you make exercise a priority.
Exercise was a big part of my life before having a baby, but finding time to do it can be challenging. After allowing my body substantial time to heal, and allowing my mind to acclimate to having a tiny human, I’m able to work out 4-5 times per week. I generally try to stick to a schedule, but sometimes things come up, or my l’il dude needs me more than he did another night. When that’s the case I simply work out a different day, or I skip it – no need to feel guilty about it when their are other things that take priority in my life.
1. Exercise While Baby is Asleep – One of the simplest ways is to get your work out in while baby is sleeping. This can be during nap time, after bedtime, or before your little one wakes up in the morning. Sometimes a combination of all three. There’s no shame in pausing a workout and coming back to it later. Usually use this time for chores? Try wearing your baby when they are awake and getting some simple chores done. Older babies and sometimes toddlers also love ‘helping’. Consider adding them to your chores routine.
2. Incorporate Baby Into Your Routine – Taking care of a baby is hard work – use that to your advantage! Hold baby while you do some strength training; squats, lunges, situps and many others can incorporate baby as a ‘weight’. Try some yoga! Hold baby in the air while you do tree post, rest baby on your thigh during warrior, do whatever works for you and baby. There’s also some great videos on youtube as well if you prefer to follow along.
3. Babywear – Try getting your workout in while wearing your baby in a carrier, wrap, or sling. Take an brisk walk around the park or go on a hike. Not only does this get both of you out of the house, you both get fresh air and you get a much needed workout. Try speed walking for more intensity. You can also try adding lunges and squats to the routine as well (but don’t jog or jump). Don’t forget the sun screen.
4. Short Bursts – Sometimes it’s hard to find 30-60 minutes to work out. Try splitting up your workout throughout the day. Little one engaged in an activity? Try doing 25 jumping jacks. Get up a little earlier? Try a quick 10 minute yoga routine. Working mama? Try walking on your breaks, or lifting weights while you pump breastmilk (doable when you have a pumping bra!). There’s also a great app you can download for your phone called 7 minute workout challenge. Even though it may not be your ideal, getting in even amount of activity is better than nothing.
5. Jogging – If you have the funds, try investing in a jogging stroller (or check out a consignment event for a deal). Jogging is a relatively cheap hobby to begin, and a great way to stay in shape. Take a look online or on facebook to see if there are any stroller groups in your area – or start your own.
Finally, remain flexible. Keeping strict routines and deadlines is a recipe for failure. Sometimes other things in your life take precedence, your baby, your partner, your family, cleaning – or even doing something else because you enjoy it – and that’s okay! It’s about creating an overall pattern and changing habits. Try to find an activity you like, whether it’s yoga, dancing, jogging or something else. You’ll be more likely to stick to something you enjoy.
What’s your favorite way to get in some exercise? Comment below and let me know!