Even if you were a super-fit mom-to-be and exercised regularly through pregnancy, you may find it difficult to get back into a regular workout routine after having a baby. Combine sleep deprivation with juggling the many tasks of motherhood, and it probably feels impossible to find the right activity to help get your body back. Even if you find the perfect gym class or yoga studio, you may not relish the idea of being apart from your newborn (and then, of course, there's the issue of childcare while you're gone). What's a woman to do? For many moms, the answer can be as simple as working baby into your fitness routine.
Exercising with your baby can have big benefits for you both:
Fitting in fitness
While many new moms find it difficult to set aside an hour a day for a Pilates or a yoga class or a trip to the gym, nearly every new mom spends an hour a day interacting with her baby. It only takes a shift of mentality to use your baby time as workout time, and you won't be taking anything from your baby if you are exercising with her. Strap her on in a front carrier and go for a walk or try a low impact cardio routine with baby in place. Find a mom-and-baby class or do one online on your own schedule.
Spending those 15 to 45 minutes with your baby while you work out helps solidify your bond. If your baby is on a mat staring up into your eyes as you struggle to hold the plank position, or cooing when you kiss her while doing a modified push-up, she is getting the good energy of you doing something positive for yourself while you focus on her at the same time.
Exercises for baby, too!
You can make your mom-and-baby exercise time beneficial for both of you by helping your baby to develop muscular strength and motor skills. Tummy time is a big help for new babies to develop head and neck control. Give baby tummy time on a blanket beside or in froth of you while you do a series of plank variations. Once your baby has good head control, you can hold her in a supported sitting position on your pelvis while doing leg lifts and abdominal exercises, to help her practice trunk control to help develop sitting balance.
Forming healthy habits for the whole family
When you focus on fitness, unsurprisingly, you are healthier and in better physical condition. When your children see you focusing on fitness and are a part of your daily fitness routine, they also learn the importance of incorporating exercise into daily life.