5 Babywearing Exercises for the Multitasking Mom
Micky Marie Morrison is a licensed physical therapist and a certified perinatal fitness educator, author of Baby Weight: The Complete Guide to Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness, and creator of www.BabyWeight.TV, a website featuring more than 100 prenatal and postpartum fitness videos to help mothers get and stay in shape throughout pregnancy and beyond from the comfort and convenience of home.
Moms of babies become multitasking queens, and the baby carrier was the best invention ever to help free up your hands while keeping baby close. Wearing your baby while you sort laundry, shop for groceries and pack older kids’ lunches can make the difference between getting it all done and just wishing you could.
Being the hyperactive, can’t-sit-still type and the fitness fiend that I am, I also discovered that not only could I cook and clean and run errands with baby strapped on, I could even get a great workout in while my baby napped or just hung out kangaroo-style. I experimented with multiple exercises, and had a lot of fun doing so. The possibilities are endless, so you can play around and find what works best for you.
Safety First: Be sure your baby carrier fits baby properly, supporting baby’s head completely if he or she does not yet have good head control. You can keep a hand on baby at all times while exercising if you feel more secure.
Try these five moves with baby to help firm your hips, thighs and midsection.
1. Squats: With feet spread wider than hip-width apart, exhale to bend the knees and squat down, keeping your spine straight.
2. Lunges: Holding a chair or wall for balance, step forward with the right foot and dip the left knee down toward the floor, taking care to keep your right in line with your ankle. Return to start position and repeat on the left side.
3. Side squats: Standing with your feet together, step to the right and bend both knees to squat down, keeping your spine straight. Return to start position and repeat to the left.
4. Superwoman: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, positioning yourself beside a chair or table for balance. Inhale as you lift your right knee up toward your chest and raise both hands up overhead, then exhale as you pull down and back with both hands and step back with the right foot to dip the right knee down toward the ground. Use the chair for balance as needed. Return to starting position and repeat on opposite side. Keep one hand on your baby if you feel more comfortable.
5. Helicopter: Standing with feet wider than hip-width apart and arms stretched out straight out to the sides, bend the knees to engage a squat. Then, rotate the trunk to so your right hand is directly in front of you. Return to start position and repeat to opposite side. You can keep the opposite hand on your baby if you feel more comfortable. This is a great core workout and baby usually loves it too!