Even if you kept up with an exercise routine or played sports during pregnancy, it’s likely you’ll find it difficult to get back into a regular fitness routine after having a baby. Lack of sleep combined with juggling a busy schedule as most new moms do, it feels almost impossible to find the time to “get your body back” or “lose the baby weight.” On top of these things, a lot of moms don’t have childcare options to watch the baby while they work out if that requires leaving the house or may even feel guilt for doing so. For a lot of moms, the answer can be as simple as incorporating your baby into a fitness routine.
I didn’t say it was easy, but it can be done! There are a lot of positive reasons to incorporate your baby or kids into your exercise time, even if you just do it once in a while.
It’s GREAT bonding time. My little guy loves laying down while I give him eye contact and kisses in between exercises. They sense your positive energy and see you doing something good for yourself.
Giving them exercise time too! Eventually they’re big enough that 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 always recommend and talked about for new babies to develop head and neck control. You can give your 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 them 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.
Monkey See Monkey Do. My two year old daughter is a prime example of this. They do what they see. It may not even happen until later in life, but they definitely pick up on your habits. When your children see you focusing on fitness and are a part of your daily fitness routine, they learn the importance of incorporating exercise into daily life.
Here are some at home, living room moves you can do on a yoga mat, while incorporating your baby! Obviously keep in mind that if you are unable to do some of these movements supporting your own body weight, DON’T do them, or modify the pose so you can.
Try 3 sets of 10-15 of each exercise, and you’ll be surprised how challenging this workout is. Here are some exercises you can do with your baby–
- Begin in a push up position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes. Flexing the knee and hip, bring one leg until the knee is approximately under the hip. This will be your starting position.
- Reverse the positions of your legs, extending the bent leg until the leg is straight and supported by the toe, and bringing the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed. Repeat. Traditionally these are done quickly, but do them slowly if you have your baby near you.
Plank with Leg Raise or Lift
- Start in Push-up Position. Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
- Tighten your abs and lift one leg off the ground until it’s at hip height, pausing for a moment before returning to the starting position. Include sticking out your tongue at your baby.
- Turn onto your right side with your legs extended and your feet and hips resting on the ground and stacked on top of each other.
- Place your right elbow directly under your shoulder to prop up your torso, and align your head with your spine. Gently contract your core and lift your hips and knees off the floor; this strengthens your sides and deep ab muscles. Instead of doing reps of this exercise, try holding for 10-30 seconds to start. Repeat on opposite side.
Walk Out Push-Ups
- Start out standing tall or in an upside-down V pose.
- Bend at your hip and lower your body down to the floor. Walk-out into a push-up position and perform a single push-up.
- Walk yourself back to the starting position, stand back up tall or go back into the V pose and repeat. This is a great compound exercise and targets the entire body.
If you’re looking for an affordable yoga mat to start working out at home, try this one-
Don’t forget to make silly faces and smile!