Fitness ideas for new moms
The following is a guest post by Emily Stone, a SAHM, proud wife, runner, fitness freak, health food addict, and animal lover! If you’d like to reach out to Emily, you can find her on Twitter @FitMommaEm, or you can email her!
And now, without further ado — take it away, Emily!
I remember it well, the first year after having a child. Coffee? Yes! Convenience foods? Double yes! Exercise regimen? Wait! What did you say? The fact is that getting back into shape may be the last thing on a new mom’s mind. I knew I wanted to get my body back after pregnancy, but I didn’t know how. Luckily, there are many easy ways to get into shape.
My little ones slept a ton in the early months. On me, on the floor, in the swing, in the bouncy seat, in the car, they took a snooze anywhere. While they napped, I took opportunities to squeeze in a workout. I found some great quick yoga workouts on YouTube and began doing them. Because I was really out-of-shape after the pregnancy, I wanted to start out slowly and gently, yoga was great for that. I hoped that it would help slowly stretch my body back into something resembling a human adult. It worked fantastically, and in no time I was ready for more strenuous exercises. I decided a home workout DVD would be the most convenient way for me to continue with my fitness success, so I purchased the Les Mills Pump workout from Beachbody. This program was amazing! My gym used to offer Les Mills Body Pump classes and I loved them! The DVDs are fantastic as well and of course you have the convenience of getting in a solid workout in the privacy of your own home! This was actually how I lost majority of my baby weight.
Get Out With Baby
Babies are curious characters and love to go out for walks. The movement and change of scenery will often entertain them and keep them calm for longer periods. It might even lull them to sleep. I used a stroller to go for walks around parks, malls and museums. There are even specific fitness programs such as Stroller Strides where moms can get some good exercise and socializing at the same time. At other times, I’d put my babies in a baby carrier and go on hikes or on more rugged terrain where strollers weren’t as easy. My baby and I got some great views and quality time as we walked.
Squeeze It In
I know for years, I thought that getting enough exercise meant trudging along on the treadmill at the gym for at least an hour a day. But that’s really not the case. Interval training is all the rage these days. With interval training, I do a combination of exercises that are designed to work specific muscle groups for short periods of time. For example, I might do a minute of squats, a minute of pushups, a minute of stomach crunches, and a minute of running in place. Repeated three times, this is an intense workout that will burn lots of calories in only 12 minutes. If my baby only napped for half an hour, I could still get a workout and a shower. The best part is that interval training can be adjusted to fit all kinds of fitness levels. I built up intensity as my strength and endurance increased.
One of the first thing new moms have to learn is how to multi-task. This is an excellent skill to utilize to get exercise. When I planned my exercise regime around my life, I found it much easier to fit it in. This means that I do exercise wherever I am, whatever I’m doing. If I’m waiting for the water to heat up in the shower, I do squats. When I’m standing at the microwave, I do heel kicks or bicep curls with my dumbbells. A little goes a long way, so I work it in whenever I have spare time.
Many new moms want to get back into shape so they feel good about themselves have energy for their new, busier lives as parents. With time and practice, I was able to start and maintain a fitness plan that has lasted as my babies have grown into school-age kids.
Achieving and maintaining health is an ongoing process, shaped by both the evolution of health care knowledge and practices as well as personal strategies and organized interventions for staying healthy. Thank you.