Even the most avid runners and fitness freaks can find it quite difficult to squeeze in enough time to get back to their workouts and training once they become new moms. The truth is that especially in the first few weeks and months of your new baby’s life, it relies on your care nearly 24 hours a day, and of course the baby is always priority number one. But, in fact there are some smart ways to sneak in some exercise and training while juggling between the soiled diapers, the breast pump and all the care which a newborn requires.
Ideas on getting back to exercising once you are a new mom:
Get up early
Well, you probably are getting up very early with the new baby already, but if you can, try to set your alarm for half an hour or an hour earlier than your first feeding time and hit the gym or go for a run then. Getting over with your daily exercise in the pre-dawn hours will allow you to focus your entire attention and all of your time during the rest of the day to your precious little one. Also, exercising first thing in the morning will help energize you and will give you the super strength and endurance which every new mother needs for taking proper care for her baby!
Set fixed times for your exercising schedule
If you have it written down and hung it on your fridge door, it is more likely that you will feel obliged to stick to your fitness program. Plus, your partner and other family members will be pre-informed and will need to set their programs and errands in accordance to yours. Just to be on the safe side, make sure that you highlight your exercising hours and to remind your family that they will need to babysit and cope without you for that specific time of the day.
Have a well-planned fitness schedule
Don’t lose the precious time you have for yourself by wondering what kind of exercising to do. Instead, plan your exercise regimen beforehand, so that you know which day you will be running, which days are for Yoga, and when you will be going to the gym. This will save time for completing what you have planned for the time allotted.
Get your workout or running clothes ready beforehand
Don’t waste precious minutes wandering through your closet before your workout. Instead, ensure that you have laid out your sports apparel and shoes beforehand, so that all you need to do is change quickly and proceed with your exercise for the day.
Include your baby in your physical activities
As soon as it is safe to take your baby with you in a jogging stroller, take it with you! If you are not into running, then make sure you take long walks in your nearby park or around the neighborhood with your baby instead. Walking is still an excellent physical exercise, and if you manage to achieve your 10,000 steps per day – you can feel happy and accomplished with yourself and still spend as much time with your baby along the way. You can even take your baby with you hiking, in a front carrier or a sling.
Sneak in exercises while you perform your daily errands
Do some high intensity interval exercises while you are performing house work or in between errands. Squat instead of bending over when picking up toys or dirty laundry. Drop down for some push-ups or planks in between emptying the dishes and putting them back into the cupboard. Use whatever time you have while doing the boring housework and turn it into physical activity.
Ditch the car
Whenever you can, ditch the car and walk with the stroller to the store, to the school or wherever you are going to instead. This will allow the baby to spend more time outdoors and will keep you on the move at the same time.
Pay close attention to your daily routine
Take the time to study closely the time you spend for each and every activity you do during the day. If you find that you are spending too much time scrolling through the social networks or watching TV, then consider taking out of this time to do some exercising instead. You can combine both by exercising at home in front of the TV or your tablet or smartphone.
Go to the gym with your baby
Nearly every gym has special classes and programs for pregnant women as well as for new moms. Sign up for such a class, and you will not only get to do the most appropriate and safe exercises designed especially for new mothers, but you can take your baby with you to these baby-friendly classes.
Don’t be mad at yourself for missing a workout
The baby has been crying all night? You feel exhausted and miserable? Don’t push yourself too hard to go out for your workout today. Take it easy on yourself, and don’t beat yourself up if you happen to skip a day or two of your training schedule. After all, we are human, and we have our good and our bad days. The stress of caring for a new baby is often overwhelming, so there is no point of being angry at yourself for deviating from your exercise regimen.
Make yourself an improvised home gym
Even if you don’t have specialized training equipment at home, you can still improvise and use simple objects such as a chair, a table, two bottles of water or other household items to perform various home-based exercises. Get creative and use every opportunity you can find to squeeze some workout. Strange as it may sound I asked my husband to buy me a durable basketball and a basketball hoop as I love playing amateur basketball. He simply attached the hoop on our garage wall and I make sure I take few minutes every day for some dribbling. I truly enjoy the exercise and it is a quick way to get some fresh air or vent some steam. He recently bought me a fancy pair of basketball shoes, but when I play alone or if I stole just a couple of minutes alone time, I even play barefoot or in flip-flops.
Seek help among your family and friends
Yes, juggling with all the tasks related to taking care of a newborn, and at the same time taking care of your home and the rest of a family can be really overwhelming at times. This is why, if you can – do your best to use any help you can get from family members and friends. When a friend asks whether you need help – ask them to run an errand for you or ask them to babysit the baby while you run over to the gym for an hour. Take advantage of all the help which is being offered to you at this time of your life!
Make your exercises worthwhile
Every time you choose to spend the little precious time you have for working out instead of spending it with your newborn, make sure that you put in 100% of your effort into it. So make sure that you make the time spent away from your child worthwhile by engaging in serious and efficient exercising or running.
As you can see, you can be a great mom and still make the time for yourself to get back in shape once again and stay fit. After all, in a matter of just several months you will need to be in your best shape as soon as the baby starts crawling and running, so you can catch up with it and keep it safe. Find the time and stay in shape – this is good not only for you but for your growing baby too!