As a health coach, I often hear from my members that it is very difficult to fit physical activity into an already busy day. It’s hard to set aside the time to travel to the gym, spend the time there, spend the money for a membership, and go on a regular basis. As a new mom, I completely agree! Not to mention, I don’t want to spend one more minute away from my daughter than I absolutely have to.
One way to still fit in physical activity is to do it at home and include your baby! That little one aided in helping gain the pounds so why not help to get them off! First, I must mention that every woman MUST be cleared by her doctor before exercising after giving birth. Specifically discuss the type of activity you plan to do with your doctor. The exercises below are recommended to do with babies who have strong head and neck control. ALWAYS keep in mind the safety of your baby and yourself. Begin slowly. I thought lugging that extra weight around for nine months would make me stronger, but boy was I wrong! Try for ten repetitions of each exercise. As the days and weeks go on, gradually increase to 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.
Begin with a wide base of support, your feet should be at least shoulder width apart and toes pointing forward. Hold baby in a comfortable position against your chest. As you squat down, keep your head and chest up and maintain a tight core. Your knees should never pass forward of your toes.
Place baby at the top of the mat. Place your elbows on either side of baby’s feet shoulder width apart and your toes at the other end of the mat. Raise yourself and hold this position. Keep an eye on your baby and maintain a horizontal line from your back to your legs. Do not let your hips sag or peak. Do not place baby directly under you to prevent falling onto baby.
3. Bicep curl to shoulder press
Begin with baby at your hips, raise baby to your chin then lift baby up. During the bicep curl your elbows should remain close to your body. As you then lift your baby, do not lose your posture — your arms are the only thing moving through the motion.
4. Push ups
Place baby at the top of the mat and position your hands shoulder width apart on either side of baby’s feet. You may do a push up with knees bent or straight. Maintain a tight core and do not let your hips sag or peak. Do not place baby directly under you to prevent falling onto baby.
5. Chest press
Lying on your back, place baby on your chest facing you. Keep your elbows close to your body and raise baby up as your extend your arms. Do not lock out your elbows. Lower baby back to starting position.
Begin on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place baby in your lap with his or her back against your legs for support. Keep your hands on either side of your baby for additional support. Raise your shoulders off the ground and keep your chin extended. Return to your starting position.
6. Mountain climbers
Place baby at the top of the mat and position your hands shoulder width apart on either side of baby’s feet. Place your toes at the other end of the mat and push yourself up so that your arms are extended but not locked. Hold this position and raise your right knee toward your chest then return it to the starting position. Maintain a tight core. Do not let your hips sag or peak. Repeat the motion between your right and left knees. Do not place baby directly under you to prevent falling onto baby.
- If your baby is anything like mine, you may have to get creative to keep the little one’s attention on the mat. I sing, make silly sounds, or have a toy handy to give to her!
- When your baby is on the mat, it’s also a great time for some tummy time!
- Don’t exercise with baby right after feeding. This can result in a very messy workout!