Finding Time to Exercise With a New Born
Having a baby is a transformative experience, to say the least. Our bodies and our lives are forever changed, and our priorities are radically altered. A very small person is entirely dependent on us to meet his or her needs. Meeting those needs can be all consuming, but it’s important for moms to make time for themselves as well.
Having an opportunity to exercise after giving birth seems like a fantasy. After all, just having a shower seems like a monumental task on some days. Nonetheless, exercise can have tremendous benefits. Post-natal depression is frequently reduced by regular exercise and energy levels have been shown to increase. Exercise is also an excellent stress reliever and it gives you some much needed time to focus on yourself. Exercise is important for everyone, but especially so for new moms because it helps them be able to meet the needs of their newborn while maintaining their personal health.
Few people would disagree that exercise is important after giving birth. The real problem is, how does a new mom fit in an exercise routine with a new little one at home? The first step is to be flexible. Working out fits into everyone’s schedule a little differently, and you may have to go through a process of trial and error to find an exercise plan that works. Consider having your partner or a trusted family member watch your baby while you take 30 minutes for yourself. You can do a yoga DVD or go for a jog. The choice is yours. You can do whatever makes you feel better and healthier. If you work outside the home, you might consider fitting in a workout at your lunch hour or leaving early to hit the gym before work. Stay at home moms can perhaps squeeze in a fitness session before their partner heads off to work in the morning.
Explore gyms, yoga studios and community education classes for fitness courses you can take with your child. Many facilities offer Mommy and Me exercise classes that are fun and educational for all participants. Alternatively, seek out a group of local mothers who routinely meet up to walk, hike or jog with their babies. The fresh air is revitalizing and the conversation is stimulating. It’s always helpful to interact with like minded moms who care about their health and just might have an exercise tip to share with you.
Buying home gym equipment may be expensive, but it can also be a workable solution when you need a convenient and flexible exercise plan. With a treadmill or elliptical machine in your home, you can get in a meaningful workout while your baby naps or plays. You’re always within sight and sound of your child and your heart rate still gets elevated. For a better all around workout, add a few dumbbells and a step bench. Home workout DVDs can help keep the routine from getting stale and keep you motivated over the long term.
A workout buddy can be your best partner and motivator during this time. Whether she is a new mom or not, just knowing that someone else is depending on you to help along their fitness goals can keep you coming back for more. It’s also nice to have a cheering section as you meet each of your own goals.
Getting back in shape after a pregnancy is typically not an easy task. Before beginning any workout program, consult with your doctor to make certain your body is ready for the strain of exercise. Be patient with yourself as you develop your fitness routine. Accept that you will probably miss a few workouts here and there because your life is inherently unpredictable. Also realize that you will probably feel more energized and motivated on some days than on others. This is a perfectly normal part of the process, but as you begin to notice the physical results of your efforts, you’ll find it increasingly easy to stick with your plan. Be flexible and make your baby a part of your workouts to increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to make exercise a part of every day.
Tom Demers writes for Organic Baby Nook, the official site to organic baby products for earth-conscious parents. Organic Baby Nook features only certified-organic baby products from companies that are consistent with this philosophy.