As a new parent, when you're feeling tired being active may seem like the last thing you want to do. However, regular activity keeps you fit, can help you relax, and helps you to feel more energetic.
Although you should go at your own pace and shouldn’t feel pressure to get back into shape, after emerging from your Newborn bubble, it’s natural to want to get back into fitness.
Generally speaking, high-impact exercise such as running, isn’t recommended until you’re 6 weeks postpartum. However, new parents might be wondering: how do you exercise with a baby?
In this article, we cover all the different ways in which to exercise with your baby to give you some inspiration next time you feel like being active.
So, let’s get started.
It might seem like an obvious choice, but walking is the best low-impact way of getting out and about with your baby. To enjoy the fresh air on a sunny day simply place your baby in their stroller, and get those steps in!
Alternatively, if you prefer to walk with your baby closer to you so you can easily feed them en-route, then a baby carrier is a great alternative and the extra weight will give your workout an extra boost!
Get outdoors and blow away the cobwebs with a leisurely stroll in the park, you might even meet some friends who had the same idea.
Tip: Make sure that you bring supplies with you if you need to do a quick diaper change, or require an extra layer if it’s chilly out!
Hiking is an excellent way of keeping fit and taking your new addition on an adventure!
If you choose to hit the trail for a workout with your baby, consider their age and temperament before you set out. For one- to five-month-olds, make sure that you use a front carrier to give proper head and neck support.
To begin with, know that you can always turn for home if your baby is fussy as you build your confidence. It is important to remember that an infant, especially one who's not yet used to being confined in a carrier, will probably not last longer than 20-30 minutes without fussing when you’re out on a hike.
This is subject to change between babies, but whilst you’re getting them used to the carrier it might be an idea to stay closer to home if they are really unhappy.
Tip: Make sure that you check the weather forecast and avoid very hot and sunny days to avoid your baby overheating. You should also make sure that you’ve packed for every eventuality in case the weather takes a turn whilst you’re out, including waterproofs, sun cream, and snacks!
Another way of staying active is to dance with your little one! Stick on your favorite album, being careful that it isn’t too loud for their sensitive ears, and have a dance party!
Not only is this an excellent way of introducing your baby to the joy of music, but it allows you to stay more active, too!
Once your baby is 2 months, you can even hit the pool! Baby swimming lessons usually start at around 6 months old, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a workout in the pool with your little one before then.
Exercising with your baby in the water is simple - you can use your baby as a weight by holding them beneath the arms and lifting them up, then lowering them back into the pool.
Taking your baby to the pool is a great way of familiarizing them with the water before they start swimming lessons, they’ll be a water baby within no time at all!
Yoga and Pilates
Both Yoga and Pilates can help increase your flexibility and strength using your own body for resistance - and it can be a great workout with baby, too! Once your baby is at least 4 months, you can try some simple moves on the mat.
Lie on your back, bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the floor, then prop your baby on your pelvis facing you making sure that you’re holding them under the armpits.
Inhale and pull your navel toward your spine, exhale and lift your bottom and back off the floor, until you've pulled your body into a straight line from chest to knees. Inhale, then roll back down.
As you begin to get more confident, you can incorporate different moves into your routine! It couldn’t be simpler.
Cycling is also another excellent way of staying fit with your baby, although you will have to wait a little longer.
It is generally thought that you should wait until your baby is at least 6-9 months old and are able to sit up unsupported before you cycle with them, but this is a great option for family bike trips!
Once your baby is at the appropriate age and it is safe to cycle safely with them, there are a variety of carrier options to choose from. Simply strap your baby into their carrier and you’re good to go!
Tip: Always make sure that you bring a sun hat and sun cream for those sunnier day trips out.
There are multiple methods of exercising with a baby, so you don’t need to leave your bundle of joy at home next time you feel like being active.
Always remember that you shouldn’t feel pressure to snap back after having a child, and be patient with your body whilst you recover. Your mind might be ready to get back to it, but your body might need a little extra time, and there’s no shame in that.
We hope that this article has provided you with some inspiration next time you’re experiencing cabin fever and need a way to stay active! Most importantly, we hope that you have fun with it and make some awesome memories with your new addition to the family.