No one knows the true meaning of multitasking better than new mums. Trying to juggle work, motherhood, and social life often leaves little time for exercise.
Luckily, leading a physically active lifestyle doesn’t have to involve long sessions in the gym. With these 7 exercises, new mothers can easily incorporate more physical activity into their daily life without missing out on the important bonding time with their newborn.
Forget about treadmills – a baby stroller is the best cardio machine for new moms. Since paediatricians nowadays recommend taking a newborn outside within days of birth, why not put your stroller to good use and do some cardio while you’re walking with your baby?
First, make sure you’re using proper form. Maintain correct posture, keep your wrists straight and your elbows relaxed, and try not to strain your neck muscles. Start by walking slowly with both hands on the handlebar, then pick up the pace and push the stroller with one hand only for five minutes.
What can be more fun than dancing with your new bundle of joy around the house? But dancing is not just for fun – it’s also a highly effective, low-impact cardio exercise that works out all muscle groups, builds stamina and improves balance.
Place your baby in a shoulder carrier with waist support, put on an upbeat tune, and let the music dictate the tempo. Keep your abs tight, shoulders down, and make sure you’re breathing deeply.
Use this opportunity to bond with your baby by maintaining eye contact with the little one, smiling, and pulling funny faces.
Once you’ve picked a comfortable, sturdy, and durable stroller like the ones found at Mother’s choice, you can start incorporating lunges into your daily stroller walks. Walking lunges are one of the best lower-body exercises as they help tone almost every muscle in your legs.
So next time you take your baby out for a walk, use the stroller as a base and alternate stepping forward with each foot while bending the opposite knee. Don’t let your knees go past your toes and make sure you inhale as you lunge, and exhale as you come back.
Strength training is highly beneficial for new mums, but who needs dumbbells when you have a 15-pound baby at home? Doing curl-ups while holding your baby is an ingenious way to combine exercise and bonding. Curl-ups help strengthen your abdominal muscles, maintain a healthy posture, and improve your stability.
Simply lie on your back on an exercise mat, keeping your knees bent and feet flat. Let your baby sit on top of you, just above your pubic bone, and start slowly lifting your head, neck, and shoulder while contracting your abdominal muscles. Do 2-3 sets with 15-20 reps per set.
Have you ever wondered how ballerinas get those incredibly defined leg muscles? The secret is in a simple move called plié. Pliés involve keeping your back straight while bending the knees and keeping the toes pointing out at a 45-degree angle.
This movement targets the stubborn muscles of your inner thighs, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Pliés also help strengthen your lower back and relieve postpartum back pain. Hold your baby in a front carrier strapped to your waist and do 2 sets of pliés with 6-12 reps per set.
Don’t rush the movement and make sure you breathe in as you bend your knees and breathe out as you press back up.
Mum & baby yoga
Yoga is a highly versatile form of exercise that can easily be done while lounging around the house with your baby. There are tons of yoga poses that are gentle on the body and can help you regain flexibility after giving birth.
To warm up, sit down on your knees and put your baby on the mat in front you. Bend down with outstretched arms, pull your stomach muscles in, and try to touch the mat with your forehead.
Hold the position for 10-15 seconds until you feel all your muscles relaxing. Other yoga poses that you can do with your baby include the cat and cow pose, boat pose, triangle, and cobra.
Pregnancy and delivery are very hard on pelvic floor muscles and can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Kegel exercises can help new mums strengthen the muscles and connective tissue of the pelvic floor and relive postpartum pain.
To perform kegels, lie down on your back and put your baby in a seated position on your pubic bone. Bend your knees, put your feet on the floor, slowly tighten your pelvic muscles for 2-3 seconds, and then relax for 2-3 seconds. Gradually increase the number of seconds until you’re able to hold your muscles tightened for 1 full minute.
During pregnancy childbirth, your body undergoes a number of major transformations so you should go slow and give your body enough time to recover.
Remember: postpartum fitness is not achieving the perfect look, but rather about keeping you and your baby healthy, strong, and energized.