Your sweet bundle hasn’t mastered the art of the nap yet and you’re still maneuvering between never-ending piles of laundry. But, you’re also ready to jump-start your fitness routine. What’s a new mama to do? Here’s a hint: Consider your baby to be your new fitness partner, not your biggest obstacle. Scroll down for a few simple ideas that will help you find the time to break a sweat.
photo: fui via Flickr
1. Walk It Out
Go for a hike or take your baby on outings where you’ll have to walk, like the zoo or, when it’s cold out, to a museum or even the mall. Make sure to pack your carrier. It not only makes strolling with a wee one easier but hefting that extra baby weight burns extra calories.
2. Try an App for That
Make naptime your workout time using Sworkit, an app that leads you through short, customized exercises. You set a time—as little as five minutes—and go through a series of guided stretches, cardio blasts, or strength training exercises that you can do anywhere and anytime.
photo: Nelson Kwok via Flickr
3. Give Everyone Tummy Time
Make tummy time exercise time by fitting in a few planks and crunches while your baby is doing her own belly workout. Then, squeeze in some squats and lunges, using your baby as a weight. Chances are, she’ll find the up and down motion as you hold her quite entertaining.
4. Find Your Tribe
Invite a fellow-new-mama friend to join you for a walk around the park for you, then a session on the baby swings for the little ones. Having a buddy helps keep you accountable and you can up your commitment by signing up for a 5k and working toward that goal together.
5. Have a Good Clean Workout
Don’t forget, when you break a sweat mopping your floors, you’re burning calories. Turn on the radio or your favorite podcast, then move through your work quickly: squat up and down while cleaning cabinets, and lunge while vacuuming. Hey, it’s all about getting creative, right?
photo: aktivioslo via Flickr
6. Get Down Dog
Yoga classes are a great way to ease back into exercise, and Mommy and me classes abound. Plus, you’ll get the chance to meet other new mamas, and since they’re full of babies, no one will mind if your kiddo loses it in the middle of class.
7. Sweat It Out at Home
Can’t make it out of the house? That’s okay. Thanks to the magic of the internet, there are hundreds of at-home workouts you can do in your own living room. Here are a few of our fave workout videos to do with your baby.
8. Channel Your Inner Tiny Dancer
Put on music and have a dance party, getting your heart rate up to your fave tunes. Let your wee one watch from his bouncer or pick him up and make him your partner. Older babes can join in with a few claps and bounces of their own. Need a list of tunes? Check out our ultimate dance playlist here.
photo: Serge Melki via Flickr
9. Pimp Your Baby’s Ride
Splurge on a good jogging stroller. You’ll be able to get back into running with your kiddo (when she reaches six months and can safely ride in the jogger), take stroller classes, or just push your little one to the park in cushioned comfort.
10. Enjoy Baby-Free Time at the Gym
If you have the time to make it to a gym, be sure to find one with childcare so you can break a sweat while your little one safely plays or snoozes. You’ll get there twice as much if you know that your baby will be safely cared for while you use the treadmill. No judgments if you take an extra long baby-free shower while you’re there!
11. Give Yourself a Break
Most important, go easy on yourself. Wait to start serious workouts until you have the doctor’s green light—usually six to eight weeks after labor—and remember: there are days that just climbing up the stairs will be all the exercise you can manage. You’ve got this, mama!
How do you find time to exercise as a new mom? Share your secrets below.
— Oz Spies