Exercising After Baby
Finding time to work out post-the-birth-of-your-baby can be difficult, what with getting your babe to latch on, settling into a new sleep pattern and adapting to maternity leave. But getting your heart rate pumping as a new mom can help reduce anxiety and stress as well as boost your metabolism.
The key to making time for a workout lies in multi-tasking and finding a way to exercise with your baby. Here are four easy solutions.
As far as whole-body workouts go, there is nothing better than running. It tones every muscle – especially your thighs, hips, abs and arms (places where pregnancy weight can settle) – and blasts calories: a 140-pound woman will burn around 225 calories during a light 30-minute jog. It's also an easy activity to do with your little one: Dozens of companies now manufacture special running strollers that are safe enough to hold a baby – which means your wee one can sleep while you get a workout in. The best idea is to start with a brisk walk and to work your way up to a full-on jog.
Practicing yoga can be a great way to get your body limber and toned quickly after having a baby. The exercises will also help you focus your breathing – so when stress hits you'll be better able to cope. Many yoga studios now offer postpartum classes specifically targeting new moms (the poses will likely start off a little easier so your joints and ligaments can get used to bending and stretching). What's more, some yoga studios offer baby and mom classes, where you bring your baby onto your yoga mat and perform poses while playing with them.
Baby Weight Training
This is perhaps the easiest workout idea for new moms looking to include their baby: The idea is to use your baby's weight as you would a gym weight like a dumbbell to tighten and tone your muscles. For example, place your baby in a carrier, strap it to your body and slowly do some sets of squats, lunges or calf raises. When it comes to your arms, simply walk around the house holding your wee one – the baby's weight will naturally exercise your biceps and triceps.
Splashing around in the water is one of the best workouts anyone can do. Why? Because it's easy on the joints, burns a decent amount of calories and the water acts as resistance so your muscles get tight and toned fast. Most gyms offer new mom aquafit classes, which means you hop in the water with your little one in your arms. Exercises are adapted so your baby doesn't get too wet and so you don't push yourself and your post-pregnancy muscles too hard. So not only will you get in shape, your babe will also get used to being around water.
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