When you become a mother and take on new roles, it’s easy to lose yourself in the shuffle — but to be good to others, you need to be good to yourself. This includes supplying your body with the nutrients it needs, as well as getting fresh air and exercise.
Scheduling time outside on a consistent basis can help you feel good and work through any lingering baby blues. Regular activity after childbirth also will help you strengthen muscles weakened by pregnancy and childbirth, return to pre-pregnancy weight and cope with new responsibilities.
good for baby, too
Babies are natural observers. While they can’t participate in most activities right now, they still benefit greatly from exposure to new sights, sounds and smells. New environments and experiences help your little one develop her senses. Additionally, getting outside with your baby models an active lifestyle for her and helps you teach her — by example — the importance of exercise.
Ideas for outdoor excursions
- Explore your city parks and gardens: Visit a different city park or garden each week to change up the scenery and learn about the various neighborhoods in your town. Soaking in some inspiration from nature will do wonders for you and will give your baby an opportunity to take in new patterns.
- Get out of the grocery store: Ditch the fluorescent lighting and produce aisle for your local farmers market. You’ll likely find a wide selection of local, organic and nutrient-rich produce, plus you’ll move around more, soak in a little sun (while wearing sun block, of course) and provide a variety of new smells and sounds for your baby to enjoy. Follow up your trip with a picnic before heading home.
- Sign up for a class: Look for stroller exercise or other baby-friendly exercise classes in your area. For an outside option that doesn’t involve as much exercise, try an outdoor art class. Baby can watch Mommy create, and he gets a little fussy, you can take a break from the painting without affecting your classmates.
Always consult with your doctor before beginning any post-childbirth activity; likewise, check with your pediatrician before taking your baby out of the house for the first time.