Hey mamas, I have a question for you: When was the last time you worked out?
Now DON’T RUN AWAY, and don’t feel guilty. I know you probably didn’t even have time to sit down and think about when was your last time….but there are ways to get those exercises in even for the busiest of mommies. AND it can be fun. So read on!
We all know that working out is great for your health. Cardio exercise, for instance, is key to having a healthy heart and a little weight training is great for building and toning muscles and burning fat.
But were you aware of the mental health benefits of taking regular exercise? Your body and hormones have gone through an enormous change, and you are a different person than you were before you gave birth. And you may (still) be missing out on regular, uninterrupted sleep. On top of that, being responsible for mini human beings can cause a lot of stress. Good news though, exercising is a fantastic way to minimize that stress. And a healthy, fit mom, is a happy mom with more energy to balance her work, kids and daily tasks. So what are your options?
Take y our exercise outdoors.
Add fresh air and sunshine to your workout routine to get all the benefits available by taking your exercise outdoors. With some of these ideas that follow, your kidsy can come with you and the fresh air will benefit them too – with better sleep as a result. And you’ll have happier, more alert children as well.
To start of: play with your kids.
Children do HIIT workouts naturally. They can burst out in running spurts, jump up to grab bars, crouch down and crawl, to suddenly climb up something at killer speed. So I know you’re tired, and I know you just want to sit down and have your latte. But trust me, just 15 minutes of running wild with your offspring will get you in shape in no time. AND lotsa parent brownie points!
Want to exercise at home? Do it in the garden!
Your time is precious. You don’t often have time to go to the park for nice walks or jogging on the track. Why not take advantage of the exercise you can get in your garden?
Do you have a trampoline?
Trampolines are not just for kids. A trampoline is probably one of the best forms of exercise you can take. Ideally you should do 30 minutes of exercise per day. That may mean taking three ten minute sessions – but you should try to get your 30 minutes in per day.
Have you ever tried bouncing on a trampoline – or been to a trampoline park? If you have, you’ll know it is a lot more intense than it looks. It’s great fun and an amazing workout – it’s hard, but in a good way.
If you’re new to trampolining, it’s unlikely that you will be able to keep bouncing for 30 minutes straight. Start of with 5 minutes. Then try going for 10 minutes. It really is the most fun you’ll have while exercising. Bouncing is a great cardio workout and after a few sessions, you’ll notice some muscles burning that you didn’t know you had!
And when you feel bored by straight jumping, try this workout:
Just as you would with any exercise – begin gently and build a little more effort each day. Also, if your pelvic floor muscles are still weak, strengthen them with some kegel exercises first before bouncing around! Never buy a used trampoline, as this can cause serious injuries because of the wear and tear of material. Some online brands sell new trampolines for quite cheap! (I bought mine at Alice’s Garden).
Got a jogger?
If you want to take your baby or toddler while you exercise outdoors – a jogger is a great way to get some cardio done, push some light weights (little person and pram) and both of you can get some fresh air!
A normal pushchair/pram is not ideal for running with. Joggers are prams that are specifically built with suspension, so that baby doesn’t get bounced about uncomfortably. They also have larger wheels – so any bumps or unevenness in the road or path is minimized. The larger wheels make pushing it much easier and safer too.
Again, if you just delivered and/or have weak pelvic muscles, or any other birth related issues – don’t go too hard right away. Start with walking around the block with your pram.
Other outdoor exercises that may help you as a new mom could include yoga and tai chi (though you may want to join a class for those). Yoga can be done on all levels and intensity, so it is a great lead up to faster paced, explosive exercising – 30 minutes of effective yoga stretches alone can help tone and add muscle and helps speed up fat burning.
Allow yourself some time to look after yourself, I promise you: the sooner you do this, the better you feel!