The first year after you have a baby is a whirlwind.
Teething, eating, talking, walking…the changes your baby goes through are nothing short of mind-blowing. You’ll find those early days are consumed with sticking to a schedule, feeding, diapering and embracing your new life as Mom—and exercise quickly falls to the bottom of the list.
But remember those pre-flight safety instructions: Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. These five tips will help you take care of yourself, so you can better take care of your baby.
Note: Remember to get clearance from your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Work Out With Your Baby1 of 6
Strapping baby into a regular stroller, jogging stroller or front carrier is the easiest way to sneak in fitness. For most babes, the gentle swaying puts them right to sleep. Plus, fresh air does wonders for new moms and babies. Be sure to check with your stroller and carrier guidelines on age or activity restrictions.
Check out one of the many group exercise options for you and your baby as well. Stroller Strides or Mommy and Me-type classes help connect new moms and offer a support network for the million questions that pop up with a newborn.
Fit It In When You Can2 of 6
Squeeze in a quick workout while the babe sleeps with one of the many workouts streaming for free on YouTube, hopping on a treadmill or bike if you have one, or try these exercises that can be done right in your living room with no equipment needed. Something is better than nothing.
Early Bird Gets the Worm3 of 6
Nothing is scheduled early in the morning; the kids are sleeping and there are blessedly few distractions. By the time you're done with your workout, the kids are usually still sleeping—heck, you might even be able to enjoy a hot shower with no interruptions!
Schedule It4 of 6
Each week, plan out what workouts you will do on each day. If it's on the family calendar, you will make it a priority—and make it non-negotiable.
Your Wednesday night yoga class means it's your partner's turn to pick up the kids and make dinner; and vice versa, of course. Parents who find a way to make time for fitness are happier and healthier, so find a class you love and stick with it.
Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan5 of 6
Once you have your workout day set, plan what you will do. Will you run outside? Will you go to the gym? What will you do at the gym? If you have an exact plan (30 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes of strength training for back and biceps, for example), you will be more efficient and not spend precious time meandering.
Lay out your workout clothes the night before. If you need to pack a bag, do that the night before, too. Planning is key to success!
The most important part of fitness after baby is to remember to take care of yourself. Do the things you love, take care of your body and your baby will thank you for it in the long run.