Get in Shape Staying Active with Your Baby
The best kinds of exercise for new moms help them get back in shape while bonding with their babies. Exercise is great for new moms. Even if you’re tired and don’t feel like jumping around at first, a little mild exercise will give you energy and helps you relax and sleep better, when you get the chance.
Exercise after pregnancy
Carrying your baby is great exercise. It burns more calories than walking alone, and your baby will love being held close. A Snugli, shown below right, or similar baby carrier carries your baby securely, in a way you’ll both enjoy. Short walks get you both out in the fresh air and provides a gentle reintroduction to exercise. If the weather is bad for a walk, go walking at the mall.
Socializing with your little one is great for new moms, too. Gymboree is a good program, but there are many others. Adult education and the YMCA offer groups, too. Or you can start your own casual exercise group with one or two other new moms. If you schedule an activity, you’re more likely to do it, and it’s amazing how a bit of movement brightens your day.
If you don’t have time for a group, a post-natal exercise DVD can guide you. Or use music videos to go dancing with your baby in your own living room. You could also get an exercise equipment kit to motivate yourself to get moving again.
Stroller exercise for moms
Pushing a baby in a stroller burns more calories than walking alone does. A good stroller is an investment that will let you carry supplies, as well as your baby, while you visit the park. Start off by walking no more than 15 minutes, and stop and sit whenever there’s a bench nearby. If you start slowly, you’ll be eager for more instead of aching.
Increase your distance every week, but be careful not to overdo it. Find a park with some gentle hills, and don’t slow down as you climb them. You can also spend more time walking and less time sitting with each excursion.
As baby grows and you regain your fitness, switch to an exercise stroller, shown at right, and start to fitness walk or jog. Fast fitness walking and jogging burn more calories than walking does in the same amount of time, and time is precious when you have a young family. Start gradually, and plan a route where you don’t have to wait for traffic.