Giving birth is all but easy and this includes the postnatal period as well. Women who have been physically active prior to giving birth find it hard to get back into shape after giving birth. What is worse, they perceive their newborn child as an obstacle to exercising but the truth could not be more different. In fact, your baby daughter or son (or both) can be incorporated into exercise routines intended for mothers.
The benefits of a walk
You might have seen advice on the TV that the elderly can benefit significantly from a simple 30.minutes’ walk in the park. Although this seems strange, for people with limited mobility, walking makes for an excellent exercise. Since taking a walk on your own is no fun, take your baby with you! The fresh air will do good both for you and the infant, as a short walk around the block will prepare you for more strenuous exercises later on.
Doing the famous baby lift
While you’re inside the house, one of the best exercises is baby lifts. This exercise is not considered as such because it is more playing than exercising with your child. Simply lie on the floor and hold your baby on the stomach using both hands. Start lifting the infant slowly into the air and when you reach the maximum point in the air, lower the baby down slowly. The trick is not to touch your stomach again when you bring the baby down.
Working the pelvis
During pregnancy and childbirth, your pelvis had to bear a lot of pressure. Now is the time to work out this part of your body through pelvis lifts. Lie on the ground with your knees bent and a bit apart. The baby should sit against your thighs and you should be holding him/her with both hands. Then raise your torso and slowly come back down without allowing your bottom to come into contact with the floor. Some 10 reps are more than enough to get you started with.
Even plank can be done with a small help from your child. Start by getting into the plant position, with your forearm resting firmly on the floor and only let your toes touching the ground. The difference from a normal plank is that the baby is underneath you so you have an extra incentive not to fall.
You should try and hold this position for at least one minute or longer if you can. The exercise is ideal for getting rid of belly fat as abdomens muscles must work their hardest. Actually, the effect is the same as if you went running but during a plank, you get to sing to your child and make funny faces while you exercise.
Pushups spiced with peekaboo’s
Speaking of having fun, another exercise similar to a plank is a pushup. It is performed in a similar way but with extra fun involved. Namely, as you raise and lower your body with the baby underneath or near you, try to make funny faces or open and close your eyes to make the baby laugh. After you get caught up in their cute response, you will lose track of how many pushups you did and actually get more out of your body than you normally would. Talk about the baby as a source of motivation!
Using the baby’s weight
It might not be a pleasant thing to say but you can use the baby as extra weight, in the same manner you would do with a barbell. Your child comes particularly useful when sweating, as they add those extra kilos that your leg muscles need to recover their strength. As you have seen from the exercises we have listed, your baby should not deter you from exercising but rather motivate you. However, try to keep both you and the infant safe while you exercise together.