Mustering the gusto to get your groove back after having a baby is hard. The thought (and reality) of getting to the gym is almost ridiculous (mostly because of that who’s-gonna-watch-the-kid thing and I’d-just-rather-sleep dilemma). But getting your bod toned in time for summer is not impossible if you make the effort to squeeze in a few minutes here and there. I don’t have a trainer nor am I a certified trainer… but I was forced into figuring this out first-hand twice in two years. A few fitness and exercise tips for new moms that genuinely worked for me around my house:
1) WEAR WORKOUT GEAR. You don’t have to get all decked out, but let’s be realistic: If you intend to keep moving all day, you’re going to need to feel like you can actually move. That means stretch-pants, sneakers and a comfy top. (OMG it’s the ‘mom-uniform!’)
2) SUCK IN YOUR TUMMY. Tighten those abs that once-were while you wash your dishes/bottles, sit in traffic or wait in line for that cashier at the market. Hold those muscles tight for about a minute and do a few sets (as many times as you have patience or time for). If you engage that core a few times per day, even in passing moments, your body will be reminded that those muscles are there in the first place. And you’ll actually feel more fabulous when you see your reflection and appear a few inches taller.
3) USE SHOWER-TIME FOR STRENGTH-TRAINING. I’m not suggesting that you do exercises IN the shower (hello, that’d be way too dangerous!), but I am a big believer in utilizing that alone-time in your bathroom just before you take your shower. Do a few sets of push-ups against your sink. Do some reps of leg squats before you undress. Do some calf-raises or bend over and touch your toes.
4) ENLIST THOSE TODDLERS AS TRAINERS. Ask any dancer or athlete about stretching and they’ll tell you it’s imperative for awakening muscle elasticity and strength. Toddlers can be fabulously successful at motivating you to stretch, take my word for it. And they think it’s funny (and so will you — WATCH HERE).
5) DITCH THE BABY CARRIERS. How else are you arms supposed to get toned again if you’re not using them to physically lift your infant and carry him/her around as living weights?
6) HIT THE GROUND WALKING. Use that amazing stroller you bought every single day for 30-45 minutes. Walk briskly, with your stomach in, and alternate fast spurts with moderate strolls. Walking has proven to be one of the best forms of exercise (keeps your heart rate at a fat-burning level, is low-impact on the joints). Throw in a baby/toddler (or two!) and you’ve added a superb resistance element to keep your body working. And don’t forget to do like I did on TV and use your stroller for weight-training too.
7) CLEAN YOUR HOUSE. This sounds silly, but I truly break a sweat when I mop my floor or frantically try to finish dusting my house before my girls wake up from their naps. That’s gotta mean something, right?
Most importantly, START SLOW and remember this: If you manage to keep moving all day… your body will wake up and respond.
HOW DID YOU SQUEEZE IN YOUR FITNESS AS A NEW MOM?