Workout anytime, anywhere, with your baby!
We all know being a new Mom can be very hectic. Between diaper changing and nursing, you feel like you don't even have time to take a shower, let alone workout! When my daughter was born, I was dying to get back to working out. I didn’t have anyone to help me watch my baby, so the gym and my favorite yoga studio was out of the question. I tried to workout at home, I can do this, I said to my self. But we all know the story, as soon as I put my workout clothes on and thought that my baby girl is sound asleep, there she goes again crying her lungs out wanting my boobie! At most I could do was few minutes here and there…then I started including her in my workouts, I let her just watch me as I do my Jane Fonda moves on the mat, and then I would grab her and workout with her. She loved it! I realized that it was working, I found the formula to loose the baby weight and to feel great. I didn’t need a nanny, the gym or the standard “hour” for my workout, all I needed was a mini workout using my own body, and my baby (if she wasn’t napping) a few times a day. It really came down to using what I already had - my body, that took me through pregnancy and birth, a woman’s body that is the most incredible and capable machine out there.
I used my background as a yoga teacher and a personal trainer, and I would create my own short, high intensity workouts. I would combine cardio movements like mountain climbers and jumping jacks with strength exercises like squats, pushups and lunges. From years in the fitness industry I know that’s the perfect formula to burn the most fat and tone up the body. If she was napping, great, I got my workout in. If she woke up, I would simply put her on the mat next to me and grab her for all the strengthening moves, such as squat and press, and walking lunges. I included many yoga moves, especially planks and all it variations, as we know being a new mom is all about rebuilding your core.
By including my daughter in my workouts, I created a fun activity to do few times a day for both of us, and most importantly, my daughter got used to exercising with me literally from day one. Now, at two and a half, when she sees me roll out my mat, she knows it’s time for yoga or workout, and she respects that, and is so excited to join in.
I went on to create Mommy Workouts, a workout app that you can follow right from your phone. I wanted to share my experience with all the new mommies out there that may have felt the same, and didn’t know where to start with their postpartum exercise. Each workout is just five minutes long, so you can fit it in anywhere, anytime. If you have more time, simply repeat the same workout or stack multiple workouts together. Videos feature upbeat music and gorgeous backdrop of Pacific ocean. Mommy Workouts celebrates being a new mom, having your baby with you and moving your body. What better prescription for happiness? Bellow I’m sharing my favorite moves that you can do at home with your baby. And always remember, get an OK from your OB-GYN that you are good to exercise, and always listen to your body. Start slow, especially if you are recovering from a C-section.
My postpartum exercise tips:
1. DON’T FORGET YOUR PELVIC FLOOR - it really gets weak after pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles support your growing baby and uterus. During birth, your pelvic floor gets even more stretched out and weak. So do Kegels as often as you can, whenever you are sitting down, driving, or laying down: Quickly squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine. Make the contractions progressively longer: squeeze for five, hold for five, and release for five. Repeat 10 times.
2. BEING A NEW MOM, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CORE - rebuilding and strengthening. Solution: Plank. Plank is a static full body move, looks like a starting position for a pushup, contracting your core muscles (pulling bellybutton toward your spine), and you body in a straight line from shoulders to ankles. You can start with a knee plank, progress to a classic plank, elbow plank, side plank, and all different variations. Start with holding for 10 seconds, gradually increasing to 30 seconds or more.
3. FULL BODY MOVES- As new moms, we can’t afford to waste time with isolation exercises - do full body moves such as squats, pushups and lunges for maximum muscle impact and calorie burn.
4. GET OUTSIDE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN - the fresh air and sun on your skin will sure boost the flow of endorphins.
5. THROW A YOGA MAT IN YOUR STROLLER - whenever you are on a walk, find a beautiful place and do a quick workout while your baby is catching a nap:)
6. PUT YOUR WORKOUT CLOTHES ON first thing in the morning, and as soon as you put your baby down, get moving, and then repeat a mini workout as many times as you can during the day. Remember, us new moms don't have time to shower anyway, so we might as well be sticky and sweaty all day in our leggings and sports bra :)
My favorite moves with my baby:
- Squat and press: Start with feet about hip width, hold your baby at your chest. Squat down keeping your weight in your heels, and as you come up, press your baby overhead.
- Backward lunges and pulse: Start standing, holding your baby at your chest. Step back into a lunge, stay low and just pulse up and down, until you feel the burn.
- Boat pose: Sitting on your mat, your baby at your chest, drown your belly in, lean back and pick up your legs, keeping knees bent, balancing your your tailbone.
- Leg lifts: Lay on your back, hold your baby at your chest, and lift both legs to 90 degrees, while keeping your core engaged and your low back flat. Slowly return your legs down.
You can find all my workouts on my Mommy Workouts app, available on ITunes, or www.mymommyworkouts.com
Follow me on instagram for more inspiration for new mommies! @mommyworkouts_
Yoga teacher, personal trainer, founder of Mommy Workouts.