So, you’ve just brought your beautiful new baby home and everything is going pretty well. Although, things are a little chaotic and you’re trying to settle into a new routine that includes the new addition to your family. Everything seems so busy now and even though you would like to get back to working out at some point, you’re wondering how you’re going to find the time with everything else that you have to manage.
When I became a mama, exercise was pretty low on my priority list. When I was pregnant I’d already promised myself that I wouldn’t be packing my gym bag and heading out at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a workout. I wanted to spend as much time with my little one as I could and the reality is that I was too tired to even care about exercise. At some point, I knew that one day I would get back to working out because I really do enjoy it and feel better when I do, but I wasn’t in a rush. I think sometimes you have to let things happen naturally rather than forcing yourself and then regretting it later.
Once I plucked up the courage to workout again and well after being signed off by my doctor, I struggled to find the time and motivation to get to the gym. Up until 18 months, we had no childcare and our family lived miles away, so the only time I could make it to the gym was when Alfie was at home. In the end, I ended up canceling my gym membership because for the amount it cost each month it was going to waste. Instead, with time and trial and error I managed to make space for a little exercise that also meant I got to spend time with my baby.
With a little exercise, I found that I had renewed energy, a sense of feeling like myself again and felt happier because I knew that I was doing something good for myself and my wellbeing. You don’t have a lot of time for yourself as a new mum but it’s really important to make sure you remember to look after yourself. Whether it’s 10 minutes or 30 minutes, a little gentle exercise can do you the world of good and it’s something that you can do with your baby too.
Workout at home with your baby
YouTube became a bit of a holy grail for me after I quit the gym. It’s a great fitness resource and there really is something for everyone. Working out from home means that you don’t have to leave your baby, you can make it fun by interacting with them as you workout, pull funny faces, sing etc. It can be done while they are sleeping, on their playmat or swing.
Go for walks and hikes
Life with a newborn can mean that you tend to stay indoors a lot. Getting outside into the fresh air is so invigorating and can do you the world of good. Long walks with friends and family is a fantastic way to get that social interaction that we all crave as a new mum and it’s a lovely gentle way to move your body. Your little one will be quite a happy taking in the scenery from their pushchair or baby carrier.
Find your optimum time to workout
I prefer to workout in the mornings, however, a lunchtime or evening workout might be your thing. Identifying the best time of day when you feel energised enough to workout will help you plan in your workouts, making them more likely to happen. Of course, with a baby scheduling things can be tricky, but don’t worry if you don’t manage to workout that day, there is always tomorrow.
Buy a running buggy
I haven’t invested in one myself, but I always look in awe when I see mums out running with their babies. There are some great running buggies on the market and you can buy nearly new ones on eBay. Obviously, having a baby on board and pushing a buggy does make things harder and more challenging, which makes it a great workout if you’re looking to push yourself.
Try and exercise before the baby wakes up
Now this requires a lot of motivation and dedication and sometimes it may work and other days it might be a complete fail. Getting up and exercising before the day runs away with you means that you’ve already got your workout under your belt before your little one has woken. This may take some time to get used to and some organisation to make it happen.
Join a pushchair fitness class
One of my greatest discoveries when I became a mum, was Pushchair Fitness that was recommended to me by lovely mummy friend Rachel. A great way to get out and meet new faces with babies, socialise and get fit too. This idea has become so popular that there is bound to be something similar in your local area.
Life happens and I think sometimes we give ourselves a hard time when we can’t workout, I know I used to a lot. One of the best ways to avoid exercise guilt is to be flexible and come to terms with the fact that your life just got 10 times busier with a new baby. It’s all about finding that balance that works best for you and your own lifestyle. If you don’t manage to workout that’s OK, tomorrow is another day.