Postpartum Exercises You (and Your Baby) Will Love
Finding time to exercise with your new role as a mother can be difficult. Even more difficult is figuring out what your baby will do while you exercise. Do they go to the babysitter? Can a trusted family member watch them? Or my personal favorite: how safe and clean is that gym daycare anyway?
At Mommycise Fitness, we’ve figured out a way to eliminate all of those worries with a program that gives you a great workout and a wonderful bonding experience with your baby. Not only is your baby in the same room with you during your workout, many of the exercises actually use your baby like a weight. It’s fun and interactive—and there’s no question about the benefits of physical activity for new moms, including:
- A faster return to your pre-pregnancy body (somehow, it’s never fast enough…)
- Pelvic floor training exercises (neglect these at your peril)
- Peace of mind at having baby in sight (first time moms are often anxious about using a gym’s childcare facilities and many cite childcare as a reason for not exercising during the first year post pregnancy)
- More energy (always appreciated after a restless night)
- Stronger bodies (those muscles will be needed as baby grows and carrying infant seat to and from the car becomes a workout in and of itself!)
- Friendship, community and a sense of belonging (many of the moms in this class meet for coffee and baby play dates during the week)
You’re not the only one who benefits from Mom-and-baby exercise time. Babies are given plenty of tummy time, which has been shown to help strengthen the muscles necessary for crawling and walking. And there is the benefit of seeing you working out and getting crucial early exposure to exercise as a normal part of the day.
Our classes don’t rely on complicated machines in crowded gyms. Instead, we’ve developed exercises you can easily do with your baby at home as well. Some of my favorites include:
- Curl-backs: Lay baby on lap (thighs) during abdominal curl-back exercises. Hold onto baby’s hands.
- Airplane ride: Lie on back and bend knees to chest. Place baby on lower legs (shins) and pretend to give him or her an airplane ride. Never release your grasp of the baby.
- Kiss-the-baby crunches: In same position as airplane ride, perform abdominal crunches. As mother curls up, baby kisses are giv Older babies can sit on mom’s tummy.
- Baby leg lifts: Lie on back with knees at a 90-degree angle and baby resting on lower legs. Lower legs, moving heels toward buttocks, then lift legs back to starting position. Keep lower back pressed against the floor throughout entire mov
- Horsy ride: Have baby sit on mom’s tummy during br Baby will feel like he or she is going on a “horsy ride.”