Head out for a stroll!
Did you register for a stroller? Perfect! Bundle up your tot and head outdoors. Stick to smooth sidewalks and pathways if you are just starting out, or head for walking trails if you are more adventurous. Be sure to pack water and snacks, let someone know where you are headed ahead of time, and bring cell phone in case of any emergencies. Better yet – find a local mall and meet up with a group of moms to stroll together! Afterwards, your babies can nap while you enjoy a much-deserved cup of coffee.
Find a local mother and baby class!
If you live in an urban center, there are likely dozens of these at your doorstep. And many have a fitness component. Call your local fitness studio or gym to see what they have to offer. And take some inspiration from the exercises you used to do before you were pregnant. Love CrossFit? Check out mother and baby boot camp! More of a yogi? Mother and baby Yoga/Pilates are popping up in many established studios. Ask for referrals from your care provider, local social media groups (like meet-up) or early years centers. Insider tip: ask to trial a class before you commit to a series to make sure it doesn’t conflict with nap or feeding times.
Take it outdoors!
With the weather improving in the northern hemisphere, many of us are longing to get outside after a long and dreary winter. The great news is that you can exercise right in your own backyard, and bring your tot along with you! Spread an outdoor blanket or yoga mat on the grass, and take along plenty of toys for babe while you’re at it. Here, you can keep an eye on your little one while you stretch and strengthen right in the comfort of your own home. Sunny day? Set up a beach umbrella to keep you both made in the shade. And don’t forget the SPF!
Bring baby along for the ride!
You might be saying, “I couldn’t possibly exercise when I’m always holding my baby”…Why not take him or her with you? Investing in a structured carrier allows you to keep baby close, while giving you the freedom to move around. “Kangaroo-Care” for babies, especially preemies, helps stabilize blood sugars, promotes healthy weight gain, and allows mother and babe to bond. It’s also a great way to help a newborn nod off to sleep! Simply strap your baby into a carrier and head out for a walk. Feeling ambitious? Check out a baby-wearing exercise class in your area. From Zumba to Salsa Babies, the possibilities are endless!
Congratulations on your new role as a mama. Enjoy incorporating fitness into this exciting new phase of your life!
Holly Wykes, RKin, M.Sc. candidate, B.Ed., ACSM-CEP. Holly is a first time mom to an incredible almost-two-year-old. She is a Registered Kinesiologist, ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Educator, Student, and self-proclaimed Exercise Enthusiast. She lives in Toronto, Ontario and works in Cardiac Rehabilitation with University Health Network.