Carpool, laundry, runnings errands, work...was you time anywhere in there? Probably not! According to the Mayo Clinic, “Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.” Exercise is a wonderful stress relief which is especially important when you are a Mom. One way to show your little one that fitness can be FUN is to incorporate your baby into your workout! Here are a few exercises that you can perform with your little one.
This is a great exercise that works both your back and your abs. Your elbows and hips should be in alignment with your shoulders, with your head in a neutral position. Try to avoid high or low hips. When first getting back into exercise you can start by planking from your knees. Try holding the position for 10 to 20 seconds, or you can incorporate your little one by placing them on the mat face up in front of you holding the plank long enough to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
This exercise engages your core, hamstrings and glutes. Start from a reclined position with your feet placed shoulder width apart and your arms and head relaxed. With your knees lined up over your heels tighten your abs as you slowly lift up from the ground. If you feel comfortable place your baby on top of your thighs with their head near your knees. Then lift up and hold the pose for about 20 seconds. Add some fun learning for your little one by singing through the alphabet instead of counting!
Bent Knee Push-up
This exercise works your arms, chest and shoulders. From your hands and knees keep your hips in alignment with your body (making sure not to bend your hips) and engage your abs as you slowly lower your upper body down to the floor. It’s important to remember to keep the abs engaged when you push yourself back up to the starting position. If you place your little one on the mat in front of you during this exercise you can give them a kiss as you lower down for the push-up for a sweet reward!
Take your little one out in the stroller for a walk! This is a great form of cardio exercise that gets you outdoors into the fresh air and allows you to show the world to your little one. Make sure you aren’t just taking a stroll, but are focusing on your form. Keep your abs engaged by pulling your belly button back toward your spine and open your shoulders so that you are not hunched over your stroller.
This exercise works many major muscle groups while helping to strengthen and tone your glutes and thighs. Remember to keep your head neutral, your shoulders down and back, contracting your abs, while making sure your knees do not go past your toes and imagine you are sitting down onto a chair. If you have your baby in the stroller you can hold a squat in front of them and either play “Peek a Boo” or sing them my daughter’s favorites, “I’m a Little Tea Pot” or “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
If you have recently had a baby it’s important to wait to be cleared to exercise from your doctor (generally six to eight weeks postpartum) before resuming any exercise program. As with all exercise it is important to listen to your body, breathe, drink plenty of water and modify exercises as needed. These exercises are some ideas you can perform on your own but it is always important to see a qualified healthcare provider for advice or to address any concerns before beginning any fitness program.
Baby Boot Camp is an innovative stroller fitness program designed to balance the fitness needs of new moms while spending time with their children. Delivered by nationally certified fitness professionals throughout the United States, Baby Boot Camp stroller-fitness classes include STROLLFIT, STROLLGA, 5K Training Program, and Nutrition Solutions. Created in 2001 by Kristen Horler, Baby Boot Camp strives to help moms regain or enhance their pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting by emphasizing strength training in a supportive environment.
Visit your nearest Baby Boot Camp location for more fun exercises you can perform while being with your child!
Samantha Bartholomew is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and RRCA Run Coach. She is the owner and instructor at Baby Boot Camp Cupertino, Los Altos & Mountain View. This
soon to be mother of two enjoys going out to class to help show both Moms and babies that fitness can be FUN! Visit her website for more information on her classes, scheduling a personal training session or run coaching.