How to get back into shape and lose weight after having a baby
Depending on what your situation is, getting fit again after having a baby can seem easy, or, incredibly hard. For some, snapping back into pre-pregnancy jeans can pass by without much thought – for others, getting back into shape can become a constant plaguing thought.
Fitness post baby
Let’s be honest – It can be extremely hard to keep up your pre-pregnancy fitness activities whilst looking after a young baby. Having been through it ourselves, here are a collection of ideas to help you on your journey to post pregnancy fitness. Going to the gym for a couple of hours a few times a week will be off the cards for many young mums. The idea here is that lots of small amounts of exercise can add up to you feeling fitter, healthier and burning calories.
20 ways to get fit with a baby : Post pregnancy fitness
1. Have your mind-set right – giving yourself a hard time about weight gain post pregnancy is futile. Whenever you are reading this, it’s the start of a new day so focus on what can happen ahead of you. Accept that your regime may have to change now and embrace taking more, smaller steps to fitness – a more manageable approach wins every time.
2. Take your baby swimming – lift them up in and out of the water and work your biceps!
3. Join an indoor mummy fitness class like MummyFit or in California Baby Bootcamp where you can exercise around your baby.
4. If you prefer the outdoors, try a class like Wheelie Fit, which runs in local parks. Alternatively, get a running buddy – do you know another mum who is keen to keep fit? Arrange a play date where one of you goes for a run, while the other looks after your two children, and vice versa.
5. Able to get out for a walk with the pram/ stroller? Increase your calorie burn simply by adding ankle weights like these:
6. Too tired to exercise? Many new mums who are struggling to get a good night’s sleep are simply too tired to do exercise – if this is the case – focus on getting more sleep so you have the energy to get more active, ask a family member to give you a lie in, or ask your partner to take over for a night whenever possible.
7. Set yourself a BIG challenge – is there something you’ve always wanted to prove to yourself that you can do? A 5k run, a half marathon? A full body pull up? Having a goal you want to achieve is a key driver in helping you to get fit. Once you’ve set your challenge, break the journey to achieving it down into milestones and reward yourself when you achieve them.
8. Switch up your mummy meet ups. Instead of meeting your friends for a sugar-laden coffee and cake – not matter how much you deserve it – suggest a healthy walk in the park or a walk around a museum on a rainy day. Research national heritage sites, trails, state parks, and reservoirs with smooth pathways for the buggy in your area. You can even bring snacks along – just make sure they are healthy ones!
9. Add small activities to your daily routine- for example do a 2 minute plank before bed, do squats whilst brushing your teeth, do press ups whilst your bottles are sterilising and sit ups whilst your bottle is warming. We’ve worked out that if you did only these on a daily basis, here’s (approximately) what you could achieve:
• 2 minute plank
• 50 squats
• 30 press ups
• 60 sit ups
10. When you wake up in the morning, put on clothes that you can exercise in – that way, when you do have a small window to do something, you are ready to go and don’t need to worry about getting changed or tearing a hole in something.
11. Got an old work out DVD in your cupboard? Now is the time to dust it off! Getting into the routine of exercising at home is key if you have limited childcare. If you don’t have one, ask your friends if they have any you can borrow.
12. Treat yourself to some new gym clothes and trainers – you’re much more likely to want to go if you feel more confident in what you‘re wearing.
13. Burn calories by dancing in front of or holding your baby or at a baby rave – find more details here.
14. Download Seven- 7 minute fitness app this is amazing for doing a short workout, at home, at any time of the day!
15. Increase your calorie burn walking by carrying your baby on your back – the Osprey Baby carrier is our tried and tested favourite!
16. Find a tonne of free workout videos on YouTube that can be done in 10 minutes with no equipment.
17. Buy a skipping rope – skipping is one of the simplest aerobic work outs you can do and you only need a small space to do it – track how many skips you do and try to beat it each day.
18. Signing up to baby classes? Choose ones which will get you more active – such as The Little Gym, in the UK– or The Little Gym, San Jose California.
19. Switch your gym to one with a crèche/ childcare so you can make going to the gym part of your weekly routine.
20. Finally, though this post is about fitness, what to eat which another ball game, but, we have to put this in here – when you’re weaning, do not eat your child’s left overs. Just. Don’t. Do. It. You risk adding around 100 sneaky calories a day into your diet just by clearing their plate – eating all those morsels they inevitably leave behind. Remember – You are not a vacuum for their leftovers and it is as easy to put them in the bin as it is into your mouth. Remind yourself that it is not wasteful to throw left overs away. By all means if there is a lot, add it to another of your main meals, but do not unconsciously tidy up by putting their uneaten food in your mouth.