Photo by: iStock

Working Out With Your Baby

Photo by: iStock

New moms need exercise. You’ll relieve stress and release endorphins to help combat postpartum baby blues, explains Rachel Karstens, a certified master trainer with the American Council on Exercise and National Academy of Sports Medicine. As you get more fit, you’ll feel better about yourself and your new body, which boosts your mood and self confidence. Even if you feel exhausted, a few minutes of exercise on most days helps increase your endurance and energy and improves the sleep you do get.

You don’t have to take time away from your precious time with your baby to exercise either. Get creative with your workouts and exercise with your baby, not without her!

Get Moving

Babies love movement, notes Karstens who is also a mom of three kids, all under age 8. Pick up your baby and dance with her to all your favorite songs. Wear your baby in a front or back pouch and go for a hike – just make sure you choose an age-appropriate pack to provide needed support for her head and neck.

Join a stroller class, such as Baby Boot Camp or Stroller Strides. These trainer-led classes also you to jog, do strength moves and stretch with baby never too far away. Swimming also gives you an opportunity to fit in some non-impact cardio. Karstens suggests holding your baby in the water as you water walk or do water aerobics moves.

If you prefer an old-fashioned jogging stroller, know that your newborn doesn’ t have the head and neck control to safely ride in a jogger until at least 6 months. Stick to power walks up hill to get your workout on, but minimize jarring younger babies.

Build Strength

Strength will serve you well as your baby grows. It’ll make it easier to pick her up when she gets bigger. In the meantime, having more muscle boosts your metabolism to help drop the last of those pregnancy pounds and give you a lean, toned appearance.

Do moves such as lunges and squats while holding your baby in your arms or wearing him in a carrier, recommends Karstens. Or sit her on the fronts of your hips as you lay on your back with bent knees to do hip bridges. Lay your baby on a blanket underneath you as you hold plank or do push-ups. For a bonus, add a kiss at the bottom of each rep.

Some gyms offer “baby and me” fitness classes at no extra cost. Take advantage of skilled instruction and meet a community of fit-motivated moms.

With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, Andrea Cespedes coaches cycling and running and teaches various group fitness classes. She’s also an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, ERYT-200 hour yoga instructor/teacher trainer and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia Universities. Andrea is a professionally trained chef, a Precision Nutrition coach and a certified nutrition therapy practitioner, educated at the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver. She’s also mom to two happy grade-school age kids.

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