Being a mother is the most rewarding yet challenging endeavor ever. Some of the main issues all new moms face after giving birth are how to bounce back after baby, lose the baby weight safely and efficiently, and also budgeting your time between baby and your new lifestyle.
I asked myself this empowering question after the birth of my children: "How can I lose weight, enjoy the process, and also spend quality time with my cuddlies?"
The answer came to me instantly! I knew what worked for my own mom would not work for me. I did not want to be a mom missing in action with my kids wondering where I went when I went to go work out. My own mom would run off to the basement to get her workout in, or go to the gym, leaving us out of the action. Therefore I reinvented the wheel. My cuddlies were incorporated into my home workouts affording me to spend interactive fun time with them, and also helping me to achieve my fitness goals.
And for the moms out there, you can do the same too! You don't have to struggle to get out into the gym, or hire an expensive personal trainer. You can do it yourself with your kids as your "trainers" in the comfort of your own home.
Here are some basic guidelines to help you learn how to spend this quality time with both your children and reach your weight loss goals.
Guidelines For Mommy & Me Workout
Pick An Allotted Time And Set A Schedule
As us moms know, little ones can be finicky and prefer a certain time to be played with. Choose a time right after your baby wakes up and is fed. This way you are taking all the guess work out of your schedule. You know that she is not tired and fed, and ready for some real workout fun.
Pick the same time every day so it is built into both of your schedules and you look forward to this energy building and stress reducing time together.
Set Your Workout Area Up
Have a designated area in your house as your "home gym." I suggest being in a play area where it is safe for your little one to play while you continue with your workout, in case she wants to wander off. Have as much floor space as you can. Use clean towels or mats< to use for your floor work and your workout area. Be close to a TV with a DVD player as well so you can use cartoons or intellectual baby DVD's playing in the background to keep her interested.
Utilize Your Little Ones Favorite Toys
Your baby wants to feel special too. Not only will you have your dumbbells, Dynabands, ankle weights and stability ball to work with, but also have your cuddlies favorite toys. Make sure you make her feel as comfortable and as safe as possible. By having her favorite things in the workout area, she will be just that much more interested in participating.
As you know, for the first year of a baby's life, they spend much of their time learning how to crawl and being on the floor. It's essential that you make the workout area as clean and comfortable as you can. Mats and or towels are needed for your "little trainer" to roll around on, lay belly down on, and just explore on. In addition, mats are needed for the mommy muscle floor work such as ab crunches, push-ups, and also bridges.
Make the music appealing to your little ones as well. Classical music has been shown to increase a growing brains IQ. Choose soft relaxing music for both of you to enjoy together. Upbeat music with a higher tempo is also a great idea when you need to speed up your tempo, yet do not go above 130 beats per minute since you will be incorporating your "precious cargo" into your workout.
My most important piece of information that I can give as a mom to other moms who wish to work out with their babies as I have, is to handle them with care! Please never shake or rigorously move your baby. Always hold them with a secure grip, using 2 hands, and always move in slow, fluid, non-jerky movements.
Having fun with your little one is the most important note that I can also give to you. Don't get frazzled if your baby does not cooperate the first time, or doesn't want to workout with you. It might be something that she is suffering from that isn't allowing her to enjoy the moment (For example: diaper rash, a new tooth cutting in, or a bad night's sleep). Just be patient and have fun. Even if you leave your baby in the carrier and she watches mommy exercising, this quality time is just as special.
What moms need to understand is that we will not be able to "get it all done." There will always be laundry to do, dishes to wash, and bills to pay. With this being said, be flexible and try to at least get 20 minutes of "mommy time" in to your day. You will be more balanced, healthier, and happier as a mom.
Work To Your Fitness Level
Please note that all moms will be at different fitness levels and all have different goals. Work according to your goal. In addition, please wait to obtain medical clearance from your Doctor starting your workout program.
For beginners, start off light, and then build up your endurance. Losing weight after becoming a mom is not about being perfect, rather be patient and persistent! Remember that it took almost a year for you to have your baby, and it will take almost 8 months to a year to get your body back. Therefore, persistence rather than perfection is key.
Beginners aim to perform this circuit at least 3 to 4 times a week. Intermediates aim to perform this circuit at least 4 to 5 times a week. For maximum results perform this circuit at least 4 to 5 times per week. In addition, set aside an additional 20-40 minutes of cardio as well. Go for a brisk walk or jog with baby in stroller or baby jogger. Pop in an exercise DVD (Try one of my 4 that are out on the market entitled "Fabulously Fit Moms" targeted for moms, yet are very challenging).
The tempo of your rest between sets needs to be flexible due to the wants and needs of your baby. And remember, safety first. Go slow and then build up the speed of the movements. If it's not safe, it's not fun!
What Do I Do When My Baby Gets Too Big?
This is a great question, and one I had to face when my little ones got too big to hold. I suggest still using this solid workout with a medicine ball that weighs anywhere from 6 to 15 pounds.
Mommy & Me Workouts
- Kiss The Baby: A simple push-up over baby.
- Baby Bridge: Baby is on your lap and you bride up.
- Baby Lunges: Lunge with baby holding her securely in front of you, holding her with both arms.
- Baby Squats: Squat slowly and gently with baby in front of you, holding her with both arms.
- Walking With Baby: Invest in a solid baby stroller or jogger. The math is simple. Baby sleeps and mom jogs!
I sure hope this article has helped the growing number of moms out there who wish to transform their bodies and also be the best mother that they can be! Please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions. I am always here to help.