Yes it absolutely can be done. How I hear you ask? With a little bit of creativity and making it one of your priorities. If you make exercising (or fitting more daily activity into your routine) a priority, you will find time for it.
The key is to be flexible. We all know that with littlies around things don’t always go according to plan. So adapt to what the day throws at you.
“Exercise is an investment in yourself. Don’t focus on what you are giving up to become fit. Focus on what you are gaining” Joni Hyde
By making exercise are priority you are doing something for your mind, body and soul which will help you be the best mum that you can. So you, your kids and household also benefit as a happy mum means a happy home, so its a win win all around.
You are also setting a great example for your kids by showing them the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle and how easy it is to fit daily activity in, which in the era of computer games and fast food is so important to be a healthy and positive role model for our children.
Please always remember to consult you doctor before starting an exercise regime. And take things easy to start with, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while.
So on that note here are my top tips for fitting in exercise around babies and toddlers to help you become a yummier mummy (because you are already yummy):
1. Chuck them in the pram (not literally) and go for a brisk walk
First thing in the morning is the best time, after they have had breakfast. That way what ever happens in your day, you have managed to find time for your walk. It will make you feel much more relaxed and prepared for whatever the day or the kids throw at you.
This is also a great option if the kids don’t want to sleep and you didn’t get your afternoon exercise session in, head out for an afternoon walk.
Put some cool tunes that you love onto your MP3 player and sing and bop along as you walk. If you can, start doing this when your kids are fairly young. Walking is a great way to get back into activity post birth. This way it will become part of your routine and your babies will get used to being in the pram. Hopefully they might even sleep, and as they get older be extremely content and relaxed.
This could also be done with a bike and infant bike trailer if that’s more your thing.
2. Exercise while they are napping
Ok this one sounds pretty obvious but when it comes crunch time its hard to leave the dishes in the sink or skip your daily siesta. By all means if you are exhausted then have a nap because sometimes you just need it. Just ask yourself if you are really tired or are you having a nap out of habit. If its a habit then have a cuppa and put an exercise DVD on. Start with something relaxing yet uplifting like yoga or pilates. Its amazing how refreshed and invigorated you will feel after wards.
3. Join a mums and bubs exercise class
This is an option if you can afford it. There are so many gyms and places that offer classes where you can take your littlies. A lot of gyms also have a creche for older kids. If you are paying for a gym membership its a great motivator. Its also a great way to meet other mums in your area and you get a little bit of social interaction as well.
4. Go to the local pool
Do a class of Aqua aerobics with a childcare area (ok so its not really with your kids) or do some exercises in the water like running through the water holding onto your bub or toddler. Its great resistance and burns a ton of calories, not to mention tones your thighs.
5. Start up your own mums and bubs exercise group
Why not suggest this to your mothers group. If you don’t have a mothers group then start up your own or join one in your area. Arrange a day and time for you all to meet somewhere nice for a morning walk. Then if there are cafes near by you could have a coffee (skinny of course) and chat. This way you are getting the best of both worlds exercise and socialisation. Talk about multitasking.
6. Put on some music and dance around the living room together
If you have a toddler put some great music on and dance around the living room. Dance like no one is watching. Your little person will have a ball and so will you. If you have a bub go a little gentler. They will love the rhythmic motion of your body and its a nice chance to have a cuddle. After the dancing you could leave the music on and do some speed cleaning while the kids are amused (see tip 10).
7. Toning exercises
Occupy them for even 15 minutes with a video or toy while you do some toning exercises like squats, tricep dips and push ups. Grab a couple of light dumbells (or food cans) and sit on the floor with them while they play and do some bicep curls. When putting them to bed do squats while you rock or pat them. The options are endless. Once you do them a few times it will become a habit, and part of your routine so you won’t forget.
8. Spend an afternoon at a park with a playground
Don’t spend the whole time relaxing on the sidelines – join in on the fun. Spend some time swinging to help workout your legs. Try making it across the monkey bars – even just once (it’s a great upper body workout and you’ll be amazed that your kid does it with such little ease). Try some pull-ups using a bar on the playset. Do some tricep dips on a nearby park bench. Kick the ball around (see tip 9 below).
9. Kick the ball around the back yard with your little tot
Make a real game of it. If they are just learning to kick the ball hold their hand and run up to the ball getting them to kick it. Kids love being outside and the fresh air can do wonders for everyone. If you have a bub outdoor infant swings are greats. Every time you push do a squat or lunge. You could also combine this with some gardening. Get a little spade and fork for your tot and get them to help you in the garden. Why not plant a vegetable or herb garden. If you have a bub spread a blanket on the grass with lots of stimulating and amusing toys for her/him to play with while you garden and then enjoy a play and cuddle on the rug together.
10. Put some extra speed into your daily chores
Put more speed into getting your housework done in less time. By doing speed-cleaning not only will you raise your heart rate and burn more calories, but you’ll also have more time to do the things you love, like spending it with your kids and husband. Time how long it takes to do each task, record your time and try to beat it the next time you do that task.
So there are my top 10 tips for fitting in exercise around your littlies, and increasing your daily activity. Hopefully you found something that will fit in with your lifestyle and daily routine.
Don’t focus on trying to get a large block of activity done if you can’t. Concentrate on doing incidental activity throughout the day and making your lifestyle more active. Remember to start slowly and only do as much as you can and don’t over do it. Listen to your body.
Always remember to take care of yourself and reward yourself every now and then with a nice hot soak in the tub or a pedicure. You and your body are doing an amazing job from having nurtured and developed your little bub and helping them to grow into happy and healthy little people.