Motherhood and Fitness: The Postpartum Journey to Wellness
Striving for fitness and keeping active are necessary at every stage of life. Its numerous health benefits are known to everyone. As a mom, exercising after giving birth helps you lose weight and is instrumental in restoring your core body strength and stability. In addition, it relieves stress and decreases the chances of postpartum depression.
Mom and Baby Workouts: Strengthening Bodies and Bonds
The notion of keeping fit and healthy with a baby may seem difficult. However, since your presence comforts the baby and always wants you around, why not include him in your workout routine? This strengthens your body and offers a bonding opportunity with your little one.
Below, we share a list of 9 mom and baby workouts to try together.
Walking with baby
This is the simplest way of getting started soon after giving birth. A daily 20 to 30-minute stroll with your infant in a baby carrier gives you a good, energetic start. Keep your baby in a body sling in your day-to-day activities like house chores and grocery shopping. Also, consider using a pedometer to measure your activity level throughout the day.
Once you have built a certain level of stamina and your doctor deems it appropriate, you can move on to include strength training exercises.
The importance of stretching comes from the fact that it improves joint flexibility. You can perform this easily with your baby lying comfortably on your exercise mat.
Do a snake stretch, keep your lower body extended on the ground, and bring your upper body up in the air with the support of your hands. Stretch your abdominal muscles, curving your back. Hold the position for some time and then bring it down.
Alternatively, you can also do a cat and camel stretch by bringing your body on all 4s above your baby. Now curve your back upwards, tucking in your tummy like a cat, and then dipping your spine down to make a reverse arch like a camel’s back. Hold for 5 seconds each. Perform in sets of 3 with multiple reps.
Glute lift with kegels
Lie on your back with your knees flexed and your baby sitting on your abdomen facing you. Lift your bottom off the floor while keeping your upper back and feet firmly on the ground. Hold the position and perform Kegels by contracting your pelvic floor muscles as if “holding the pee.” Hold for a few seconds and then release, bringing down your body. Perform in sets of 3, with the length and number of reps increasing along the way.
Kegels provide stability to your pelvic organs and tighten back your birth canal, thus improving the sexual dysfunction common after childbirth. Successful tightening can be achieved effectively with vaginoplasty for long-standing birth canal laxity, not responding to Kegels.
Baby weight squats
To do this exercise, hold your baby in your arms, hugging his back with his face turned away from you. Now, move your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down on your knees as if sitting in a chair. Keep your back straight and your abdomen tight. Repeat and perform it in 3 sets, gradually increasing the reps in each set.
Squats target the muscles in your lower limbs, strengthening them and the knee joint. In addition, they burn fats and aid in weight loss.
Hold the baby against your chest, facing away from you, and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Now, take a step and bring one leg forward. Keeping your back straight, move down by bending both knees until your back knee is just above the floor. Rise and repeat the movement, alternating your legs.
Perform 3 sets, increasing the number of reps as your stamina develops. Lunges boost metabolism with the ability to strengthen your back, hips, and legs and improve their flexibility and stability.
Mommy and me planks
Put your baby on his back in a comfortable way. Position your body on top of him with both hands on the baby’s sides. Hold your weight up in the air with your hands and toes, keeping your body straight. Make sure you tighten your abs while holding this position.
Do this in sets of 3, gradually increasing the length and number of reps along your fitness journey. Planks target your neck, back, and pelvis muscles up to your thighs and legs. They help improve your posture and strengthen your spine.
Lay your baby on the floor in a comfortable position. Get into a push-up position on top of him, supporting your body with your hands and toes, keeping the knees straight. Bend your elbows, lower yourself to the baby, and then push up to the starting position.
Perform in sets of multiple reps depending on your strength. Push-ups improve your core body stability and enhance upper body strength.
Baby bench press
To perform a bench press, you must lie on your back and lift weights with your arms up in the air. In baby bench press, hold your baby facing you up in the air while lying on your back and then bring him down to your chest. Repeat the exercise in sets of 3, increasing the number of reps every day.
This is a great mommy and me workout to strengthen and tone your body. It is a compound exercise meant to improve your chest, shoulder, and arm muscles, enhancing your endurance for daily activities. Your baby will particularly enjoy this playful exercise.
Secure your baby in a stroller and take him along for an outdoor jog. This will give you and your little one a breath of fresh air. Apply stroller brakes in between and do body stretches, squats, and lunges while playing with your baby. It’s a fun bonding that improves your cardiovascular fitness.
Important tips on postpartum exercises
- Warm up your body before intense workouts with a light jog or jumping jacks and body stretching to improve the blood circulation to your muscles and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Start with gentle exercises after giving birth. Listen to your body and consult your healthcare provider before you gradually move to more intense workouts.
Fuel your body with the right diet and consider nutritional strategies to optimize your workout results.
- Remember, consistency is the key, as desired results can’t be achieved overnight.
- Avoid baby carriers in workouts requiring brisk movements since jerky movements may hurt the baby’s neck and spine.
Working out or finding time to hit the gym may seem challenging when you have a baby to care for. With the above-discussed workouts, you can do with a baby, strive for your fitness goals without worrying about baby care. Start with light exercises and gradually build your stamina to more intense workouts. Don’t let caring for the newborn overwhelm you. Instead, bond with your baby in creative and healthy ways.
- 9 Mom and Baby Workouts to Strengthen Body and Bonding - October 30, 2023
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