There’s not much that changes your life so completely, and so wonderfully, as adding a new life to your life. Having another human being who is totally reliant on you for everything is an awesome responsibility, a responsibility that, many times, means forsaking your own wants and desires either permanently or temporarily.
For me, one of those “wants” that I thought I would have to forsake temporarily after the birth of our children was exercising. Exercising is such a big part of my life, a big part of my every day. Because my gym didn’t offer childcare for infants under six months old, I knew that I would have to find other, perhaps creative, ways to exercise because, for me, exercise wasn’t an option. I was going to find a way to do it, one way or another!
My first child was born in January, so by the time I was cleared at my six-week post-partum check, it was warm enough outside to be able to use my jogging stroller with Baby, all bundled up, in tow.After the second child, things weren’t so easy. She was born in mid-April, so by the time I was cleared, it was almost too hot outside to use the double jogging stroller. I was stressed! Exercising post-partum is so very important, not only to get the body back into shape, but also because it contributes a great deal to mental health and to overall well being.
Baby Zone, a website for before-, during-, and after-pregnancy information, offers a great article on how to incorporate your baby into your exercise so that both Mom and Baby can benefit: http://www.babyzone.com/mom_dad/fitness_nutrition/article/exercise-with-baby-postpartum-exercises#
The article suggests taking Baby to yoga, as many centers offer Mommy and Me classes. The Generator, a hip coffee shop in downtown Garland, offers free yoga for parents and babies on Monday mornings (http://generatorcoffee.com/Reviews.html). Another option for exercising with Baby is to use a front carrier, such as the Baby Bjorn. Not only does this allow you to walk while Baby enjoys the ride, but it also provides extra weight, so it’s similar to wearing ankle weights or carrying weights while you walk! As Baby gets older, you’ll want to invest in a carrier that is framed to provide more support and to put the weight on mid-section rather than on your back.
I love the section of the article entitled “Seven Exercises to Try.” The author gives ways to use Baby to add resistance to your chest presses, squats, lunges, and several other exercises. What a great, fun way for you both to exercise! And, if you’re uncomfortable holding Baby, you can try the same exercises with Baby in his backpack or carrier.
Exercising with Baby is a win for both of you! You’ll feel great mentally and physically, and Baby will thrive with all the sweet bonding time with you.
Here are a few more sites to try. Enjoy your time together!