Seven ways to find time to exercise

Seven ways to find time to exercise
By the editorial staffApproved by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board

For many new moms, exercise takes a back seat to more pressing concerns
For many new moms, exercise takes a back seat to more pressing concerns — sleep, for instance. But you’ll find you have renewed energy for yourself and your baby if you make time for even short bursts of exercise. Ten minutes here and there is better than nothing, and it’ll do you a world of good.

The key is finding an activity that you enjoy and that meshes with your schedule and lifestyle. If you like your exercise of choice, you’ll view it as a necessity, not an option. For starters, try these suggestions:

  • Go for a hike with your baby in a carrier or a backpack, whichever your neck and shoulders support best. Make sure your baby is well supported; a baby sling is fine for a walk around the block but not for a more rigorous hike through the hills. Your front pack or backpack shouldn’t strain your shoulders or neck.
  • Put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk. When your baby is 6 months old, you can put him in a jogging stroller and go for a run.
  • Have your partner watch the baby for 30 minutes or so after work so you can get out for a walk around the neighborhood — and get some precious time to yourself.
    If you can manage it, get up about an hour before your partner leaves for work in the morning and head to the gym or go for a walk.
  • Check out local health clubs or yoga studios, many of which offer postpartum exercise classes where babies are welcome. If a postpartum class isn’t on the roster at your gym, hunt for a low-impact class that has a decent warm-up period — at least ten minutes — and one that also includes some stretching and toning.
  • Consider investing in some home exercise equipment that you can use when your baby is napping or in bad weather.
  • Build a library of exercise videos. These can be a fun and convenient way to squeeze exercise into your day.

FYI: If you’re thinking of joining a club that offers babysitting services, look for one that has a specialized childcare staff rather than locker-room attendants who double as babysitters; a low staff-to-child ratio (about one adult to every four children); a policy about not accepting sick children; and a clean, inviting playroom stocked with age-appropriate toys and books.

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