Having a baby can really have a dramatic impact on your exercise routine – suddenly, you have a lot less time for yourself, and therefore a lot less time to exercise. But because exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle and also to weight loss, especially if you gained a large amount of weight during your pregnancy, it is important that you continue to exercise following the birth of your baby when you are feeling well enough.
One of the best ways to kickstart your exercise routine is to put your little one into their pram and use the pram as part of your exercise – so here are some exercise ideas that are totally pram friendly.
Walking is one of the cheapest, easiest and simplest forms of exercise. It is perfect for everyone and people of all ages can do it – and best of all, when you have a pram, all you need to do is put baby in the pram and get moving! Prams come with all sorts of all-weather attachments, so you can protect your baby even if it is sunny, raining or snowing outside. To get the most out of your exercise, try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day, but up to a couple of hours if you have the time. Try walking up hills or increase your pace during your walk to improve the intensity of the exercise. Remember, if you can only fit in a ten minute walk, it’s better than nothing, so don’t tell yourself that ten minutes won’t make a difference – it will!
Using the Pram as a Weight and for Balance
Lunges are an excellent exercise for your thighs and buttocks. Push the pram forward and use your pram handles as a balance to do lunges. You should aim for 20 lunges, 10 lunges on either leg to start with, then add more lunges to your routine when you are able. Lunge by stepping forward with your leg, keeping your front knee at a right angle – basically, you just need to lunge forward! Push down into your foot until you can feel the movement working your muscles, then step back to your starting position and repeat.
Squats are another great exercise for your thighs and buttocks, and again, you can easily use the pram handles to aid your exercise. Do low squats, high squats or light squats depending on how effective you want your workout to be, and you should be aiming for 2 sets of 10 squats to start with – you can always add more squats into your routine as you get more comfortable.
You can actually use the pram as an aid to push-ups, too, provided it has an excellent brake. If it does, park the pram in a stable place and make sure the brake is on. Get into a kneeling position in front of the pram, extend into the push-up position and then use the front wheels of the pram to push up from – this will really give your arms and upper body an excellent workout.
You can easily do leg lifts whilst walking and they are an excellent way to tone your thighs and calves. Simply walk as normal, stopping occasionally to lift one of your legs straight out to the side up to waist height. Lower it back down, not touching the floor, then repeat up to 10 times. Continue walking, then a little further on, repeat the movement on your other leg.
You can easily do these exercises in the comfort of your own home, too, if your baby doesn’t like the pram – simply put them into their baby carrier and get moving!
Exercises to Do At Home
If you don’t like the sound of any of the other exercises in our list, here are a few other exercises to try – using your baby to help!
· Rest baby on the floor on a baby mat on their back. Crouch over them and do push ups, giving them a kiss or a tickle as you lower yourself back towards the floor.
· Rest baby on your tummy and do gentle sit ups, making sure your baby can’t slip off.
· Lie flat on your back or stand up straight. Hold baby safely in your arms and raise them into the air, then bring them close towards your chest. Repeat. This is just like using weights, except you’re using your baby!
· Get dancing! Dancing is excellent exercise and you can either hold baby and get them to join in, or you can dance around your living room – just make sure baby is safe and secure in their baby carrier.
Make sure you’ve had your 6 week check after giving birth before you start a new exercise routine to ensure that your body is fit enough to begin doing exercise. You need to give your body chance to heal before you start exercising, and it is important to be ready mentally, too! Speak to your doctor or midwife if you are unsure.