Health & Family

10 ways to get fit with your baby

Moms have to be the busiest people on the planet.

Between 2 a.m. feedings, running the kids to school and activities, working and running a household, who has time to go to the gym? Working out at home saves time and money. Fitness experts say you only need 30 minutes of exercise a day to make a difference. By incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you get to bond with your kids while teaching them a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re a new mom, as soon as your doctor clears you to resume moderate exercise, get outside and take the baby for a walk.

Most moms might ask, “How can I possibly fit in an exercise program with a baby?” The answer is to work out WITH your baby.

1. “Peek-a-boo” Plank Over Baby. Get on your hands and knees, place hands on both sides of your baby. Engage deep abdominal muscles. Stretch one leg out behind you at a time until both legs are straight. Make a straight line from your head to heels, in a pushup position. Rock backward and forward by pushing with your toes and say, “Peek-a-boo” 10 times.

2. Kisses-Tricep Pushup. Get on your hands and knees, place hands on both sides of your baby. Engage deep abdominal muscles. Stretch one leg out behind you at a time until both legs are straight, pushup position (or on knees for ladies’ pushup position). Make a straight line from your head to heels. Bend elbows and kiss your baby 10 times.

3. Meow and Moo - Cat and Cow. Get on your hands and knees, place hands on both sides of your baby. Round your spine like an angry cat and say “A cat says, Meow,” then arch your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and say “A cow says ‘moo’ ” 10 times.

4. Nursery Rhyme Squats. With baby on the floor or for an extra challenge hold baby safely in your arms. Sing the ABCs or other nursery rhyme songs while performing squats. Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend knees in a deep squat by pressing your heels into the ground and sitting back as if you are lowering down onto a bench, bend slightly forward from the hips as you go down, then return to an upright standing position.

5. Get the Ball Leg Swings. While lying on your side, place a squishy beach-ball-size ball under your ribs. Lift your top leg, swing it in front of you and then behind you. Allow a slight movement of the upper body front and back. Concentrate on leg motion and body lengthening in each direction. Encourage your child try to get the ball out from under you and run around your legs.

6. Try to Grab the Ball Bridge. Lie on back, bent knees, squeeze ball between knees. Lengthen spine while lifting hips up toward ceiling, starting with tailbone and moving up the body. Squeeze and release the ball between your knees but don’t let the ball drop to the floor. Encourage your toddler to grab the ball when you are releasing the squeeze. Add hip pulses to the ceiling for increased difficulty.

7. Throw the Ball Lats. If your child is able to catch a ball, throw the ball to him – or throw the ball against a wall. The higher the ball is thrown, the more intense the shoulder workout. Catching the ball will work the lats.

8. As kids get older, play Airplane Abs. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet in the air. Prop your child onto your feet. Hold his hands and slowly press your legs to his belly and lift him toward the ceiling balanced on your feet. Engage abdominal muscles and take them on a little plane ride. Bend and straighten your knees, slightly moving your legs toward you and away. Avoid side-to-side motion to preserve balance.

9. Jog next to your child while she learns to ride a bike. Spend time outside, get fresh air.

10. Dance Party Cardio. Dancing is great cardio. Be silly, laugh and have fun!

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