Mommy and Me Fitness Classes Take Over the Post-Natal WorldBaby & Pregnancy . Baby Health
What’s one of the most difficult things about being a new mom? Aside from the sleepless nights, nappies, constant crying, and nearly constant feeding, etc., that is. Is it, perhaps, getting back into shape? Celebrities bounce back into their size zeros almost before they leave the hospital, but regular women despair when they still aren’t bikini beautiful after two years. However, there is hope, as the mommy and me fitness trend goes global.
What is Mommy and me Fitness?
Mommy and me fitness classes provide an opportunity for new moms to get fit while bonding with their babies. The most popular programmes include stroller fitness, which incorporates various exercises into a simple walk with your baby, and yoga classes, which include babies in various strengthening poses.
In addition to cardio fitness, strength training and stretching, moms benefit from the group interaction with other new moms. The results are support, play dates and, very often, close friendships with women who understand exactly what you’re going through.
If you don’t like group activities, however, many personal trainers offer one-on-one mommy and me fitness programmes. As this isn’t always financially possible (you’re neck deep in diapers and formula and your baby outgrows clothes faster than you can buy them), there are also exercises and DVDs that you can do at home.
This is a very sensitive time for you and your baby, so you will definitely need to be cleared by your doctor before you start in exercise programme. In fact, reputable trainers won’t allow you to participate without a medical certificate. You also need to tailor your workout so that it’s in line with your baby’s level of endurance. You might fancy an hour’s worth of cardio and strength training, but your baby’s body might only be ready for half of that.
Also, use some common sense. You can’t use your new born infant as a dumbbell, so you need to wait for the proper muscle development before you start incorporating your child in your exercise regime. Mind you, it’s very unlikely that you have the energy to leap into fitness training right after giving birth. By the time you’re ready to put on your trainers and sweats, your baby should be ready, too.
You won’t need anything terribly special; just an exercise or yoga mat, a sturdy stroller and a front carrier.
Exercises to Get Started
Lucille Roberts provides some great exercises to get you into the swing of things. For example, the early hours of the morning spent trying to soothe an irritable baby is a perfect time to do lunges. Lunges are excellent butt and thigh toners, plus, Roberts says that the up and down motion is naturally calming (as long as your thighs don’t quiver and quake too much!).
(As you baby gets older you can put her in a front carrier and use her as a weight while you lunge.)
Peek-a-boo time is another opportunity to get your buns and thighs into shape. Cover your eyes and squat beneath your baby’s crib or high chair, come up and peek-a-boo – I see you!
(Bring the carrier again for additional weight as you squat.)
A very, very simple starting point is to put your baby in her stroller and go for a walk. Try to find a place with some gentle hills so you get your heart rate up. Work up to a run if you can and get your cardio and strength training all in one. Ensure that your baby is well protected from the elements and don’t forget the sunblock, even in winter.
Other exercises include:
- Push-up kisses
- Super tummy time
- Baby bicep curls
You don’t have to feel housebound and frumpy just because you’ve had a baby. Instead, get outside, get moving and enjoy some baby bonding in ways you wouldn’t ordinarily have thought.
[box_light]Written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Now Learning, which promotes a variety of TAFE courses, including fitness courses, in Queensland, Australia. [/box_light]
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