How to exercise when you have a baby

Are you a new mum who wants to work out again, but can't quite find the time? Here are some ideas on how to exercise when you have a baby

When you are a new mum it can be difficult to find the time to comb your hair, let alone co-ordinate to have someone watch the baby while you go to the gym. And if you are breastfeeding it's likely that you can't go too far from them either. If you want to start exercising again - in your own time, of course - it can seem like a tricky task to organise.

For our food and fitness fortnight we recently wrote about fitness hacks for mums, which are sneaky ways you can fit fitness into your life on the sly. But what if you want a more intensive workout? If it's hard to leave the baby, you need to look for activities you can do while they are with you.

What type of fitness can you do with a baby on board? Here are some ideas on how to exercise when you have a baby:

Buggy fit classes: This is where you exercise with your baby in the pram, in a group, in the local park. These classes are instructor-led and involve running with your prams and using it for stretches and so on. Although it can sound like a gentle stroll it's likely to be an intense workout, especially if hills are involved.

These classes are great if your baby will only sleep while on the move and are also a good way to meet other mums. BuggyFitis the largest UK network but check your local park for details or what your closest class is (there’s likely to be a flier stuck to a tree).

Baby yoga: Another mother and baby exercise, baby yoga is usually like a usual yoga class, however, your baby will spend some time on the mat and some time taking part. Yyoga is likely to be relaxing - depending on how often you need to check on the baby - and it's also a gentle exercise for your post-partum body. It's easier to do this with muchg younger babies as by the time they reach the rolling stage you are likely to spend half the class fetching them from the other side of the room.

Swimming: Being in water is a great pressure reliever if you are pregnant and it is also gentle on your post-partum body. Most mums will take their children to swimming lessons at some point, and baby swimming classes will involve you getting in the pool with the baby too. Although it won't be as intensive as twenty laps.

Gym with creche: Believe it or not, these do exist, and can provide you with an hour or so with which you can hit the gym or go to a class. It’s likely that your baby will need to be older than six months and be up-to-date with their jabs (and of course, it depends on how happy you are to leave them!)

Running: An obvious one, running is an easy, free and you don’t need to book a class or join a gym. You can buy special running buggies that are designed specifically for exercise (or try running with your normal one - it might work!). If you want a more structured activity, take part in the weekly Parkrun events over the country where it is more than acceptable to run with your baby in the pram.

Make sure you consult your doctor if you are worried about anything! Ifyou liked our post on how to exercise when you have a baby read our post on stress-free weaningand good mood food 

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Alexandra Phillips

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