We’ve all heard every excuse for reasons for not being able to exercise. The one I hear most often is “I don’t have time”. The fact is that everyone has time to make a better, healthier life for themselves. It’s a matter of taking a look at your priorities and making the time. It doesn’t take a lot to make a change.
Parents often use their kids as their excuse. The kids have too many extracurricular activities. The kids take all my time. The new baby demands too much for me to exercise. I’m here to tell you that it can be done. I’m going to focus on new parents for the purpose of this article. When a new baby comes, everything changes and life itself can be a bit overwhelming. There’s this period of several weeks in the beginning when everything is sort of in a fog.
Try not to stress out about it, do what you have to do to get through the day and make a plan. Here I’ll discuss some tips for getting yourself back into shape after this lull or for starting a new routine. I’m here to tell you, that it can be done. I personally have lost over 70 pounds so far in the past year since our baby was born, never having set one foot in a gym. You can find ways to get back into shape!
1. Wait until the doctor says it’s OK
This first step is the most important step for new moms. Do not attempt an exercise routine before your doctor says it’s appropriate to do so. Trying to do so too early can potentially set you back even further. It’s easy to become injured at this time so take care of yourself and follow the doctor’s orders!
2. Use nap-time to your advantage.
Everyone tells new parents to nap when baby naps. If you’re like me, that never happens. I’m a horrible napper and actually got by fine with the few hours a night I managed to squeeze in between feedings and diaper changes. Napping during the day wasn’t an option for me. Once my doctor said it was appropriate to proceed with an exercise routine, I found that this was the best time to implement it.
Keeping exercise routines short, about thirty to forty-five minutes enabled me to get a good work out during Baby’s nap. Baby’s take lots of naps during the day; use one to work out and the others to get the housework done and other things on the “To Do” list. Use this “you time” for something that is going to benefit you for the rest of your life.
3. Get Baby involved.
Use your exercise routine as a fun part of your day with Baby. Babies love to see Mom and Dad jumping up and down as they do Butt Kicks, Jumping Jacks or Wacky Jacks. Bench Press that baby! Use Baby as added weight for lifting. Be sure she’s secure and safe and she’ll have as much fun as you will!
Use a bouncer or exercaucer to get Baby involved. Do your work out in front of Baby while she sits and watches. It’ll be as good as television to her. Soon, if you’re using an exercaucer, you’ll notice her jumping up and down in her seat right along with you!
4. Two Words: Baby Einstein. Or even try Baby Signing Time!
If Baby is particularly grumpy and just isn’t get quite the kick out of watching you as she usually does, pop a Baby Einstein or Baby Signing Time DVD in the player and you’re pretty much guaranteed a good half an hour of free time. Most of the television sets now have the Picture-in-Picture feature, too. Use it to your benefit. Personally, I’d put Baby’s DVD in so that the picture was larger for Baby while watching my work out video on the smaller screen in the corner. This way, Baby was sure to be more apt to watch and I was still able to get my work out in.
5. Get creative!
Even if you manage to get a short work out in during the day, get creative in finding other ways to stay active. Dance while doing housework. Play some music and boogie with Baby! Have a stationary bike? Ride it while you’ve got some time to watch television. If you find yourself sitting in one place for long, your metabolism will start to slow. Get up and get moving.
Stop looking for excuses for not getting healthy. Even with a new baby in the house, it can be done. You’ve just got to prioritize and find creative ways to make the time. I’ve done it. You can too.