Between changing diapers, laundry, and feedings, it’s hard to find time for yourself when you have a baby. Babies require a lot of dedicated one-and-one time. But, that doesn’t mean you have to put your own health aside! Here are 3 ways to exercise with a baby at home.
Exercise During Nap Time
This is a no-brainer, however, it’s not always easy to do. After all, you have a lot to get done during the day. And, if your baby is taking short naps, it doesn’t leave you much time to exercise. Here are a few tips for implementing this strategy:
- Use the first nap to take a nap yourself or do a few chores. Then, save the second nap to exercise.
- Get ready for exercise before your baby goes down for a nap. That way, you can get right to it once they are down. This means to change your clothes, get your water bottle ready, and prepare your chosen exercise (e.g. treadmill, bike, etc.).
- If you’re a runner, know that not all babies will sleep on a run but if yours does, this could be a great way to exercise with a baby at home! Consider running during the last nap of the day unless you are a long-distance runner where you will be running for at least an hour. Jogging strollers need not be too expensive. The Baby Trend Jogger Stroller will do just fine!
Exercise When Baby Is Awake
Although babies need a lot of sleep, they are awake a lot too once they are no longer newborns. Therefore, it is likely that many will need to exercise with babies at home while they are awake! Here are a few ideas and thoughts about that:
- If you have an easy-going baby, you may be able to turn on an exercise video while your baby is on a playmat or in a Pack-N-Play nearby. Your baby may even enjoy watching you and you score “good mom points” by setting a good example already! Please don’t feel guilty about taking 30 minutes for your own health without entertaining your baby 100% of the time. There are many benefits of independent play!
- If your baby is mobile, you will need to keep them safe while you’re exercising. Add exercise to your baby’s schedule and include them in the process! For example, you can put them in an activity center next to you. If your baby has trouble with being contained for too long, start with 10 minutes and work your way up. With consistency, babies can adapt to the schedule and develop habits just as we do.
Of course, some babies are social extroverts. It starts early and they demand attention. This brings me to the next idea.
Exercise With Your Baby
Interacting with your baby is likely one of the best parts of being a parent. After all, babies can be so fun and you don’t want to miss any of their “firsts!” So, another option is to work out WITH your baby. Here are some tips:
- If you’re a runner, remember the jogger stroller above? Rather than expect your baby to sleep on the run, take them after a nap and feeding. They can look at the surroundings and you can chat with them (assuming you’re not TOO out of breath!) You can consider stopping every 10 minutes or so to point out the birds, cars, dogs, etc. No one said your run has to be continuous nor an Olympic training session. You’re mostly trying to lose the baby weight, I imagine.
- Walk to the park to play. Choose a park that’s at least 15 minutes away, walk with your baby in the stroller, play for a bit, and then walk back. A 30-minute walk will burn about 100-150 calories. If you do this five times a week, you can burn over 500-750 calories! Take two walks a day for even more calorie-burning!
- Your baby is a natural weight you can add to your workouts. If you have a secure baby carrier, you can consider doing a workout video WITH your baby. Here’s one I found that looks great! However, consider that the heavier your baby gets, the harder this workout might get. You will get stronger the more you exercise, though. Take breaks as needed.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to exercise with baby at home with you. Be creative and make it a priority. The easiest way to make it a habit is by building it into your daily routine and schedule. Choose a time of day when it works for both of you whether your baby is awake or asleep!