A few weeks ago I had a stare down with my yoga mat. It was leaning against the wall in the corner of our bedroom and had been collecting dust for several months. That yoga mat and I used to have a standing appointment every morning, but as the bump got bigger and then when our baby girl arrived, the blue mat became just a pretty pop of colour in a dark space. Most mamas will agree that bouncing your baby around is probably the best workout you’ll ever do, but when I was ready to get back into a fitness routine, I kept these simple tips in mind.
Entertain your little one while you exercise
Georgia loves when I make funny faces and silly noises. I decided to incorporate that into my workout routine. Squats now include an up and down noise (voice goes very low as I squat down and very high as I come back up); a plank includes lifting one hand over my face to play peek-a-boo; and jumping jacks have become a full-on song and dance. If I’m looking ridiculous, then she’s having a great time.
I’d like to say the first workout I did after Georgia was born was level three of Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred, but that’s just not the case. I started with a (somewhat) relaxing (but mostly) exhausting yoga session. Even just a 10-minute floor workout would have had me feeling it the next day so I was in no rush to go hard too soon.
Mommy and me
If silly faces aren’t enough to keep baby entertained (they aren’t always for Georgia), then incorporate your little one into your workout. A brisk walk, light jog or hike through the hills will give your baby fresh air and keep you moving. At this age, our babies are also a perfect free-weight. Squats and lunges hit a whole new level of difficulty with an adorable baby in your arms.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t get right back into the groove
Once Georgia was born, I kept saying that I couldn’t wait for the doctor to give me the green light to workout again. Well I got the green light not long after her arrival and let’s just say I didn’t run home, throw on some kicks and start moving. I love spending every minute with my baby girl and in those moments when I do have a little “me” time there are a million other things I can think of doing besides working out. Ease back into a fitness routine at your own pace.
The reality is, I don’t workout every day anymore and I’m OK with that. I find the time when I can and for me it still feels extremely satisfying whether I get in five minutes or 30 minutes. I chose yoga as my starting point, but there are lots of other great options for getting back in the fitness game. What was your go-to workout routine once your little one arrived?
Jacqueline and Lindsay are sisters and new moms living on the East Coast of Canada.