I hear people say all the time ‘I don’t know what I did before I had kids’. Well I remember. I did whatever I wanted at a leisurely pace. Is this pace or rhythm of life better or worse than before? Depends who you ask, but either way this is the reality of our lifestyle now.
If you have changed your lifestyle (ie had a baby), doesn’t it make sense to change the way your workout too? If you are getting frustrated because you used to be a fit active person, and you are trying all the same methods that use to work for you and they are just not happening… Or maybe you are trying to force the old lifestyle and its just not quite flowing, then read on.
Here is what worked for me Pre-motherhood and why it doesn’t work now:
- Early 6am workout before work
- Doesn’t work now because someone needs to be breastfeed. I probably didn’t get a full nights sleep, so I am steering at my shoes for 10mins trying to figure out my left and right
- Quickie on my lunch break
- Doesn’t work now because my ‘lunch break’ is when kids are napping. This is my precious time where I get to go to the toilet by myself, have something to eat and zone out for 10mins before they wake up again
- After work workout, gym or class
- Have you heard of witching hour? Pefect time for kids to loose it and you need to work that window of food, bath and bed or the screaming commences
There is no point getting frustrated at yourself because you keep missing a workout because your ideal fitness schedule doesn’t actually fit your family dynamic. Yes, it is about priorities and making time for yourself, but these areas of your life don’t all have to be separate compartments.
The first 0-2 years of a child’s life a extremely high needs and dependant on Mum. Life will change again and so will your pace and rhythm. But this high needs period will obviously last a little longer if you plan on having more children. So here are some of my favourite methods that tick all the boxes for:
- Me time/exercise
- Works for high needs baby/children
- Family friendly & adaptable
- Happy & connected baby
- Child-minding/Babysitter free
Make Nap times work to your advantage
Most babies will like to fall asleep in the pram or baby carrier. My children have both preferred baby carriers. I was that my pushing an empty pram while my child attached in a carrier – it wasn’t until they were over 12months that they would spend more than 5mins in the pram.
Choose your weapon of choice and hit the pavement. If it is wet or too hot outside then you can dance inside with the carrier on (Kangatraining Style of course), or do lunges up and down the hall way with the pram.
Then IF they fall asleep you can TRY and transfer them to the cot/bed and get a couple things done, or leave them in the carrier while you do some other chores.
If you have a small baby and still working on tummy time, you can still move and exercise with/around them. For example, just try laying down on your tummy next to them and then stand back up. Sounds simple right? Now do it 5 times… are you breathing heavy? Try it now
You can try a few different exercises and do this a couple times across the day. 4 x 5min bouts will all add up
If you have a baby/toddler on the move, then move your whole body with them when you are playing dinosaurs/fairy’s/cars or doing action songs. We love a good obstacle course at our house. I even finish each lap with a set of exercises eg, 20 squats that the kids will copy before starting the next lap
Play ground shenanigan’s
Small babies who aren’t ready for playgrounds yet still like being outside. So if you are parked under a shady tree, give them lots of kisses and raspberries on their tummies, then do small bursts of exercises
For kids who love playing on the play ground but still need a bit of assistance, get in there and crawl, play chasing games, step up and down steps, while you wait for them to climb and move your own body A LOT while assisting them.
For more independent ones you can easily do a full body circuit around the playground while they play. To keep the heart rate up, I do laps around the playground so they kids always know I am still very close and there if they need me. If you are feeling too shy to do this around other families, then try a quieter location first, or rope in another Mummy friend to do it with you.
Use the car less. If this isn’t practical because of your location or destination, simply find ways to create more movement in you life. We all have that one friend who has ants in their pants. You know the ones that are always fidgeting and literally can’t sit still for 2 minutes? They are generally pretty lean and energetic type of people.
You can take elements of their life such as using chairs less (sit on the floor, change positions, stand instead) or have music playing in the house so you naturally groove more throughout your day to the music.
Have a read through my recent blog for more tips on how to increase incidental movement in your life
These are all valuable tools that you can implement straight away into your life that mean there is no guilt from being away from your baby and no frustration from missing a gym session. It is different, but it also fun & effective.
Each family dynamic is unique. Is something just not clicking? I would love to hear what is or isn’t working at your house! Let me know on facebook
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Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert & Founder of Nurtured Fitness