Keeping your child happy while you get a great workout

As a new mom, one of the biggest hurdles to exercise is often finding the time. Between diaper changes, playtime and feedings, new moms are constantly on the go.

According to 2009 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, the top two excuses new moms use for not getting to exercise are lack of time and issues with childcare. So what to do with the baby when there is a chance to squeeze in that workout?

The simple solution: Incorporate your baby into your workout. One easy way, especially with the return of warmer weather, is by taking baby along in the stroller as you get in some cardio. And there are plenty of ways to keep junior happy while you’re exercising. Here are some tips to keep your workout an enjoyable experience for all.

INFANTS

  • Young babies cry to get their basic needs met. Make sure that your baby begins your workout well-fed, with a clean diaper, and dressed in layers that can be easily removed or added.
  • Position your baby close enough to see you. Interact with your infant while you are doing exercises — for example, you can turn a jump squat into a jump squat-tickle.
  • If you’re heading outside to enjoy the weather, attach some favourite toys to your stroller that are within your baby’s reach. If your child is a pacifier fan, bring a few extras.

TODDLERS

  • Make sure that your toddler is comfortably dressed and has healthy snacks available.
  • Keep a special bag of toys and books that is only for your exercise time. Travel-size toys, cars, phones and musical toys are popular and are easily portable.
  • Encourage your toddler to count the number of pushups you do or to imitate you as you do some jumping jacks.
  • Map out your walk so that you end up in a park so your toddler can get some exercise, too

In addition to working out on your own, there are an increasing number of programs designed to encourage moms to include their children in the workout.

As with adults, there will be some days when your child wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Just remind yourself that exercise will not only help you lose the baby weight, but by including your child, you’ll foster a lifetime of healthy habits.

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