Workout Tips for New Parents

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Between nursing, changing diapers, preparing meals (and cleaning up after those meals), visiting family, and trying to squeeze in a shower, stay-at-home parents work just as hard as those who clock in elsewhere, and often find themselves stuck in the same no-time-to-exercise trap.

Regular workouts can bring peace to your day and fitness to your body. If you’re desperate for fitness but can’t seem to find the time, all you need is some planning and a little creativity. Here are some tips for parents with a baby or young child:

1. Invest in a jogging stroller or a “kid trailer” for your bike. When you’re pushing or pulling one of these, you’re sure to get a good workout—your kids will enjoy it too!

2. Strap baby to you in a baby carrier. If your baby is too young to feel comfortable in a stroller, you can still exercise together. There are many comfortable baby carriers on the market, including slings, front carriers, and backpacks. Adding 10-20 pounds to your frame for a walk will boost calorie burn, helping you shed those extra pounds. And babies love to be held close to you. In fact, touching enhances brain development in infants, so as you get fitter, baby gets smarter!

3. Join a gym with child-care, or add it to your membership. Whether you don’t enjoy the great outdoors, or you live in a climate with blustery winters or lots of rain, outdoor exercise with the kids is not always an option. On-site childcare facilities offer convenience and the peace of mind that if your child needs you, you’re only an intercom page away.

4. Sign up for parent-baby yoga classes. If these are offered in your area, parent-baby yoga classes can help you build strength and stamina, reduce stress, and provide you another opportunity to bond with your child.

Parents: Any tips for newbie parents on how to squeeze in workouts?

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Thanks! Report
ERIN_POSCH 7/21/2020
thanks for sharing Report
6 months - age to begin jogging with baby in a stroller. Before that they can't safely hold their heads up.

1 year - age to bring baby in bike trailer. Before that they can't hold up the helmet and head over bumps, and nobody is skipping a helmet for a baby, right? Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
If you have multiple children, the weather is bad, and you can't afford the gym, you can always do a workout video at home in the living room. Try some from the library or go on YouTube. I like Jessica Smith's free workouts. The kids may join you, play near you, or even fight sometimes, but you can stop for a second and then get right back into it. It's a bit of a challenge, but it is so worth it. As a mom, I perform a lot better when I'm taking good care of my body. You can do it mamas! Report
Great tips! And not that I need it, but tips 1 and 2 don't seem like they'd be particularly good for those with multiple birth children. Report
The best advice I can give is that I used to do a yoga dvd while my kids were napping in the afternoon. Helped me feel more peaceful & centered as well. Report
great ideas for grandparents, too! Report
good ideas Report
After the birth of each child I started walking everyday as soon as I felt well enough. I think for both of them, that was around a week after delivery. I just listened to my body and took it easy so I could continue healing. For me, having a gym with a daycare is a must. My kids are used to going to the gym with me now. If my kids are having any problems, the workers just come and get me to take care of them. Report
sometimes it can be really hard, because of tiredness... I do the garden, lots of walks, SP fitness DVD's , dancing and my stationery bike. But I do miss the time before pregnancy when I would just put my shoes in the morning and ruuuuuuun. It was so amazing. I m sure I will be able to do it again in few years. The gyms around me are packed and the creche costs so much its not worth it... Report
yes Report
These are great ideas, considering that I am a future mom and love to exercise!!! Report
This is great for mothers and future mothers. Thank you. Report
Hello Parents who must work outside the home to keep food on the table and a roof over their family's heads. You are doing a great job being the bread winner!! You are a great parent !! I know you are doing the best you can. My sons are now 19 and older {the younger 2 are in college}so I have been there and done that. I see this article as not pertaining to your needs as it would not have been relevant to me back in the day of full time work world and full time at home. Best of health to you and your beautiful children. Report
1980's raising my daughter, I'd put her in the child swing and turn on MTV and dance away - she'd giggle up a storm watching me. If Van Halen's Jump came on I'd grab her and every time the song said jump I'd lift her up high. She loved it and would start squeeling if that, B-52's or Bangles came on. I'd also get down on the floor after she started moving and try to do every thing she was that's a workout! Report
I used the stroller a little bit and hated it (since have learned to run properly with the stroller), but had no gym I just got up really early and exercised before everyone else got up. Sometimes that meant getting up after only 1-2 hours of sleep. Also, I would have prefered that someone who's actually BTDT (Jen) write on issues regarding parenting. Report
Jump rope! It burns a ton of calories in a short amount of time. With 2 small kids, I often don't have a ton of time to spend working out, but I can always find 10-20 minutes here and there to squeeze in a little jumping rope. Report
Along the same line as parent-baby yoga are "Baby and Me" exercise classes. In our area they are offered at a park in the summer and at the mall during the rest of the year. Report
When my daughter was a baby, I used a jogger stroller. But those are expensive. I hate baby carriers, so my go-to is home workout videos. When the kids are babies, you just make yourself do a short video during naptime, and as they get older, the tv (not the best choice), a notepad and crayons, a playpen, or other preplanned activities can keep them entertained. The hardest time for me was when my daughter was about 2 and my son was 4. He was old enough for long walks with me, but she wanted out of the stroller. She wanted to be held all the time at home, so the videos were a problem. A good solution is going to the park with the kids and doing plyometrics while they play. I have had to adapt as they have grown and just do what works for me. They are 3 and a half and 5 and a half now, so they can jog about a mile with me. I take them to the gym (blast fitness in fresno is only 10 dollars a month and the price includes childcare), and I bought us all rollerblades. I am doing as much as I can and remembering to be patient with them when it doesn't work out as planned. Report
One of my co-workers does "Stroller Strides". She get her exercise, and gets to bond with other mommies. Report