Monday, June 9, 2014

Hip + Urban Mom: Staying Fit

By: Lisa Wlodarski

Having kids certainly makes you feel like there is no time for you to keep fit and healthy.  But whether you plan on having kids, are pregnant, or already have kids, there are lots of things you can do.

Pre-pregnancy
Our bodies have muscle memory. This means that your body will remember what it was like before you had your baby and will want to go back to that state. So if you’re planning on getting pregnant any time in the future, now is the time to get ready. So stop the bad habits like smoking and start cutting down on your alcohol consumption. You should also start exercising and eating better now.  Your body will bounce back quicker after having your baby if you do.


Pregnancy
You're probably eating a bit healthier and have stopped any bad habits. Just remember that eating for two doesn’t mean eating for two people. It actually means that you should increase how much you eat by adding one healthy snack a day. Also, while you’re pregnant you can’t do all the lifting that you would have been able to do before, but you should still be exercising regularly. Check out some lower impact exercises.  

Yoga is one of the obvious choices, especially since you can take pre-natal yoga and spend some time with other mom’s-to-be. Exercising during pregnancy will also help with the birthing process. It can increase your flexibility, help you concentrate on your breathing which helps with pain management, and having strength in your core will help with pushing.

Post-pregnancy
As a mother of two, I can tell you finding time to exercise can be difficult. But there are plenty of things you can do with your children. If your baby is grumpy, go for a light jog with your baby. Not only will it give you exercise, but the rocking/bouncing combo of jogging will calm a fussy baby. Or you can take your baby outside in their stroller while you run because the fresh air will also help your baby relax. You can also walk with your baby while doing lunges. 

I also lift my baby up and down to help build arm muscles or I lay on my back, and bend my knees up to your chest and lay my baby on my shins. Then bounce your legs up and down a little and straighten your legs out too, while holding your baby’s hands. This will help with your legs, glutes and stomach.  

The best part of these exercises are that your baby grows as your muscles do. As your baby gets older you can keep active with them, running at the park and playing with them in a pool. You can also use some portion control which gets easier for you as your baby grows because you can share more of your food with them.


What are your tips for staying fit as a new mom?

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