Henry, my son, is almost three months old. He has beautiful chubby cheeks and fat thighs. No, he does not need a personal trainer, but I’m there if he needs me. We do make him exercise— don’t call DCFS, it’s just tummy time and moving his arms and legs around. His favorite thing to do is kick, so I’m thinking, future swimmer, martial arts expert, or maybe cyclist.
Now that my extra time is focused on watching Henry kick and trying to get him to smile, I understand the number one excuse to not work out: NO TIME! I hear this from everyone, especially new moms and dads. I have lost countless clients to newborns. I’m lucky— I hit the gym at lunch and if you can do that, it’s the way to go. I don’t have to wake up super early (unless Henry wakes me like he did today at 4 a.m.) or run to a packed gym at 5 p.m.
Since not everyone can workout at lunch, I have a few suggestions. My first idea, which might sound outrageous and look even sillier, is to exercise with your baby— it’s a great way to burn calories, build muscle and bond with your bundle of joy. (You can do these same exercises without a child using this medicine ball to workout while watching some TV.)
Babies love to move around. Obviously, you have to be extremely careful, hold them tight, and support their head/neck. Most pregnant mothers notice their baby does not move when they exercise, because it usually puts them to sleep. I’m not suggesting you go crazy, but dance with your baby, lift them over your head, do push-ups with them staring up at you, lunge with them. Check out this short video I made with Henry.
If you work long hours, get home tired and hungry, exercising is unfortunately kicked to the curb. My suggestion is short bursts of exercise throughout the day. This might sound weirder then working out with your baby, but it works. There are several studies that have demonstrated the benefits of exercising sporadically, such as 10 push-ups when you get to the office, 20 squats when you go to the bathroom, plank for 30 seconds before you run out to lunch… If you do not have an office with a door that closes, it might be hard to do a lot of exercises, but shoot me a note and I can help you figure it out.
My last suggestion is family/friend fitness. Turn off the TV, grab a friend, spouse, or child, and get moving. It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk, bike ride, soccer at the park, a fun fitness video (in that case, turn the TV back on) or mall walking. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. And don’t forget to eat your vegetables.