Here’s a great routine to get you started towards your goal of being a fit and healthy parent. For those new moms who are starting to exercise after delivery of your baby it is essential that you get the all clear from your doctor or healthcare professional before commencing any physical activity or exercise programme.
The number of exercises (or repetitions) that you can do will vary depending on your fitness level. Start slowly and aim to build up to a full routine like the one below after about a month or so. Allow about 20-30 seconds rest between exercises and always go at your own pace, take regular water breaks and enjoy the outdoors with your baby.
Pram and baby
Towel or mat
Bottle of water
Hat and sunscreen
Ideally you would have walked to your exercise destination, if not, start out with 2-3 laps of your local oval or park. The pace will depend on your current level of fitness, but it must be a little quicker than a casual stroll. You are aiming to get your heart rate up higher than normal. Finish the warm-up near a seat or bench; if there are none around, a nice flat area of grass will do.
Work-Out:Squats (3x15 repetitions)
Place your heels hip distance apart, chest up, arms in front, with fingers resting lightly on the handle of your pram or bench for stability. Feel your heels pressing into the ground.
Now pull your abdominals in tight and squeeze your buttocks together.
Slowly bend your legs as if you are about to sit on a chair and lower your buttocks.
Go as low as is comfortable (you should feel it in your thighs and buttocks).
Hold the squat for a second or two before pushing up. Remember to keep your tummy muscles turned on through out the exercise.
You can do this down on your towel or leaning on the bench.
There are two options here; on your knees (a little easier) or on your toes (a little harder).
Place your toes/knees hip width apart and your hands (palm down) under your shoulders. If you’re leaning against the bench you will be up on your toes.
Pull your tummy muscles in tight and keep a flat back.
Now simply allow your chest to move downwards by bending your elbows and then push up again.
Using your towel, place your hands and knees hip width apart.
Start with a flat back then try to lift your navel as high as you can (arch your back like a cat), using your abdominals to stretch your spine.
Hold this stretch for a second or two and slowly release, making sure that you keep your tummy muscles pulled tight.
Lying down on your towel, place your feet flat on the ground (hip width apart), knees bent, hands on the side of your head.
Now pull your tummy muscles in and use them to curl your shoulders off the ground. You don’t need to lift them very far, concentrate on feeling your abdominals work.
Hold for a second and slowly return to the starting position.
Walk a couple of laps of the oval to complete a 25-30 minute workout.
Finish with some stretches like calf stretches, hamstring (back of thigh) and quadriceps (front of thigh).
For more information see Women’s fitness or Parenting