Prior to having my baby, I thought that working out while I had a baby would be simple.
“I’ve got plenty of support,” I told myself.
“I’ll just put the baby down with some toys and she can play while I workout,” I reasoned.
Well, even though I do have lots of support and yes, Isabella has a LARGE variety of toys to choose from, getting consistent workouts in is a challenge!
Getting THROUGH the workouts is a whole other story!
For example, today I did a weights session and I had to stop a number of times to do the following:
- Move her away from a powerpoint
- Reposition her away from the barbell, which she was hanging over
- Change her nappy
- Pick her up to comfort her when she fell over
- Give her something new to play with (this occurred every few minutes)
All in a 45 minute workout.
Gone are the days of putting my headphones in and just focusing on the job at hand – lifting heavy stuff!
So while it is challenging, I’ve learnt some simple lessons over the past 16 months to help me make my workouts a reality!
Here are some tips to help you get through the workout:
1. Be organised
Kind of obvious, yes, but when you have to factor in naps and feeds so that your baby is happy for a small window of time, organisation goes to a whole other level! Have plenty of toys available to play with, too.
2. Feature your baby in your workout
They make awesome weights! Hold your baby while you squat, lift them over your head to work those arms and sit them on your tummy while you do sit ups.
Your baby will love it AND it ensures you get your workout done!
3. Stick to a plan
I plan out my exercise in advance for a full 12 weeks, so that I know exactly what I have to do at each session. It saves so much time, not having to work it out as I go along. If you need help making a program to suit your needs, enlist the help of a trainer.
4. Be flexible
There’s been a few times where I’ve had a workout planned for a particular day, but Isabella has been really clingy or unsettled and it’s just not possible to put her down. Accepting that and rescheduling for another day is pretty much all you can do. Part of being a parent means putting our children first, so the workout can wait, right?
5. Accept help
I’m slowly learning this! When my husband offers to take Isabella while I do a workout, I take him up on the offer. Part of what I used to really enjoy about my workouts pre-baby is the fact that I got to spend time alone, but obviously that’s just not possible for much of the time these days. So, when I get the opportunity for some “me time,” I grab it, gratefully. If there’s a crèche at your gym, take advantage!
6. Have a sense of humour
Having a little one grabbing your legs while you’re trying to squat or climbing all over you as you do some sit-ups is actually pretty entertaining!
There’s no doubt that some days I’ve been annoyed by having someone hanging off me all the time, but when I really think about it, Isabella isn’t going to be little forever, so I really need to embrace this special time… Even during my workouts!
So while my exercise sessions take a different shape these days, I’m not fazed. With a bit of planning and creativity and patience, it is possible for us parents to still look after our bodies on a regular basis!
How do you fit your workouts around your kids? Please share in the comments below.
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