When you see a Mum holding her baby, or calmly strolling in the park with her toddler, she often seems happy, together, confident.
But what is happening behind so many Mum’s smiles is much more complex – they need those several hours of sleep, a coffee date with their besties and a confidence booster every now and then.
Not to mention that bonding with your child is no easy task for many new Mum’s, and it takes quite an effort to take care of yourself and your own needs. But working out can be one of those activities that help you build closeness with your little nestling, and at the same time slowly restore your confidence and your wellbeing.
Truth be told, getting in a full hour or 45 minutes-worth of exercise several times a week is a no-go when you have a tiny human running around your place, always with another brilliant idea how to use toothpaste and flour to paint their room.
But, it’s more than plausible to include a ten-minute workout a few times during the day! Crank up the tunes with your toddler in the morning and dance to break a sweat. Later on, you can follow a ten-minute workout video while they’re taking a nap, and the third one can be some calisthenics in the evening when your little one can also take part.
Shake your tailfeather
While we’re at on the subject – dancing is a wonderful way to get more endorphins in your system, laugh when you make a silly move, and get that pent-up stress out. Changing the music can help in case you get bored, and you can even include your spouse and make it a family workout session.
To make things a bit more challenging for yourself, your toddler can be perfect for offering extra resistance. Pick them up, twirl them, imitate animals walking such as the crocodile crawl and the frog squat, first alone and then while holding your toddler. Things can get pretty difficult when you add rhythm and resistance!
The dynamic duo
Kids are curious creatures, and they’ll likely want to try all kinds of stunts and tricks on their own, so why not do it under supervision? Mums and their kids training together is no longer a unicorn in the fitness world, so perhaps getting a personal trainer to guide you both could be fun.
If you’re not ready for the gym just yet, crafting a bodyweight routine at home can be fun. Include pushups, squats, lunges, jump-rope, planks and other simple moves your little one can mimic, or they follow a different routine by your side. A healthy snack or refreshment can be an extra motivator, so you can even make them together!
Bring out your inner Hercules
Strength training is a mighty way to get fit and restore your confidence, but even more importantly, your little one can join your gym routine by doing other exercises, and you will serve as a powerful role model for them to try out the practice in a few years’ time. Studies show that lifting weights is in fact healthy for kids, and even recommended as a part of their active lifestyle.
However, you as a role model just learning the ropes need to keep in mind the safety factor in particular – from using gloves, high-quality weightlifting shoes and breathable clothes to always having a bottle of water by your side.
Turn it into a game
In case dancing doesn’t do the trick or your routine isn’t appealing on its own for your toddler to stay focused, introducing a few fun rules just might make a difference.For example, they can sit in your lap while you’re exercising your abs and for every sit-up you do, your baby gets a tiny smooch on the nose.
Making it into a competition is also an option, as that “who holds the plank longer” or “who completes the ten frog jumps first” can do wonders for motivating your little one, while jogs in the park can always have that “race you to that tree” when the circumstances permit.
What are some of your favourite ways to get active along side your little ones?
Whether it’s doing jump squats with your bubba on your chest or running around the garden in superhero capes, Let us know in the comments below!