Baby season is quickly approaching us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more children are born in August and September than any other months of the year. While babies are bundles of joy, they usually come with an even bigger bundle of unwanted weight and also take up much of the precious time you used to workout. Even the most disciplined, healthy people find it hard to maintain their healthy habits after they have children.
The good news is that you can find ways to stay active that won’t require a ton of extra time and that can be easily incorporated into your family life.
And remember: You can do your exercise in small chunks. Three 10-minute periods of activity spread throughout the day are just as good as one 30-minute period. Do what works for you! Try the following tips to balance a healthy, active lifestyle with your family life.
When Your Child is Asleep
As hard as parents have to work to get their children to sleep, you definitely need to utilize that time once they are finally asleep. This is the perfect time to work on your health and fitness.
- Working out does not have to be an expensive task. Do not become discouraged if you don’t think you can afford exercise equipment or a gym membership. There are plenty of inexpensive ways that you can get the exercise you need. Your local library should have exercise DVDs that you can rent out for free. Other easy workouts that you can do from the comfort of your home are jumping rope, stretches and yoga.
- Great news: you may be more active than you thought! Certain chores such as washing windows and floors are actually moderate activity because your heart rate increases while you do it. You can always find ways to make less demanding chores such as vacuuming and dusting more active by dancing while you do them.
When Your Child is Awake
When young children are awake and active, it may be harder to find time to dedicate to working out. However, there are many ways that you can be active with your child by including them in your activities.
- Do stomach crunches with your baby on your belly or your thighs.
- Lift your baby up and down as you lie on your back.
- Dance around the house with your children. Children love music and the dancing will be fun for the both of you.
- Bring your children outside with you while you tend to your garden and outdoor chores.
- Go for a walk. Try to incorporate a walk with your children in as often as possible. There are now several stroller fitness groups and programs that you can look up online. Walks are fun for children of all ages and are a great way for you to get exercise into your everyday schedule.
- Play with your children at the playground. You can use some of the playset items such as the monkey bars to do upper body strength workouts.
- Utilize the opportunity to be active while playing games like tag and hide and seek. Use these moments to run and jog.
- Find “mommy and me” classes to join. Swim classes are a great way to teach your children how to swim while you get a great workout in while swimming with them.
- Walk or ride your bike to and from work. You save money on gas and you also get a great workout in the process.
Not only is staying active important for your wellbeing, it is also important to set a great example for your children at a young age. Teaching your children the importance of being healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle at a young age is imperative to helping these lessons stay with them their entire lives.
NorthShore is an integrated health system with dedicated medical offices and hospitals in the Chicago area. The core mission of NorthShore University HealthSystem is to preserve and improve human life. Visit NorthShore today for personalized wellness services today.
(Image courtesy of NorthShore University HealthSystem)