Putting the "Me" into Family Time

Mother with a stroller There is no doubt about it, Mums are busy people. I have yet to meet a Mum who isn't. I have also never met a Mum who does not complain about their post-pregnancy body but yet exercise is way down their priority list. Exercising after having a baby has many physical and mental health benefits and there are lots of ways to exercise with your new baby in tow, so don't make it an excuse.

In the immediate days after giving birth, it is important to get as much rest as possible. However, after you have been given the all clear from your GP at your six week check up then it is safe to begin a regular exercise regime. If you had a caesarean birth then you should wait at least 10 weeks before you begin.

Try the following activities with your baby:

Walking (from birth onwards). It’s free, it’s safe, you can take baby with you and the fresh air will do you both good. If you need some extra motivation, how about trying a Buggy Workout* class and join like-minded mums? All you need is a pair of good walking shoes or trainers. Regular walking boosts circulation, aids fat loss and reduces the risk of developing chronic illnesses. Build up your walking regime gradually everyday. Walk to the shops, leave the car behind for short journeys, take a regular walk with friends. Aim to take 10,000 steps a day. Make every step count.

Swimming (from 6+ weeks postnatal). Get a swim seat for baby and do 20 lengths pushing them in front of you. A low impact all-rounder, improving your muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Swimming is a safe and effective form of exercise and all you need is a swimming costume. It can boost your mood and help to keep your weight under control. (If you suffered with PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain) during your pregnancy it is recommended that you do not use breast-stroke).

Cycling (when baby is 6+ months old). Get out and about with your child on the back. Ditch the car and cycle to the swings, the shops or even to your favourite cafe for a cuppa. Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it is also a form of transport. It saves you money, gets you fit and is good for the environment.

However, if you really want to regain that pre-baby body and ditch the maternity jeans for good then why not try split-training and workout around your baby's schedule. Two shorter high intensity workouts per day could be the answer for you as a busy mum. Split-training can boost your metabolism twice, resulting in greater calorie burn and higher energy levels. Because the workouts are high-intensity they are also shorter, making it easier to fit into your busy schedule. Try 10 minutes of dancing in the morning and 10 minutes of upper body and abs exercises in the afternoon. Or a 15 minute power walk in the morning followed by a 10 minute whole-body circuit in the afternoon. Or what about using the household chores as a fat burning session; speed bed-changing in the morning followed by power lunges and vacuuming in the afternoon! Keep the workouts balanced and the possibilities are endless.