Effective Exercises for Busy Moms: How to fit quick and effective exercises into your busy schedule
Including effective exercise in your daily routine helps you as a busy Mom set a positive example for your child now and in the years to come.
Just because you are busy morning till night, that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in some effective exercises. With your doctor's approval, it's fine to start exercising as early as six weeks after you've given birth (probably longer if you had a Cesarean section).
Here are few tips to take into consideration.
* Baby safety: When performing exercises in which your baby must hold his head up on his own, be sure he can do so without discomfort (usually starting at 3 to 4 months old).
* Mom prep: Before performing any exercise, roll your shoulders back and down and draw your navel toward your spine to protect your back. Inhale through your nose and expand your ribs. Exhale through your mouth, drawing your abdominal muscles in.
Dancing provides a light cardiovascular workout that involves all the major muscle groups and improves balance and coordination.
And it's a fun way to exercise with your baby, you can put them in a carrier on your chest or put them in a boucy seat and dance around them.
Just put on some music you love and dance, keeping your abs drawn in. For variety, try intervals of slow and moderately fast music to keep your heart rate elevated. (If your baby is in a carrier, be cautious when turning quickly and avoid bouncing.)
Presses strengthen the upper and middle back, shoulders, triceps and biceps.
Sit cross-legged, holding your baby in front of your chest with your elbows bent, Straighten your arms upward without locking your elbows. Pause, then lower your baby to the starting position. Do 10 reps, rest and play, then do 2 more sets.
Squats are a full-body fitness staple that work the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, and sneakily strengthen the core. Squats may help improve balance and coordination, as well as bone density.
Stand with your baby in a front carrier (if he's heavy, sit him on the ground), feet just past your shoulders, toes turned out slightly. Inhale and lower your body down to sit in an imaginary chair, weight over heels, navel pulled in, tailbone pointed to floor. Exhale and return to start. Aim for three sets of 12.
You can walk with baby in a carrier as soon as your Dr says it's OK. Walking is a very effective and fun way to exercise. Also Fit Pregnancy has comprehensive resources providing guidelines to safely walking with a baby.
But what do you do when it's raining or baby is finally napping and you don't want to wake them? That's when it's nice to have a mini stepper. Mini steppers are a small, quiet and very effective way to get exercise
You can't ask for a better and fun way of burning off a ton of calories in just one day. Dedicated stair stepper users can actually burn upwards of 1,500 calories a day.
Using a mini stepper will engage the large muscles of your lower body, just like climbing real stairs. Muscles worked include your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. The more muscles you work, the more effective your exercise workout is
As long as you can get your heart rate up then any form of exercise is beneficial. Mini Steppers are no exception. They may not pack in as many features as full sized step machines but they can get your heart pumping, and that is the main objective of any effective workout.
The mini stepper achieves this by producing a very simple rhythmic step, generally there are no confusing features such as resistance, just get on and start working.
As they are so simple there is generally little to go wrong, and they are easy to manufacture making them incredibly affordable
Swimming can also be a effective form of exercise, many pools offer Mommy and me swim classes so you can enjoy the water with your baby.
While swimming you can get all of the benefits of an aerobic workout without any damaging impact on joints, and it can be done by both the very old and the very young. It is utilized by athletes to stay strong and keep fit, swimmers gain muscle strength throughout the entire body. Here is a good story from CDC on the benefits of water-based exercise.
When your children are older cycling is a fun effective form of exercise. You can start cycling when baby is a year old by putting a bike cart behind your bicycle. And when old enough your child can graduate to their own bicycle and ride alongside you. Always wear a helmet and put a helmet on your child for every ride.
Exercise is one of most effective, quickest ways of improving mental health, a little of it goes a long way. Consistent exercise will relieve stress, ease depression and anxiety, clear your head, help you sleep better, and make you feel happy.
Database searches revealed two small randomized controlled trials conducted in Australia which support exercise as a useful treatment for women with postpartum depression. In addition, uncontrolled studies and observational evidence suggest that postpartum women, some of whom were depressed, report benefit from participation in exercise programs
Exercising with your children is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Regular effective exercise can:
- Promote weight loss, particularly when combined with a healthy diet
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness
- Strengthen and tone abdominal muscles
- Boost your energy level
- Relieve stress
- Promote better sleep
Better yet, including physical activity in your daily routine helps you set a positive example for your child now and in the years to come.
For children exercise means playing and being physically active. Children exercise when they have gym class at school, while riding bikes, swinging and climbing on play equipment, or when playing tag.
Children who are physically fit sleep better. They're also better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.
One of the best ways to get children to be more active is to limit the amount of time spent in sedentary activities, especially watching TV or other screens.
Children are our future - supporting their natural desire for physical activity will help lead them to a lifetime of happy and healthy living. If we joyfully teach them how to include healthy exercise in their daily life starting in infancy, we will be giving our children a gift that will last a lifetime.