If you are a new mother, fitness may be the last thing on your mind. From nursing around the clock, midnight diaper changes, and trying to find a moment to shower, it can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself.
This doesn't mean you aren't eager to drop that baby weight, and to get started moving again too. Solution? Babywearing!
Babywearing is basically carrying your baby in a sling, wrap, or carrier. While people have practiced babywearing for centuries, it has only become increasingly popular. If you don't have a carrier yet, there are heaps to choose from and definitely well worth the investment.
Doing a workout while babywearing is a practical way any mom can get in a work out, whether your baby is awake or asleep. You can do a babywearing workout from the comfort of your own home, and you can even do it in short bursts throughout the day, whenever you have a moment.
Whether you were running marathons before you had your little one, or you are new to the fitness world, it is important to ease your way back into exercising after having a baby. When you are less than six weeks postpartum, it is important to follow your doctor's recommendations and take it extremely easy on the exercise. You can get a feel for a babywearing workout during this time simply by going for a walk while wearing your baby. Get a feel for your wrap or carrier and modify the adjustments so you aren't feeling any pain. Once you are in the clear from your doctor to start exercising again, you can begin workouts while babywearing.
A popular new trend in fitness is "tabata" style workouts. Tabata was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo and is a style of high-intensity interval training. The method of tabata is doing an exercise for 20 seconds and then taking a 10 second break, eight times, or in other words, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for four minutes.
Tabata workouts are perfect for moms, because finding four minutes is a lot more doable than finding an hour, or even half an hour. Here's an example of a babywearing workout with tabata style training. You can do these throughout the day, all at once, or for multiple reps a day as you gain more strength and if you can find the time.
Squats: While your baby is on your chest in a carrier, place your feet shoulder width apart, and squat down, like you are sitting back in a chair. As with all tabata workouts, do this for 20 seconds, and then take a 10 second break, eight times. Alternating lunges: Begin with your feet together. Then step back with one leg, lunge, and return your foot to center. Repeat on the other side.
Alternating lunges with kicks: These are similar to doing plain alternating lunges. Step back into a lunge, and instead of returning to center, bring your leg forward into a kick, then return to center.
Planks with baby: Lay your baby on the floor, and then hold plank above them. You can hold a high plank, on the palms of your hands, as opposed to your elbows.This is much easier when your baby isn't moving too much. After they start crawling, you might have to get creative.
Push ups with baby: This is the same idea as planks. Do push ups over your baby, bringing your chest to your little one, or nose to nose. They love the intimacy and eye contact, and you can still get your burn on!
Being a new mom doesn't mean you have to abandon fitness, although sometimes it feels like it. A babywearing workout is the perfect way to burn some calories while being able to care for your child.
Have you given babywearing workouts a try? What did you think?