4 At-Home Exercises for Moms and Babies
Try some of these mom and baby exercises to keep you fit and baby entertained during playtime. You'll both benefit from the activities, good times spent together and some fresh air if you get outside when the weather warms up a little more. You can do them just the two of you or with your other mommy and baby friends.
Before we get started, make sure you and baby are ready by answering these questions:
- Has your doctor given you the OK to start exercising? If you aren't sure, ask your doctor.
- Can baby support his/her head? If not, make sure you always support baby's head. If it's too difficult to perform any of the exercises while supporting baby's head, skip them. Whether baby supports his/her head or you do, keep your movements gentle and as smooth as possible.
- Are you able to perform these exercises comfortably without baby? Try each exercise once or twice without baby to get a feel for it and to make sure you are comfortable doing the moves. If you feel unstable or if you feel any discomfort or pain, stop doing the exercise(s).
Ready? Let's go!
Set up exercises 1-3 as follows:
- Lie baby on the floor, facing up.
- Face baby and place your elbows and forearms (for 1) or hands (for 2-3) on either side of baby.
- Brace your core by drawing your navel toward your spine.
1. In your babyface hover (core)
On your forearms, face-to-face with baby, hold a hover on your knees. Start with 15 seconds. Over time, as you feel stronger, add 15 seconds, until you can hold one minute. Then try from your toes for 15 seconds and work your way up.
2. Pointer baby (back)
Hands under shoulders and knees under hips, reach right arm forward and left leg back, hold 3-5 seconds and repeat on the other side. Keep your eyes down on baby to keep your neck long and brace your core lifting navel toward spine.
Repeat 4-6 times per side.
3. Baby kiss push ups (full body)
Hands wider than shoulders, knees on the floor, hips down to keep your back straight from shoulders to knees.
Look at baby, lower your chest toward baby and give baby a little kiss or an Eskimo kiss. Press into your palms to push yourself back to starting position. To make this easier, place your knees directly under your hips (a box-like position). To make it more challenging, try them from your toes. Repeat 8-12 times.
4. Lunge with baby (legs)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold baby in your arms securely, either facing away from you or lying.
Step on foot back, heel lifted; send your back knee straight down toward the floor to lunge. Rise half way, then step forward to starting position. Alternate sides and repeat 8-12 times per side.
For more exercises, check out these four simple exercises for moms and babies, and have a look at some of these YouTube videos: Exercises with Baby, Mom and Baby Yoga, or Yoga with Baby - Intermediate.
Once you are done your strengthening exercises, hit the road with baby in a stroller or sling to work on your heart fitness. Keep the pace brisk to raise your heart rate. If you need help with pace, bring some high tempo music to give you a beat. When I'm outdoors with music, I only wear one ear bud to stay well aware of traffic from drivers, cyclists and other pedestrians coming and going. You also want to be sure you can hear baby at all times. Have fun, keep fit and be safe!
Katya Mohsen is a personal trainer with more than 10 years of experience in fitness and sports training. Catch her practical fitness advice Thursdays on Slice.ca.