The Benefits of Exercise for New Parents
10 min read
Whilst we may think of exercise as a way to lose weight and get back in to shape, there are actually many other benefits to being active.
- Positive effect on mood: Exercise is known to maintain and improve feelings of well-being as a result of chemical changes in our brains. The increased endorphins released as the body moves into exercise mode are proven to have positive effects on our mood and wellbeing.
- Coupled with the numerous other benefits of exercise like accelerated post-birth recovery, building strength, increasing cardiovascular endurance, increasing energy levels and social interaction with other mums, the list of positive results is endless!
However, as many new parents know, sometimes just getting out of the front door can be likened to a military operation so some of the various daily activities that could be done without a thought pre-baby, are no longer quite so easy. Exercise tends to be one of those things that is often considered but pushed to the side due to “I just don’t have the time” or “the baby’s routine just won’t allow for me time” scenarios.
The good news is that, in recent years, there has been a shift in the exercise industry away from traditional gyms and movement towards more exercise techniques and options that focus around the individual and cater to busy or challenging schedules. Exercise no longer needs to be gym-based or time-specific and there are so many fun ways of incorporating exercise back into your schedule.
Once you have the all clear from your GP to start getting moving again, start to think about aiming for a daily brisk 30-40 minute walk with the buggy to get you on the right track. Put on some comfortable but supportive shoes and make sure to maintain good posture, activating your pelvic floor and core muscles to get those abdominal muscles back in action. As you get more used to it, try to find somewhere with a few inclines to make it increasingly challenging. See if you can get a few mum friends to join you and you can have a good catch up whilst you shape up!
Whether at home or in the fresh air, a little bit of imagination and you can get your heart rate up and your muscles warm quickly and easily. If the weather is not on your side then there are many resources you can find around the house. A few trips up and down the stairs can be a great cardiovascular exercise and if you add a few squats and lunges around the kitchen or living room, then you can be sure that you are making those legs and gluteal muscles work hard and gain strength.
For those days when you need a bit more structure and motivation or when your baby simply just needs to be cuddled, then you can still keep active thanks to programmes like CARiFiT babywearing workouts www.carifit.co.uk where you are encouraged to incorporate your baby into your exercise routine. The targeted post natal specific workouts vary from 10-30 minutes and are designed to be done whilst wearing the baby. With a fantastic free 7 day trial, you can find out more about the do’s and don’ts of postnatal exercise, learn some quick and easy nutritional tips and tackle the tricky subject of the postnatal tummy gap www.carifit.co.uk/7daykickstart
As any new parent knows, there are always days where energy levels are better than others after yet another broken night’s sleep but, even on those days, just a brisk walk or a short 10 minute CARiFiT matrix worout can have huge mood-lifting properties and a happy parent often means a happier baby.
You can enjoy free workouts and postnatal fitness advice at www.carifit.co.uk/7daykickstart
Ante and Post-Natal Fitness Expert
& Founder, CARiFiT