Working Out in the Playroom
By Dr. Hannah Anderson
If you put more emphasis on movement throughout the day, you don't have to freak out about the workout as much. I honestly only work out two days a week, three if i'm lucky, and four if all the freaking stars and moon align. BUT I also don't sit very often. I'm lucky that I have a physical job, but also when I come home I'm either up and moving with cleaning/cooking/laundry or playing with Margot which is really intentional movement time for me. I'm always racing (like literally running sprints, she thinks it's hilarious) or playing chase. We climb a lot of stuff, which involves me lifting her up a lot and squatting. When we go to the park, I leave everything in the car so I can climb and slide and jump with her instead of watching.
Exercises you can easily do with a baby around that are challenging:
- Bear crawls (do it across the room 10 times and you're dying)
- Functional progression is the best mom-core workout and takes less than 10 minutes, and you can do it next to a kid with no equipment
- "Ring Rows" using a door frame instead of a bar or rings
- Overhead press with any object (or handweights or babies)
Making time for working out takes a lot more planning when you have kids. My husband, Alex, and I trade - he gets an hour, then I get an hour... or I get the morning and he gets the evening. This had to be an honest, no questions asked exchange. Neither parent should feel bad asking for time to work out. For example, he gets like, HOW MANY HOURS OF RUNNING?! So I get to lift or whatever for at least two hours a week. Sometimes I use my hours to go to a class if I need something different.
Don't feel ashamed if your schedule doesn't allow gym time right now. Instead, be intentional about moving and playing with your kids. You'll be doing something great for your body and be interacting in a meaningful (technology-free) way!
(If you want more workout tips or need to rehab your pregnant or postpartum body, follow Hannah at BIRTHFIT Cedar Rapids or find a BIRTHFIT in your region to take a class and learn from experts!)