I avoided posting this one for awhile as I am no expert. I worked really hard pre-baby to get healthy, eat properly and exercise regularly. I would take my dog for a 45 min walk every day and do 30 min of yoga every day too. Two children later, I am lucky if I get a walk in every two weeks, maybe yoga once every month or two. The most exercise I get is running up and down the stairs doing laundry, fetching things for the kids, and bringing kids to and from naps.
I really want to get back into as good shape and health as I was pre-kids but that is super hard. Not only do I not have a lot of time to exercise, I have the two kids to keep entertained while I do it, and frankly I am so sleep-deprived and exhausted that given an hour to myself I would rater lie on the couch and catch up on my favourite show while surfing facebook or take a shower. Exercise is NOT at the top of my to-do list.
So how to get back in shape? How to attempt to get that pre-baby body back? The first thing I did is watch what I eat really closely. Another challenge, doing groceries and cooking healthy food is also difficult, time constraints and the fact that I need a meal that baby, toddler and husband will eat without making a bunch of different meals mean that I have my work cut out for me. I try to keep fresh fruits available for snacking when I can, make sure I am getting a lot of protein, and try not to snack at night. Not snacking at night makes a big difference. It is one of the easiest ways to start getting back on track.
To get more active I try to do activities that will give me good exercise WITH the kids:
- Gymnastics class. Bee & Po’s not mine. I could not believe how exhausting it was chasing after her at gymnastics, taking her on the beam, hanging from the bars, swinging from the rings and ropes, jumping on the trampoline. My sister counts that as gym time and jumps at the chance to take my daughter through her class.
- Baby-wearing Po while Athena rides in the stroller is fun. We all love the fresh air and connecting with nature.
- Salsa Babies or Baby-wearing Latin dancing is my favourite as well. The Early-Years Centre where I am offers a free class once a month and I make sure to sign up for it right away (it fills up fast). It’s a great way to get moving with baby and a chance to meet some more moms. Both my two loved dancing with me in the carrier and it was a really good workout for me.
- Salsa Tots. Another free class offered through the Early Years Centre once a month. Although the class is technically for Bee, it’s a great workout for me especially wearing Po. Dancing around, sometimes holding both of them is a great way to work out.
- Yoga. I get out a yoga matt for Bee so she can try to do it with me, Po can sit and watch or when he was little he would lie in front of me on a pillow. Granted I end up having to hold one of them and usually end up breast-feeding during yoga (why they always decide they need milk NOW is beyond me). Still it is a way to get moving and feel better.
- Wii Fit. If any of you still have the Wii fit with the balance board use it! You can make a baby stats account for your littles and weigh them occasionally to keep track of their stats too. It is great exercise and you can do it while babywearing (but ignore the wii telling you how overweight you are while wearing little). My toddler even tries to do the activities along with me, I can put the kids to play near me, in the swing, or if they are having a quick nap.
- Go swimming. You may not get as much exercise while holding a baby as you would on your own, but it’s still good exercise. Bee loves to “fly” while in the pool so my arms get a good workout throwing her in the air and catching her. People love swimming with babies maybe a friend or relative will play with your little for a few minutes while you try to do a few laps or go underwater to swim for a bit. Plus it’s a nice relaxing way to get a few minutes of peace. I also discovered you can do laps WITH baby, put them in an inflatable boat and push it in front of you while you do laps.
- Baby-wear while cleaning. Vacuuming, washing the floors, all great exercise!
- Go shopping! Pushing both kids in a double stroller, then holding Po and chasing Bee around a store is also good exercise. If we hit the mall or an outdoor shopping center (or Ikea!) and walk around for awhile it is amazing how exhausting it can be.
What way’s do you try and incorporate exercise into your routine? Do you find it challenging post-baby to get back into shape and eat healthy?