You’ve just been introduced to this amazing joy in your life, a new family member, an extra set of toes and fingers in the house, and while there’s so much excitement, you might feel anxious about something else… your postpartum body. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself, but it’s understandable why you might be feeling down about your body. In fact, doctors typically recommend waiting at least six weeks. Fortunately, when the wait is over, there are many ways you can get back into a workout routine and include baby. It’s best to ease yourself back into a workout routine, and these are some light exercises you can do with baby that will get you on track- these are great for dad too!
Squats: Put your baby in a front carrier for a burn in the quads, or in a back carrier for more of a glute workout. Sit yourself in an imaginary chair and come back up. Make sure your knees don’t go beyond your toes when they bend and when coming back up, drive through the heals. Keep your back parallel to the ground and your knees parallel to your shoulders.
Baby Chest/Tricep Press: Feel the burn in your arms and maybe a little in the chest. Lay down flat on your back. Pick your little one up and extend your arms straight above your chest and then slowly lower them, bringing baby closer to your chest. Repeat this motion for 10 reps and as many sets as you can do.
Cardio: Put baby in a stroller and go out for a light jog. Even if you’re not up for that, head out for a walk. In fact it’s suggested that for the first six weeks postpartum, stick to a walk around 3 miles per hour to increase circulation.
Sit ups: Take baby out to the park or you can even do this in your living room. Set baby up in front of you and in a sitting position, whether a car seat, infant positioning seat, or nursing pillow, and complete some sets of sit ups. This will hopefully entertain baby as you disappear and reappear every few seconds. This can also be done with push-ups or planks.
Lunge Pulses: With one leg in front, bent at a 90 degree angle so that your knees isn’t going past your toes, and the other leg extending back, start in this lunge position. Now carry baby as if he/she is in a front-facing sitting position on your arm with the other arm wrapped around their belly. Now in this lunge position, bring your tailbone and hamstring (for the bent leg) down and back up in one second intervals. Do this about 8-10 times for one leg and then switch positions to the next leg.
These are just a few exercises you can start with when getting back into a routine, just be sure to check with your doctor to make sure it’s okay to get back on an exercise routine and to what extent. These might seem like simple workouts, but they are a great way to get back to using proper form and waking up the muscles after being out of an exercise routine for some time. You can use these workouts to help get you back into shape while also having interactive playtime with baby.