If you are like me, then finding some time to exercise can be a real problem. Taking an hour to go the gym 3-4 times a week is just not an option for me or many other mummies with young toddlers and babies. While I am very lucky to have my MIL babysit my toddler two mornings a week, I use this time to clean my house, and I can’t really justify asking her to babysit a toddler and baby while I go off and exercise. However, exercise is so important – apart from the obvious cardiovascular health benefits, exercise will also help you to lose that baby weight, and is a great stress reliever. I also find that surprisingly, I have more energy when I manage to squeeze in some exercise.
A great idea for sneaking in some exercise (well, some is better than none!!) is to dance with your kids. Every morning, before I jump in the shower, I turn on the radio, and have a dance session in the bathroom with my 17 month old. After we have a had a good ten minute dance, I leave the radio on, Stephen keeps dancing, and I can grab 5 minutes to have my shower while he is entertaining himself bopping away on the other side of the shower screen.
Use your baby’s nap time to go for a walk. When Irini falls asleep, this can be a great opportunity to pop her and her brother into the pram to go for a gentle walk. She falls straight asleep, lulled by the rocking of her section of the pram, while Stephen loves watching the world around him, especially keeping an eye out for buses and large vans (his obsession at the moment!). Even better is when I have enough time to stop at the park – pushing Stephen on the swings is a great workout for my arms.
Find some great workout videos – I will be starting to use these over the next few weeks as winter weather kicks in and it is too cold to take Irini outside for a walk. There are some great post-natal videos that take less than half an hour, so these can be done while your baby is asleep or in her rocker. I will try and let Stephen dance around with me while I am doing them, otherwise I will pop him in his play yard where he can watch me.