6 exercises you can do with your baby!

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

If you’re a new mum (or dad), you’re probably run off your feet, sleep deprived and busy spending every spare moment tending to the needs of your beautiful bundle of joy. Amongst all the busyness, it can be easy to forget about something really important – your own health. You may feel as though you don’t have the time to exercise, but the truth is, there are many exercises that you can do WITH your baby that are fairly easy and don’t take up too much time. Exercise is not only important for your physical health; it’s also beneficial for your mental health. Exercise releases those ‘feel good’ endorphins, is a great method of stress relief and can leave you feeling fit and toned, which is always great for the confidence! Try these exercises at home:

1. Front carrier squats

We all know how to do a squat. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and with a straight back bend your knees and lower your buttocks as if you are going to sit on a chair. Try doing this with your baby in a front carrier. This exercise is not only toning and strengthening, but I’m sure your baby will enjoy being bopped up and down.

2. Pelvic lifts

If you want to tone up your butt, this is a great exercise for you! Simply lay on the floor (preferably on a mat) with your knees bent and rest your baby in a seated position on your pubic bone. Hold your baby’s hands or their waist, squeeze your pelvic and glute muscles and lift your pelvis towards the ceiling holding for a few seconds before lowering. Repeat at least 10 times.

3. Dancing

Sway to the music and wiggle those hips with your baby in your arms. This is not only a form of exercise, but it’s fun and will help to reduce stress! Put on some music that you love and dance with your baby! You’ll improve your cardiovascular fitness and tone up your muscles. You could also put your baby in a bouncer and dance around them.

4. Overhead lifts

This one is really simple – lift your baby up over your head! Hold for 5-10 seconds, and then lower your arms to waist level, repeating at least 10 times. This is something you can do very easily over the course of the day whilst sitting down or standing up. It will strengthen and tone up those ‘tuck shop arms’.

5. Walking/ lunges

Take your baby for a lovely walk around the block in his or her pram. Simply pushing the pram and going for a walk is great exercise, but you can spice it up with a jog, or do lunges on the way. For a lunge, simply hold onto the pram, put one leg in front of your body and the other behind, bending your front knee and lowering into the lunge. You’ll feel this one in your glutes!

6. Russian Twists

These are often performed with a kettle ball, but you can use your baby instead. Strap your baby to your front in a carrier and sit on a mat with your knees bent and your back at a 45-degree angle. Engage your core and rotate to your far right, pause and then rotate to your far left, and repeat. Alternatively, you can hold your baby in your arms whilst doing this exercise.

If you are feeling unmotivated, you may benefit from the amino acids glutamine and tyrosine. Both of these amino acids play important roles in the nervous system and can help to improve motivation and focus. Tyrosine is also a ‘mood food’ and can help to lift your overall mood and alleviate stress.

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