Why I Don’t Work Out With My Baby

Posted on October 24, 2015 in Food & Fitness

I don’t work out with my baby. I see mom and baby workouts all over the internet and for some people these may be great, but for me they aren’t. Here is why I don’t work out with Emeline.

1. I don’t feel safe using Emeline as a weight
2. I need a harder workout
3. I need a more varied workout

I’ll start with my first point. Even though I worked out during my pregnancy I was not (am still not) in the shape I was in before. The first time I did lunges it felt like there was an earthquake happening simultaneously. I hate to say it, but even sometimes now I lose my footing while lunging. The same goes for squats. I will sometimes lose my balance. As great as adding extra weight to your workouts might be and as low impact as they can be I don’t want to be the one sitting there trying to console a screaming baby because I dropped her or my injured self after contorting into some God awful shape to prevent Emeline from getting hurt. If you do want to exercise with your baby in a sling or use your baby as a weight more power to you, but be careful!

My second reason for not exercising with Emeline is because I need harder workouts. Just because I am working out at home does not mean I am not busting my butt just as hard as if I were at the gym. If I hold Emeline while doing squats, lunges and the lot I will be more focused on going slower and hanging onto her than anything else. You can’t even think about going fast enough for a HIIT while holding a baby and HIIT is what I need. It is great to be cuddly with baby all day, but working out is time for me. I understand that Emeline might have to be there, but the workout is for me, not her.

Finally, I need more varied workouts. The oodles of mommy and me workouts out there generally consist of the same exercises: squats, lunges, pushups and glute bridges. These are all great exercises, but I need some spice in my life and the repetition of these gets old fast.

To be clear, I am not cutting down Mommy and Me workouts!  These type of workouts are excellent for many people. I am merely saying that they are not for me. So what do I do with Emeline while I work out?

How to Keep Your Baby Happy While You Exercise

Exercise while baby naps!

If baby is big enough put baby in a height chair so they can watch you. You can do your thing and easily interact with them because they are higher up.

Give baby ample cuddle time, a nappy and feeding just before. When Emeline as all sorted with a full tummy, a fresh nappy and has spent a lot of time with me I am less likely to have to stop and tend to her.

Use a broken down HIIT workout. This is something I do a lot. I will break my workout into two or three parts. Each part consists of 1-3 exercises, which I do back to back for time or reps/sets. One each part is done I take a small break 1-5 minutes depending on if Emeline needs me or not. Sometimes it is just water sometimes it is a nappy change.

Use a gym with child care or have someone watch baby if you can. Another good idea, but not for the faint hearted, go in the gym or work out in the early am before daddy goes to work. We are talking crack of dawn here.

Put baby on a playmat or yoga mat on their back or tummy. Many a time Emeline has had her tummy time while I’m breaking a sweat. She usually laughs at me.

Put baby in a pack n’ play if crawling. I had a friend who did this while she worked out and she said it was excellent because she didn’t have to keep running after him and he could play.

Having baby stay later or go in earlier at daycare might be an option if you are back at work.

Finally, if you have a baby that naps for a few minutes here or there, doesn’t sleep, always wants to be held or need constant attention you can still try to sneak in some movement if you feel ready that is.

Walk with baby in a sling or pram. Try walking up a hill, squeeze those glutes! You can also try a stroller workout.

Choose an exercise for each room of the house, every time you enter do 5 reps (you might need to put baby down for this).

Squat every time baby drops something.

HIIT in 3 parts:
(use an online interval timer)

Part I:
Complete 30 seconds of work for each exercise with no break for 5 minutes (10 rounds/cycles)

1. Jumping Jacks
2. High Knees

Part 2:
Complete 30 seconds of work for each exercise with a ten second break inbetween for 8 rounds/cycles

1. Jump Squats with Mt. Climbers
(after you complete your squat jump, jump your legs back and do 25 Mt. Climbers, jump back up for one rep)
2. Push Up to Side Plank
(Do a push up and when you push up move into a side plank, alternate sides)

Part 3:
Complete 30 seconds of work for each exercise with a ten second break inbetween for 8 rounds/cycles

1. Alternative Lunges with a front kick
2. 5 Plank Jacks with Lying Leg Lifts
(Get into plank with your legs and feet together, jump your legs and feet apart and jump back again, repeate five times then flip onto your back and do 5 lying leg lifts, that is one rep)

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