10 Tips for Exercising As a New Mom

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I'm sharing these tips with you today thanks to Sam's Club!

Being a new mom is tough. Being a new mom who wants to workout after getting 4 hours of sleep is even tougher. Especially when that baby doesn't nap unless they are nursing in your lap! So, what's a gal to do?

In the four months since having my son I've developed a pretty good system. I'll be doing a more detailed 'day in the life' post soon, but I wanted to share some of the things I've found that help me find the energy and the time to fit in a workout 5-6 days a week. It's not always easy. In fact it's never really easy, but it's always worth it.

10 tips for exercising as a new mom

Ditch the caffeine. Yes, you heard me right. I haven't consumed caffeine regularly since I was pregnant the first time in 2015. After cutting it out of my diet I realized how much more energy I had when I didn't have any caffeine. There were no crashes in the mid-afternoon, and I never had problems getting to sleep at night. Even when I get 3-4 hours of sleep, broken into two segments (one of which is spent sleeping sitting up in bed with the baby on my lap) I still have more energy the next day if I steer clear of caffeine.

Eat healthy foods and supplement when necessary. When I eat garbage foods, I feel like garbage. When you are tired you are more likely to go for simple carbs. Don't do it! It's a trap! Reaching for the sugary snack will give you a very momentary energy buzz but you will feel even more lethargic and sluggish than you did before in just a short time post-candy indulgence. Stick to the basics; fruits, veggies, protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. If you need to fill in the gaps nutritionally, as I do, look into multivitamins and omegas. As a vegetarian I especially lack in omegas so I take this Member's Mark Omega 3-6-9 supplement to make sure I'm getting all the healthy nutrients I need. Important for my milk supply and my energy!

Omega Supplement

Figure out your baby's schedule and work with it. Don't try to put baby on your schedule. That always backfired (at least for me!) I've found that my son is usually happiest right after his second feed for the day, around 9:30. That's when I will take him to our office/gym and set him in the pack n play. He will usually give me 30-40 minutes to workout before getting fussy.

Give toys to distract them strategically. After I set him in his pack n okay I won't put any toys with him in there until he starts to fuss. For 10-20 minutes he's content looking at his hands, cooing, or rolling around. Then I'll give him his toy moose or a rattle. After about 10 minutes of that he gets bored so I'll flip him onto his tummy and that buys me another 5-10 minutes. If he starts to fuss then I will bring out the big kahuna - his baby Mozart music toy. Staging his toys and tummy time like that buys me the most time. Of course there are days where nothing I do works and he won't give me more than 15-20 minutes and that's okay.

Create a home gym. This does not have to be expensive. For years I worked out at home with nothing more than a set of weights and a few workout DVDs. Once we moved to Alaska we invested in a treadmill, and now I'm eyeing this HealthRider H82E Elliptical! The time it would take to get ready and drive to a gym just isn't possible for me right now. The cost of a gym membership for one year is about the same for a treadmill or elliptical so definitely consider one as it is the only way I'm able to get cardio in on a regular basis. Sam's Club has so much available to help you keep your resolutions, like treadmills and ellipticals you can purchase online!

Elliptical

Being able to hop on the treadmill and run anytime of the day, without driving somewhere or worrying about the weather outside, has been such a saving grace this Winter! This ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill is perfect. Treadmill

Aside from big equipment you could go far with just some dumbbells, resistance bands and you could even use your baby as weight in a workout!

Baby Led Workout

Prioritize working out. Unless I have a work deadline due the next day that needs my attention I workout the first chance I get during the day. If I don't take the time to in the morning then something inevitably comes up as the day goes on. Even if we had a rough night and all I want to do is cry and eat chocolate (it happens) I try to workout as soon as possible and it sets a great tone for the rest of the day.

Set clothes and a filled water bottle out the night before. When baby is in a good mood to workout I need to get on it! No time to go hunting for socks or clean out a water bottle.

Create more time in your day by shopping strategically and meal planning. We usually go grocery shopping just once a week and I always prep some food for the week on the weekends. By doing this I save so much time during the week and I can use that time to workout. Shopping at places like Sam's Club is especially helpful since you can buy things you know you always need in bulk, and not have to worry about running out and making a "quick" midweek trip to the store (anyone with a baby can tell you there's no such thing as a quick trip.) They always have the best prices so you can stock up and save money at the same time.

Find a fellow mom to workout with. The accountability will help keep you on track and you could meet up and do some walks/runs with the babies in strollers. I'm hoping to start a 5k training group this spring that would be very mom friendly.

Form a mom exercise co-op. Find a few moms who are interested in working out and schedule so that each mom takes a turn watching the kids while the others workout. This works especially well in military communities! The gym on post doesn't offer child care, but most families live so close to everything they could easily drop the kids off at one moms house and be at the gym 5 minutes later. If you had 3 moms interested in doing this then you could workout 2x a week and watch the kids once. It's a great way for the kids to get out of the house and socialize, and mom to get some girl time at the gym!

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Any other tips you have for working out with little ones? I'm sure I'm going to have to think of new ways to get workouts in as little man gets older!