Fitting in workouts with a baby
Photo by David Marcu
I have a soon to be one year old son who still doesn’t really nap at home, no family near by and a husband that works long hours. I also really want to workout. How do I fit it in? It’s been tough, but I’ve finally worked out a strategy that suits my life right now.
1. Walking everywhere
I try to walk rather than taking the bus and this means that I average about 4 miles a day walking and pushing a pram with a 10kg baby in it! I track my steps using my Fitbit, which makes me accountable, challenges me to move more and walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
It’s easy to pick up a kettlebell and do 50 swings while the baby is playing. I’m still trying to teach him that the kettlebells aren’t a toy and that he doesn’t need to hold on to my legs while I’m swinging, so I’ve accepted that there’s going to be a bit of stopping and starting for the moment, but it always feels good to get a quick 50-100 swings in when I can.
Kettlebells are a good full-body workout that anyone can do, as long as they have the right form and technique. Here’s a site that will give you a primer on good kettlebell technique.
3. Fast workouts – 7 minutes or less
I use a few apps that have a high intensity circuit routine that allows you to exercise your entire body in just 7 minutes, using only your bodyweight. There’s a lot of science behind this technique, which basically consists of 12 exercises (squats, planks, crunches, jumping jacks, etc) that you do for 30 seconds at a high intensity with a 10 second rest in between.
I’ve been using the 7 Minute Workout app and finding it really effective. If I have more time, I’ll do another circuit or two, but it’s great knowing that in just seven minutes, I can get in a great full body workout that gets me good and sweaty!
4. 30 day challenges
I’m the type of person that likes a bit of accountability and a 30 day challenge is perfect for me, because I’m quite competitive and don’t like to fail. I’ve been using the 30 Day Fitness Challenges app, which is great, because it offers so many different types of challenges, like a 30 day plank challenge and a 30 day ab challenge, which get progressively harder as the 30 days go on.
While the baby is playing, it’s easy to get down and do 20 crunches or 30 squats. The challenge is when he thinks what I’m doing is funny and toddles over to grab my legs while I’m squatting or crawls over me while I’m doing situps!
I’ve finally gotten into a nice rhythm where I’m able to do some form of exercise every day. This is great for shaking off the cobwebs when I’ve had a tough night with the baby. It also sets a great example for baby J – not that he needs it as he is very active!