So you are a new mom and you are struggling with balancing time for exercise and play time for baby. Why not combine the two?
I have a six-month-old and find that he loves to be entertained with movement both for me and him!
One of the exercises I found helpful in getting my strength back has been Pilates. As a certified Pilates instructor I was able to regain my core strength and flexibility significantly.
According to the Pilates Method Alliance, “Pilates is a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body.”
I use some of my Pilates moves with Baby Robert. According to Babycenter.com, “You'll find you have renewed energy for yourself and your baby if you make time for even short bursts of exercise.”
As always, make sure you are in a baby-safe environment and are strong enough to secure baby while doing these movements. Here are some of my exercises.
Baby Roll Downs
Sit on floor in an upright position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bend your arms in front of you, holding baby.
Inhale to prepare, then exhale and pull your navel in toward your spine. Work to round your spine into the letter “C” again keeping your gaze looking downward toward baby.
Inhale to prepare, than exhale engaging your abdominals and bringing yourself back up to your staring position.
Repeat 6-10 times
Baby Roll-Ups (once you’ve mastered the Baby Roll Down)
Lie on your back with your legs straight and stretch your arms directly over your shoulders while holding baby. Squeeze your adductors (inner thighs) in tightly and flex your feet.
The roll-up happens in this particular sequence:
Bring your chin towards your chest in a slight nod, lift your chest towards your ribs, now curve as you lift your ribs over your stomach, then reach your stomach over your hips and over your thighs.
Exhale as you stretch forward from your hips, while pulling your navel toward your spine.
Inhale prepare, pull the navel in even further and reverse the movement as you articulate that spine back down, one vertebrae at a time.
Baby Core Squats
Start with your feet placed wider than hip distance apart with knees slightly bent. Hold baby in front of you with arms bent in front of your chest.
Inhale as you slowly bend down into a squat position while pressing the baby straight out in front of you. You should also pull your belly button in towards your spine as you inhale.
Exhale as you return to the starting position, pulling your navel in even deeper.
Repeat 6-10 times.
Lie on your back with knees bent and baby against your thighs. Make sure your knees are aligned with your hips.
While maintaining neutral spine, inhale and engage your glutes as you lift up through the heels. Use your glutes and abs together, as you lengthen your tailbone toward the back of your knees.
Exhale as you roll back down to the ground, articulating the spine to the mat as your upper back, mid back, low back, and finally tailbone comes back to the mat.
Repeat 6-10 times.
“Eight Ways to Find Time To Exercise – Babycenter.com.” Baby Center. Web 16 Oct. 2012.
“An Exercise in Balance: The Pilates Phenomenon – PilatesMethodAlliance.org.” Pilates Method Alliance. Web 16 Oct. 2012.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com/
She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith