Eager to get back your body after baby? Here are four easy ways to work out together with your tot – until she turns one! By Deborah Lin.
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Now that Baby is here, it seems like exercise is always on the back burner and fitting back into your favourite pair of jeans is a distant dream. If you want to get your pre-baby bod, you’ve got to work it, girl! Get started with these exercises together with Baby and you’ll be a hot mama by her first birthday.
0 to 3 months | Post-natal Exercise: Walking
Armed with your doc’s okay, start taking easy walks every day – even if it’s for only 10 minutes or so. But if walking causes or worsens any bleeding, stop and contact your doctor. After six weeks, you should be ready to start light exercise, says Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Rebuild your stamina by gradually increasing your walks to 100 minutes over a week and then eventually 150 minutes. Introduce brisk-walking intervals to increase your heart rate and burn calories at a faster rate.
WITH BABY Pop her into a sling so she can join in and get some fresh air! Studies show that babywearing (carrying a child in a sling or soft baby carrier) soothes the baby and promotes bonding. Check out Pupsik Studio’s trendy and snug pouch slings.
4 to 6 months | Post-natal Exercise: Yoga
Those four months of maternity leave just whizzed by! Now that your energy levels are up, work on regaining strength in your core, pelvic floor and back muscles with Como Shambhala Urban Escape’s postnatal yoga class. The 75-minute session caters to women up to six months after childbirth. Your baby can come along too.
WITH BABY Get all touchy-feely with Baby Massage and Yoga: A Teach Yourself Guide (US$11.99 or S$16.25, www.amazon.com). The massage techniques and yoga moves are easy to follow.
7 to 9 months | Post-natal Exercise: Swimming
By now, you would have returned to your usual exercise routine. If swimming isn’t part of it, start now! It’s a great full-body workout that’s easy on the joints and burns 700 calories an hour. Try these moves by Cami Stock, a former US-based masters swim coach, to ease yourself into it: Do two full laps (back and forth equals one), pause to catch your breath and repeat three times.
Do this three times a week and use every other lap to do a different drill: Hold a kickboard to concentrate on kicking or swim with a buoy between your legs to work on your stroke. When it feels easy, increase your total distance by up to 10 per cent per week.
WITH BABY Sign up for a parent-child swim class! You get to bond through water play and tone your muscles while you’re at it. Garett Lee, founder and head coach of Little Swim School (tel: 6747-5232 or 9144-8755), recommends babies start swim classes at six months. They would have gotten most of their vaccinations and developed better neck control by then. However, it’s not all just splashing around. Garett’s classes focus on skills like motor development, communicative interaction and water submersion. To make sure Baby doesn’t catch a chill, get a baby warmer vest from baby speciality stores like Mothercare.
10 to 12 months | Post-natal Exercise: Jogging
If you aren’t already doing so, add this to your weekly workout schedule. Try jogging 15 minutes twice a day. Jog throughout or do a few intervals – jog for two minutes and walk for one. Try to do up to 20-minute intervals by the time Baby is one.
WITH BABY She should be able to sit up unassisted now and enjoy riding in a stroller. Push her along in a stroller (look for those with all-terrain capabilities, padded seating and a retractable, waterproof hood – good for that unexpected rain shower) and get a better workout. Check out Motherswork for a wide range of sturdy strollers and joggers.