Between nursing, changing diapers, preparing meals (and cleaning up after those meals), visiting family, and trying to squeeze in a shower, stay-at-home parents work just as hard as those who clock in elsewhere, and often find themselves stuck in the same no-time-to-exercise trap.
Regular workouts can bring peace to your day and fitness to your body. If you're desperate for fitness but can't seem to find the time, all you need is some planning and a little creativity. Here are some tips for parents with a baby or young child:
1. Invest in a jogging stroller or a "kid trailer" for your bike. When you're pushing or pulling one of these, you're sure to get a good workout--your kids will enjoy it too! Another current trend is the StrollerFit class, where parents (with their stroller-age children) utilize strollers for a cardiovascular and strength-building workout.
2. Strap baby to you in a baby carrier. If your baby is too young to feel comfortable in a stroller, you can still exercise together. There are many comfortable baby carriers on the market, including slings, front carriers, and backpacks. Adding 10-20 pounds to your frame for a walk will boost calorie burn, helping you shed those extra pounds. And babies love to be held close to you. In fact, touching enhances brain development in infants, so as you get fitter, baby gets smarter!
3. Join a gym with child-care, or add it to your membership. Whether you don't enjoy the great outdoors, or you live in a climate with blustery winters or lots of rain, outdoor exercise with the kids is not always an option. On-site childcare facilities offer convenience and the peace of mind that if your child needs you, you're only an intercom page away.
4. Sign up for parent-baby yoga classes. If these are offered in your area, parent-baby yoga classes can help you build strength and stamina, reduce stress, and provide you another opportunity to bond with your child.