It seems like moms are always on the run. Unfortunately, playing taxi-driver to your children and hustling between work, baby, and home life doesn’t technically count as exercise. But by the end of the day, you probably feel like you’ve just run a marathon. So why is it important to add exercise to the top of your ever-growing to do list?
Meet our expert
Mom of two and Registered Acupuncturist, certified yoga instructor, and Doctor of Chiropractic
Dr. Aliya focuses on women’s health, pediatric care, and post-natal health in her practice in Toronto—so when it comes to finding new, healthy, and easy ways to stay active, she’s got the scoop.
Why it's important to stay active
Besides the obvious reasons of having a healthy body and decreasing the risk of developing chronic illness, staying physically active improves quality of life and keeps your mind happy—not to mention, it sets a great example for your kids.
But if you’re thinking you need to start on some type of CrossFit level workout regimen, think again.
“I’m a huge believer in creating healthy habits that fit realistically within your lifestyle. It’s not about doing a crazy workout routine or following a fad diet. It comes down to incorporating small and easy things into your everyday life.”
How to get started
Getting back into (or just starting!) exercise can feel intimidating. If you're not quite ready for squats and mountain climbers there are plenty of ways you can still stay active:
- Go for a walk: whether it's a few miles or just around the block—you can even bring baby along in their stroller!
- Take a swim: swimming is a great, low intensity exercise.
- Stretch it out: gentle or prenatal yoga classes will get you moving and help you to relax,plus there's often mommy and me classes available.
- Start taking the stairs: It might seem small, but it's an easy way to get incorporate some activity into your day.
If you're getting back into working out after having a baby, make sure you clear it with your doctor first. Even once you're cleared for activity, it's important to remember that not only is your life different with a new baby, your body is different too.Your body has just created an actual human – a tiny miracle – so give it some love, time, and rest before jumping into a workout routine.
"It’s important for women to understand that their bodies have changed after carrying and delivering a baby. Many women are in a hurry to get back to their post-baby bodies and this often results in injury. My advice is to take it slow and seek the proper advice before starting any exercise routine after baby."
Tips to find the time
It’s hard enough to find the time to sit for 10 minutes – so carving out time to get all the way to the gym to get your sweat on can be seemingly impossible.
Here's Dr. Aliya’s top tips to get those workouts higher on your to do list:
- Grab a buddy: Find a friend or group and start holding each other accountable. A buddy can help motivate you to get your daily activity in!
- Schedule it: Put it in your calendar or planner and don’t even think of moving it or rescheduling it. Consider it non-negotiable.
- Include your kids: Get them moving too! Put them in a stroller for your walk, bring them to a class, or challenge them to a jumping jack contest at home.
- Utilize nap time: Your baby's daily snoozes can be a great time to fit in a quick at home workout. Zen Sleepwear™ is gently weighted to help your baby sleep longer, so you might just be able to get a full workout in.
- Take what you can get: It doesn't matter if it's 10 minutes or 2 hours. Focus on making the most of the time you do have and don't sweat the rest.
5 easy exercises for busy moms…that you can do at home!
Dr. Aliya and friend, fellow mom, and fitness expert, Lara Marq, created this video with 5 easy exercises for busy moms – exercises you can do right at home!
Know that some days you might get a great sweat sesh in and accept that other days you'll have a kid glued to your body every waking second—and that's okay. Remember to cut yourself some slack and be patient!
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*You should always consult your primary care doctor before beginning any new exercise routine, especially post-baby!*
Photos and video courtesy of The Bennett Studio