Parenting - fitness - daily exercise Parenting - fitness - daily exercise

Incorporating daily fitness into your routine

It is common knowledge that everyone should be incorporating daily exercise into their day-to-day routines. Exercise doesn’t just help with improving muscle-tone, it also helps with your overall fitness and mental well-being. Every parent, from those of newborns to older children, should be working on some form of daily exercise. 

There are always reasons why you can’t exercise. These can include sleep deprivation, work, family crises or simply not liking it. However, the benefits of daily exercise far outweigh them. Exercise will help you cope better with all the challenges you may be facing and improve your own well-being at the same time. By creating a balanced fitness programme, you should be able to find thirty minutes a day to exercise without too much difficulty. 

Daily fitness for moms of new babies

Participating in an exercise programme after giving birth can reduce a mother’s risk of post-partum depression, as well as increasing her sense of well-being. Once you’ve had clearance from your doctor is it important to start gentle exercise again and focus on incorporating daily fitness into your routine. Exercise has a beneficial effect to all cells in the body. Exercise promotes the release of factors called endorphins and creates a sense of well-being. Not exercising means less release of those factors. 

Women who want to exercise safely after giving birth should be encouraged to contact their physiotherapists for exercise programmes that will enable them to be safely active. They will help you to create a daily fitness routine that is best for you and your body. 

Daily fitness for parents of older babies and toddlers

Break it down

The aim is at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. This can be very overwhelming for busy parents. The key is to break this goal down into manageable chunks. For instance, why not aim to do ten minutes of exercise three times throughout the day? 

This might mean a brisk walk in the morning with baby in the stroller followed by a light circuit activity in the afternoon and 10 minutes of playing catchers with your toddler in the evening. 

Do what you like

It’s important to do a physical activity you know you are going to enjoy. You may not be able to do that particular activity every day but, if you can schedule it in a couple of days a week, it is more likely you will stick to a fitness programme in the long term. 

Whether you enjoy Zumba or martial arts, find a local group and commit to attending the exercise classes. Many clubs and gyms will offer crèche facilities, so you can exercise while your little one is looked after. Otherwise, chat with your partner or family, and see if they can help you out so that you can have some valuable time out to exercise. 

Join a group

It can be far more motivating to participate if you commit to a group activity. You might join a local swimming group and put baby in the crèche while you do your swim.

Swimming is a terrific form of exercise for women because it is low impact on their body. It is a great starting point for building up your overall fitness and has the added advantage of being gentle on your knees and joints. 

The other benefit of joining group classes is that you are likely to push yourself harder and improve your fitness levels more quickly as a result. 

Mix it up

Don’t do the same form of activity every day. Incorporate a variety so that it keeps you interested. This is also better for improving your overall fitness. Aim for three aerobic style sessions and two strength training sessions a week. Strength training sessions are vital to supporting you in developing muscle tone and definition. It won’t make you bulk up but it will reduce your chances of osteoporosis. 

If possible, see if you can get some sessions at your local gym with a personal trainer. Find out if there are gyms that offer trial or free memberships initially, to see if it is worth doing and if you would like to sign up for it in the long term. A personal trainer or gym instructor can create a fitness and strength routine that is safe and sensible for you and help support you in your goals. Many gyms have biokineticists,who can work out training programmes that are specifically tapered to you and your needs. 

Set a goal

It can be tough to exercise on a daily basis without a specific goal or target in mind. To help with keeping your motivation levels up you should consider setting a goal for yourself. You might like to sign up for a local 4 km fun run a couple of months from now or participate in a mini triathlon. 

If you had a high level of base fitness before, then set your aims a bit higher. Set a fitness goal that takes you out of your comfort zone but that you know you can achieve if you put the effort in. That will help you with committing to your daily exercise programme in the longer term.