In the first few months of life with a newborn, you may feel as if you need to-and maybe even want to stick close to home for the bulk of your workouts. With such frequent feedings and diaper changes, even a short trek outside may feel like a major accomplishment. Still, once you and your baby settle into a routine, there’s no reason to limit exercise to indoors. You can make the outside world your gym, too.
Exercise alfresco is a perfect way to have fun and get out of the house with your baby. You’ll enjoy both benefit from the fresh air and natural light. For instance, even a brisk stroller jaunt around your neighborhood can lull your little one into a relaxed state and perk you up after an especially sleepless night. So strap your baby into her stroller and load up on outdoor essentials.
What to carry for exercising outdoors:
We recommend stashing the following items in your diaper bag or stroller basket for a safe, enjoyable workout outdoors:
- Diapers and wipes
- Blanket, pacifier (if needed), and toys
- Sun hat and sunscreen (depending on your locale and the season)
- Rain gear (depending on your locale and the season)
- A bottle and/or snacks for baby
- A water bottle and snack for you
Outdoor exercises for moms:
After you’ve warmed up with five or more minutes of stroller walking or light jogging, try the outdoor strength cardio intervals. Interval training is a simple and efficient way to drop unwanted pounds and improve your fitness level. The reason: You’re alternating between intense activity (which zaps lots of calories in a short span) and moderate activity (which lets you recover from the harder intervals while keeping your heart rate up) The only additional equipment you’ll need is a sturdy park bench or a picnic table to get the kind of exercise variety that’ll help fast-track your results.
Tips for exercising outdoors with your baby:
When Your Baby Fusses in the Stroller: Exercising outside while your baby happily sits in her stroller is the ideal. However, in the real world, babies don’t always sit still for our plans, do they? Your little one might
be an early walker who prefers to hold your hand and amble alongside the stroller instead of riding in it or maybe she’s prone to squirm and fuss when you strap her in her stroller because she’d rather nuzzle close to you in a sling or front carrier.
How can you get a decent workout when your baby has other plans for how you’ll spend your time outside? We’ve come up with solutions that involve a combination of strategy, negotiation, and, yes,bribery. Read our tips for exercising outdoors with your baby:
Talk It Out: Young toddlers understand much of what we say to them, even if their vocabulary level is too limited to reply For example, while driving to my Baby Boot Camp classes, I used to discuss plans for the day with my young children. I’d say, “You’ll get to see your friends at class and look for birds in the sky and puppies walking by.
When Mommy is finished exercising, we’ll have story time and we can go to the playground with our friends.”
Time It Right: Getting a workout outdoors with your child may require you to adjust the time of day you exercise to accommodate your child’s nap schedule. While some babies are content to snuggle in the stroller with a blanket and let you do your thing while they snooze, others won’t go down unless they’re in their own crib. You know what works best for your little one, but be prepared for a possible shift in your baby’s preference the road.
What I’ve observed in Baby Boot Camp one optimal time to sneak in a cardio workout may be right after when your baby is well rested and fed not cranky and only slightly impatient)
Use Bribery: I know I know. All the parenting books tell us not to bribe our children. But when a meltdown is imminent and you just really want to get through all the intervals training, sometimes a bit of bribery is justified. Consider it your Mommy needs her exercise to stay sane line of defense. Use a bottle to keep your baby happy or, if your baby is being breast-fed exclusively feed him before you work out, then present him with a special toy that he doesn’t see at any other time.
For babies who’ve started on solid food, offer healthy snacks (e.g. soft whole-grain or cheesy crackers, chopped up banana) using a special snack cup that they only get to use while riding in their stroller. Stocking the stroller with toys or books can also help stave off a full-fledged revolt. Some times the promise of a fun activity, such as feeding the ducks or a trip to the nearby park can work, too.
Bottom line: Don’t give up until you find something that works for you and your child. Remember, it’s important for you to get your exercise, but it’s also important for your child to witness your dedication to your mental and physical health.