Losing those few extra pounds after giving birth can be a struggle, but not if you integrate exercise into your daily routine. Kate Kelly, Managing Editor for American Baby Magazine, has some tips.
One key thing that most new moms lack is energy. Between late night feedings, round-the-clock diaper changes and endless loads of laundry, mothers are exhausted! Don't use a lack of energy as an excuse not to exercise, though. Kelly says that getting exercise can help boost your energy level and your mood, so the extra effort is worth it in the end. "You'll be in a better mood, and that means your baby will be happier," says Kelly. "It's better for everybody."
Exercise doesn't have to take long - even just a few minutes will help. "Tell yourself, 'I'm just going to give it ten minutes,'" says Kelly. "Anybody can do anything for ten minutes." Once you get started, many women find that they actually do have the energy to keep going for 20 or 30 minutes - or longer. If you just can't make it through, though, don't give up. Try to work in small chunks of exercise throughout the day. Ten minutes here and five minutes there can add up to 30 - 40 minutes by night time.
Another excuse new moms have is that they don't have a babysitter to watch Junior while they go to the gym. Instead, "Go get the stroller. Go outside for a brisk walk," says Kelly. Integrate your child into your workout routine. Some fitness centers offer "Mommy and Me" classes that are specially designed for both new parents and children. If you can't locate a class in your area, consider joining up with other new moms, strapping on your baby carrier and going for a walk. "Or, if all else fails, when the baby's taking a nap, get out an exercise video," says Kelly. Every little bit of exercise counts.
It's important not to feel guilty about taking time for yourself. A short mental and physical break can do wonders for new moms, who are often over-stressed. "Working moms particularly feel guilty because they feel they're already away," says Kelly. "They have to spend every minute with the baby." If that's the case, consider working exercise into your daily office routine. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or join a gym near your office so you can work out during your lunch break. "At the end of the day, maybe your husband could trade off with you and watch the baby while you get a work out in," says Kelly. Whatever it takes, be sure to squeeze in time for exercise. The mental and physical benefits will be worth it in the end.
For more information on fitting exercise into your busy schedule, visit www.AmericanBaby.com by clicking here.
By Erin Petrun
Copyright 2009 CBS. All rights reserved.