For Mom

Finding the Time to Exercise

When my eldest son was born, my friends and I joined a gym that offered babysitting. It was fabulous. The babies were happy (most of the time), and we got a chance to work off the baby fat. Exercising set a routine for my week and got me out of the apartment; it allowed me to spend time for myself, while my son was in a safe environment only a few feet away.

If you’ve had a C-section, like I did, you’ll need to wait at least six weeks before your doctor gives you the go ahead to bust a move. It’s hard to muster up the strength to make it to a yoga class, but in the end, exercise gives you the energy boost you need to help you through the day. Regular exercise after pregnancy can:

– Promote weight loss
– Improve your cardiovascular fitness
– Restore muscle strength
– Build back your abdominal muscles
– Boost your energy level
– Improve your mood
– Relieve stress
– Help prevent postpartum depression

Here are a few suggestions to help you get motivated:

For a small additional fee, many gyms offer in-house childcare. The entry age for babies is different at every club, so make sure you ask. Hiring a personal trainer can be expensive, but having someone push you to the limit while having a weekly scheduled “date” is perfect motivation if you can afford it.

My favorite workout gear when I was pre- and postnatal is lululemon. They have comfortable, breathable and flattering clothes—you could wear them all day. In fact, I sometimes do post workout—shhh, don’t tell.

Let’s face it, trying to exercise while the baby is napping can be tough. There are a million things to do when you’ve got a quiet moment, and sometimes Facebook seems like a better option. That said, including your baby in your exercise program might be the perfect solution. There are some great Mommy and Baby classes out there. Stroller Fitness is very popular. I’ve seen a ton of moms pushing strollers while doing some serious squats.

If you stay at home with the kids, find someone else who does too and swap an hour while you workout. The next day you do the same for them.

Invest in a sturdy jogging stroller, put on a pair of running shoes and hit the ground running or go for a brisk walk. The Schwinn Turismo Swivel Single Jogger gets good reviews. A 30-60 minute walk can give you all the exercise you need to feel great. After giving birth, going on walks with your baby can be the perfect way to ease into a fitness routine.

What’s your fitness routine? I’d love to hear your tips.


  1. 1

    I don’t have a fitness routine but I would like one. The thought of putting on a DVD when my baby sleeps is always a plan but I seem to throw it aside to do other things. I like your idea about baby swapping with a friend. Thanks for the tips. Love the site.

  2. 2

    I have a Wii fit, and use it for the step aerobics (I’m almost 6 months pregnant now). They have a “free step” feature, so you can do your stepping while watching your favorite TV show.
    I also joined the gym, so I can start swimming. They have a mommy and me swim class, for when baby gets a little older. My mom did this with me and my sister, and she loved that we got familiar with the water as well as bonded with her.

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    Great post. I think it’s so important for kids to see Mom’s taking care of themselves – it teaches them a great lesson.
    As someone who is just trying to conceive and has no children yet – I had no idea a C-Section required 6 weeks of no oversize. Yikes.

  5. 5

    I started walking every night while I was pregnant. After having my son, I kept it up as a nightly routine for him to get out of the house and calm down before bedtime. So, every night after dinner we all take about an hour walk. He’s walking now and loves to join us, and I love the idea that it is creating a good sense of health and wellness in my son. Often when he’s done walking he asks to go in the stroller and then falls asleep until we get home and settle him into bed. I was a gym and sports gal before having him, but walking really has been the best way for me to keep a consistent routine. I’m never too tired for a simple walk! Plus, I had no trouble losing the baby weight– and fast!

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    I think there are larger societal issues pertaining to women losing weight after childbirth and it’s important to exercise and lose weight for yourself in a timely fashion. Men sometimes forget that we are the provider and food source to our newborn babies and its unhealthy to expect our old bodies after bearing children. It also angers me when the Betheny Frankel’s of the world lose 30 pounds in 5 days (or whatever) as they live in the celebrity world, not the real world of becoming a mother. BTW, I wear my lululemons all the time too.

  8. 9

    As a father of two young children your article brought a smile to my face.
    My wife and I invested in a jogging stroller and spent considerable time testing different brands and makes before making our decision.
    My neighbours still see one of us in the evenings and early mornings taking the kids out for a run while giving the other a much needed break.

  9. 10

    Exercise is paramount to mental well-being and we all know that. Living in Manhattan I found walking so theraputic. When I had my daughter I was so fortunate to have formed a new friendship with a new mom. She and I walked from Chelsea to the East Village and back every day for the first 7 or 8 months immediately after having given birth. It helped beat the winter blues. Then I met a bunch cool gals and joined the gym with them (with child care).

  10. 11

    I feel so bad after reading this. I am one of those moms who are just too lazy to exercise. After giving birth to my daughter, I lost a great deal of my energy and never seemed to have gotten it back.

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    Oh No, Rona! Don’t ever feel bad about the way your feeling after having “produced a human being”…it takes a lot out of you. And then the upkeep…whew! What I didn’t clarify is that my walking buddy was the one who called and got me out every day. I was lucky to have her (and then the girlfriends with whom I went to the gym). Just find one motivated mom and latch on!

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