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10-Minute Workouts To Do While Baby Naps (Part 1)

We’ve got three workouts you can fit in while baby’s snoozin’ in the afternoon or kicking away in her bouncy seat. Each mini routine is a series of three simple moves that shape up your entire body, especially the core and back muscles you need to strengthen for toting baby around. If you only have 10 minutes, do just a set or two of each exercise and then gradually add sets until you’ve worked up to a 20- or 30-minute workout.

Before you move:

• Check with your doctor or midwife first before starting to exercise postpartum. Most will recommend that you wait until six weeks after giving birth. If you had a c-section or a difficult delivery, they may recommend you wait a little longer.

• Your doctor will also tell you to warm up before you start to exercise. But because the clock is ticking when baby is sleeping, get your heart rate up in a practical way by cleaning the house for five or 10 minutes first, suggests Andrea Metcalf, certified trainer and author of Naked Fitness.

Feeling-Zen Workout

Yoga is an excellent way to energize, relieve stress, and regain the flexibility and strength you had prebaby. Try this routine from prenatal and postpartum yoga instructor Jennifer Wolfe.

What you need : A flat surface

The moves :

1. Plank
Start in a hands-and-knees position with your hands directly under your shoulders, and hands, knees and feet hip-width apart. Make sure your pelvis is in a neutral position (not tilted too far forward or arched back) and your chest and hips are at the same height. Then gradually lift up your knees until your torso is parallel to the floor. While you hold this position for as long as you can, pull your navel into your spine to engage the abdominal muscles. If you have a hard time holding this position on your toes, drop to your knees until you get stronger.

2. Downward Dog
From plank, shift back on your heels as you lift your hips up and press your chest toward your thighs, making an upside-down “V” with your body. Gently press your heels toward the ground and take five long, deep breaths.

3. Bring It Home Continue to move in smooth alternating motions from plank pose to downward dog, back to plank and so on, until you’re ready to finish. At that point, hold plank for a couple of breaths, then gently drop your knees, sit back on your heels and stretch your upper body forward along the floor into a child’s pose, and rest for a few moments.

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