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5 tips on squeezing in exercise as a busy (and exhausted) mum

If your birth was relatively straightforward, you can start very gentle exercise whenever you feel ready. With that said, it’s always a good idea to wait until after your six week checkup to try anything more strenuous.

But let’s be honest, even if you’re feeling like your body could physically handle it, fitting in exercise after having a baby is no easy feat.

Of course there are things you can do like joining a postnatal exercise class, getting up before everybody else to fit in a workout session, or asking your partner, friend, or relative to watch the baby while you exercise. But if that all feels a little much right now, then 1. we get you and 2. here are some super simple ways to squeeze more activity into your life.

1. Notice what you’re already doing

You might think of yourself as someone who doesn’t do any exercise but that’s probably not true. Carrying around your baby day in and day out, for example, who - we might add - will be getting heavier and heavier, certainly counts as a weight training programme.

2. Start small

Even 10 minutes of exercise each day can make a huge difference. How about a quick yoga video or some low-impact HIIT exercises? Choose a time that will almost always work - like just after you’ve put your little one down for their nap - so it’s easier to stick to.

3. Take the opportunities as they come

Really simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift can make a real difference if they’re things you do every single day. Waiting for a bottle to sterilise? Do some squats holding your little (or not so little) one! Doing tummy time? Try a plank!

4. When in doubt, walk

There’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ walk. In fact, this is the perfect way to re-introduce exercise postnatally. Not only is it great to get your body moving again, but being in the fresh air comes with plenty of benefits too, such as increased energy levels. So unfold the buggy or strap up the baby carrier, and stretch those legs.

5. Act like a kid

If you’ve got a toddler, you’ll know that they NEVER STOP. But instead of fighting it, why not join in? Run around the garden, dance in the living room, or even have a go on the monkey bars at the playground.

The thing about postpartum exercise is not to push it. If you really need a nap rather than a workout, take a nap. Your body has been through a lot, and will tell you what it needs… if you’re listening carefully enough.