Fitness

Gemma McCaw reveals how she keeps fit now that she's a new mum to baby Charlotte

How to boost your energy as a new mother – and beyond!

By Gemma McCaw
Raising kids can be quite a workout in itself and as most mums will know, keeping fit can be a real challenge.
Since welcoming little Charlotte, I've found my days now revolve around sleeping, feeding, changing and playing. And in those early days, it was difficult to fit in a shower, let alone think about exercise!
But I've found that even when exercise feels like the last thing I want to do, I never regret doing it.
For me, on those trying days, it's about putting one foot in front of the other and knowing how good I will feel afterwards.
The benefits are huge, both mentally and physically, and it really helps set myself up for a good day. It gives me the much-required energy boost I need and the chance to clear my head.

Exercise with some buddies

There are plenty of great postnatal exercise classes for mums and bubs, and these are a great way to bond with your baby and socialise with other mothers too. Alternatively, phone a friend to plan a hill or park walk – it's always easier to stay motivated when you commit to doing it with someone else!

Plan your workouts in advance

Try scheduling your exercise. As your baby's sleep times become more predictable, you'll be able to develop a good routine and be less likely to skip workouts.

Look after your own health

Exercising is hard when you're sleep deprived, but put your best foot forward by eating nutritiously and drinking plenty of water.
When you're tired, you often make poor food choices as your body craves sugar for a quick pick-me-up, but this just leaves you feeling more fatigued and even impacts your sleep. Make a commitment to form one or two healthy habits that will help you feel good, such as walking every day or drinking more water.

Pound the pavement

Aim to get out for a walk every morning with your baby in the front pack or pram. Start slowly at first and generally increase the time you spend walking. Fresh air can help reinvigorate you when you're lacking sleep and walking in those first few months can make a huge difference to your mood. Plus, babies often sleep well with the gentle rocking motion of a pram!

Get some help

If you're a stay-at-home mum, try getting up half an hour earlier to do some exercise in the morning before your partner goes to work. Alternatively, ask your partner or a caregiver to mind your baby for 30 minutes in the evening while you get out for a walk or gentle run around your neighbourhood.
It's so important to give yourself a much-needed break and have some time to yourself.

Keep it short and sweet

Time is precious when you have young kids, so look for ways to incorporate exercise into your day.
If you're at home, why not try a quick body-weight workout in your living room? Just a 15-minute circuit of easy exercises can get your heart rate up. Try 30 seconds of squats, lunges, press-ups, sit-ups and tricep dips, having one minute rest between each set. Aim for three sets and see how great you feel!

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