After my second baby, I lost over a stone in weight (14lb) and toned up – all by working out at home with a toddler and a young baby. At no point was it easy but there are certain hacks that made it easier which I am going to share with you today.
1. Include your kids
Stella loves step ups; she pulls up her little chair next to mine and goes up and down as I do. Not only does this keep her entertained but it is a valuable in normalising an exercise routine into everyday life. On Mothers’ Day I came down from my lie in and she and my husband had made me breakfast. She went running off and got my foam mat, “mummy loves to do her exercises before breakfast.”
Including the baby can also be done whether it is a baby yoga class, using them as the weight, or whether they are kept entertained by the sight of mum jumping up and down.
2. Wear activewear
On the days I don’t get my exercise done first thing I still put on my active wear. I wait for that opportune moment (normally nap time) to get my workout in and don’t have to waste a second getting my leggings on. Those golden moments of peace whilst they are sleeping are not to be wasted by finding the last clean workout bra. Of course there is the double bonus that it is so comfy to be in leggings all day!
3. Invest in a jogging buggy
Don’t underestimate the importance of low intensity exercise in your routine. The body chooses which fuel to burn for energy depending on your heart rate. By keeping your heart rate at 60-75% of your max for an extended period of time (40 mins) you are most likely to burn some serious fat. For me that is achieved by walking as fast as I can before I break into a jog, about 9km/hour. As I have two kids I have found a double jogger a really handy piece of kit. I can still push it fast – even at a jog if i want – with both kids in it. Let me tell you, pushing 41kg of kids and buggy is a WORKOUT.
4. Don’t underestimate the exercise involved in walking with your kid in a sling
For similar reasons as above don’t underestimate how much fat you will burn walking at a fast pace with your child in a sling. The heavier your child gets the more important it is to invest in a good quality sling that will distribute the child’s weight to your hips rather than your lower back. I have an ergo baby sling which works well but Arthur weighs 12kg now so I do struggle to do a whole 40 minutes.
I don’t know about you but I get jealous of all the pics on instagram of girls in fancy gyms. For me I have very little kid-free time and on maternity leave I couldn’t afford a gym membership so at home workouts had to do. The great thing is you can get a really good workout in without any fancy equipment. I still use an ikea stool or a chair for my step ups. I use my husband’s rusty old weights and I invested £5 in a skipping rope. My home gym is my kitchen. The beauty of it is that it is always open and you are right near the fridge for when you finish.