If you have been released by your doctor to work out after having a baby, you are likely thinking about the logistics of working out at home with your newborn. Having a baby to care for can make it a bit more challenging to fit in a high-quality workout. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier and increase your likelihood of reaching your fitness goals.
Set realistic expectations
The types of goals you set for working out at home with your newborn will have a big impact on whether or not you feel successful. It takes time for you and the baby to adjust to your new lives. This means that you will not have a schedule that is 100% predictable for a while. You will work on creating that schedule for you and the baby but in the beginning, you are going to have to make sure your expectations are realistic. Is it possible to get in a workout at home when you have a new baby? Yes. Will you be able to work out at exactly the same time every day? No, not at first. Can you make progress toward your fitness goals when you have a newborn? Yes. Will lack of sleep, time, and divided attention impact your progression toward those goals? Most likely, yes. It is good to have big goals that you are striving for when it comes to fitness. But be sure and create space in your life for the fact that you have a new human to care for – things may come up that require you to make adjustments.
Set the stage for getting in your workout
Finding the time to work out when you have a newborn at home can be a challenge. You need to set yourself up for success as much as possible before the time comes when you can actually work out. For example, working out at home will require a space in which to do it, the proper attire, some equipment, and possibly some technology. If you have a short window of time to work out while your child is napping or in a content mood, you do not want to spend half of that window of time preparing to work out. Set up the space where you plan to work out in advance. This may mean putting up some toys, pushing back furniture, and laying out equipment. If you can do that in some spare moments throughout the day it will be one less thing to do when it is time to work out. Put on your workout clothes in the morning, even if it is going to be a few hours before you get around to working out. If you have videos to watch while you work out or a specific program to follow, get all of that queued up in advance. Giving up ten or fifteen minutes for prep when you only have thirty minutes to work out can be discouraging. Protect against this by prepping for your workout session in advance.
Decide if you want to incorporate your baby into the process
There are a couple of different ways to approach working out at home with your newborn. You can aim to workout while your child is sleeping/occupied or opt to incorporate your baby into the process. If you want to get in an intense, focused workout each day it will be difficult to do while your baby is awake. Your child’s needs are the priority so it is likely that you will be interrupted at some point during your workout. You can workout while your newborn naps as long as you are willing to be flexible on when you work out – it may take some time to get the baby on a predictable nap schedule.
Another option is to incorporate your baby into the process. For example, if your baby loves to be strapped to you in a wearable carrier, you can use the extra weight to help with resistance training moves. The intensity of your workout will be impacted if you incorporate your baby into the process because you will need to be careful about the baby’s safety and cognizant of his or her needs. However, the newborn stage only lasts for a short time so you will be able to get back to higher intensity workouts as your child gets on a predictable schedule.
If you are looking for a program to follow that can be done completely at home, take a look at MAPS Anywhere. This program can help you get in your workout at home with minimal equipment and see real results. There is no one right way to work out at home with your newborn. You have to find the rhythm that works best for you and your baby.