Exercise and Fitness

Fitness and Exercise

How many times have you said to yourself, I need to exercise more and eat better? More than once I bet. The important thing to remember is that it does not have to be overly time consuming or expensive. You just need to make the most of the time you have allocated to exercising.

It’s quite important to have pretty good physical fitness as a parent, especially when you’re trying to keep up with the needs of a baby or toddler. There never seems to be enough time in the day and often parents are not very good at making time for themselves. However, making time for exercise will be of benefit to the whole family. It’s something that you can do together, you’ll have more energy for your children, you will feel better about yourself, you’ll sleep better and that’s just a few of the benefits.

We’ve heard from many of our Huggies Baby Club members about how they would like to regain their pre-pregnancy fitness and perhaps even lose a little weight. It’s obviously important to you so we’ve arranged for Monica Rich, a midwife, Lactation consultant and personal trainer to provide you with some healthy living tips and a fitness program to follow that will help you to make some positive changes and create a fitter you.

Who is Monica Rich?

Monica is a registered midwife, Lactation consultant and personal trainer. She has put together a set of basic fitness and exercise guidelines for all women wanting to get a little healthier. She has also written a specific exercise program for pregnant women and one for mums Both are simple, sensible and easy to follow.

The benefits of exercise

Exercise has many benefits including:

  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Increased bone density
  • Increased base metabolism
  • Increased energy levels
  • Increased self confidence
  • Decrease in body fat
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • And a lowering of many health risks.

In simple terms, you’ll feel better and you’ll be able to keep up with your children. You will also be setting a great example for the kids and hopefully get them away from the TV screen.

Basic Fitness Tips

  • Start slow and build up your pace. Like all lifestyle changes exercise should be regular, sustainable and realistic.
  • Grab any opportunity. Time may not be as freely available as prior to your baby’s arrival, so you need to get active whenever the opportunity arises.
  • Think differently about exercise. Be adaptable and flexible around your circumstances and try to make physical activity a part of your day. Even gardening and vacuuming are good physical activity.

Get Active Everyday

  • Aim for about 30 minutes of physical activity a couple of times a week.
  • A brisk walk is ideal and is even better if you’re pushing a pram and bub.
  • Make the most of surrounding parks, ovals, walkways and local pools. If you can spare the money you can try gyms (with a crèche) and local community centres for classes such as Yoga or Pilates.
  • Try a variety of activities such as walking, cycling or swimming. Keep the variation up so that you don’t get bored.
  • Joining a gym can offer you a great range of group exercise classes and can also encourage a greater commitment since you have already spent the money and feel bad about wasting it.
  • If a gym or the outdoors is not for you then have a look at the huge range of home exercise videos and DVD’s.
  • If you miss a day don’t be tough on yourself but use it as motivation to get back into it as soon as you can.
  • Start out slowly, take it easy and give your body time to adapt.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Ask yourself if you can walk rather than drive and use every opportunity to be active.
  • Don’t just watch the Wiggles, HI-5 or other entertainer with your child, get up and dance and move to the music. It takes more effort than you think and get you moving.
  • Remember, if it causes pain then stop the exercise (and we don’t mean give up because you’re getting tired).
  • Warming up and cooling down after exercise is very important.

For more information see Women’s fitness or Parenting.