Working Out With Baby

by Lauren Matthies


Working out with Henry is very different than working out without him. In fact, I would say I haven't really gotten in a "workout" since he got here. My body is different, works differently, and feels different. Also, I have a baby that needs me and always wants to be held, fed, and loved on. He is my priority. I would love to be one of those moms with a perfectly toned body, one who you look at and can't believe she ever had a baby. Maybe one day I will be, but for now I get in physical activity when I can in what I like to think of as "playing with my baby."

The main thing I think one needs to consider when working out with a baby is that it should be baby led. In other words, Henry determines what we do and for how long we do it. I may have a goal in mind, but the second he is fussy or lets me know that he wants to do something else or needs my attention, I follow his lead. There are kisses and cuddles between sets and mid set. I talk to him, I look at him, I move his body so that he is "working out" too. Moreover, I make sure that he is always safe and protected. He definitely adds weight to my workouts, but he is not a weight, he is my child. When I use him as a "weight" I make sure it is playful and he is protected. Similarly, when he is near me, I make sure that he is at a safe distance and I am in control so that I don't risk hurting him. If I don't feel comfotable with him being under me or by me, he will sit in his stroller so that he can see me. My "workouts" definitely don't last as long and aren't as intense. I don't get "credit" for our walks because my fitbit doesn't register motion on my wrist when pushing the stroller. All that said, I have a new priority and I get to learn to be active and healthy in a new way, with my baby. As much as I belive it is important for me to exercise, I also believe it is important for Henry to see me being active and to be active himself. My desire is for him to grow up not knowing any other way so that leading a healthy lifestyle is something he does by default.

Below are some clips of my "workouts," aka our physical fitness play time.  I've shortened them so you can get some ideas for your own workouts, but remember that the full versions contain much more distraction and down time.  Have fun with your baby and enjoy the "workout" that you get during the process.