You Can Have a Baby and Exercise, Too. Here’s How.

If you like to exercise, chances are you’re a creature of habit. Same time, same station, same gym, same jogging route, same playlist.

We like it this way because it keeps us on a schedule. It makes our efforts almost non-negotiable, unskippable, and part of our routine. Just like eating, sleeping, and brushing our teeth.

But now you’ve discovered that a baby is on the way, and how in the world is this going to work logistically? How will you find the time to have a baby and exercise, too?

You will, and not only that, but don’t forget you’re an athlete, and athletes are all about adaptation, perseverance, drive, and persistence – hardcore skills you’re going to employ as a rock star parent.

Image via Flickr/ A.M. Silverman

Mark it down. You’re going to bring this baby into the world, and you’re still going to stay fit.

But now that you’re a parent or parent-to-be, it’s all about placing your child’s needs before your own. But exercise and babies can mix! So the good news is you can probably exercise with little peanut in tow. And the even better news is that you can start training your child to make exercise part of his/her life from the get-go. 

{ MORE: Here's Your Permission To Skip Exercise During Pregnancy }

Have baby, will travel

If jogging, walking, or biking is your thing, you don’t need me to tell you that there’s plenty of cool jogging strollers and bike carts out there. Today’s models are so nice that you don’t need to fear venturing into the cold or any kind of inclement weather. Your little one will stay warm and dry, and nothing the outdoors delivers will hold you back. Of course, you should consult a pediatrician before knowing when a baby is fit to bring on the trail; your feet don’t feel the bumps on the road like tires do, and it could be too much jostling around for a baby’s brain. All of which might mean you may want to invest in a reliable home treadmill to keep you rolling along. However, if weights are your thing, that brings up a similar topic …

Home gym

Not every gym will offer childcare services. So it could be time to explore investing in a home gym. You don’t need to spend thousands right away. Build your gym over time. And if you insist on going all out but simply aren’t prepared to drop a few thousand on exercise equipment, you could always look at it as an investment – an investment in your health now rather than investing a lot more in health care later as you age due to complications. That’s what prevention is all about, and it’s hard to place a price tag on that.

Lead by example

Children learn by watching us. And there’s no better way to kick start your child’s lifelong quest for good health by letting them see you make it a part of your routine. If you think there’s no time to exercise now, think just the opposite. There’s no better reason to continue exercising or even up your game. Just as it is with reading, it’s so important to let your children see you doing it, and inviting them to join in with you as well.

It’ll pay dividends

We all like to get our kids involved with sports at a young age, and getting them acclimated to exercise is a fundamental building block for any sport. So, start doing it with them now, because doing so will prep them for any other sport they might undertake. It will even help them in school during gym class. Let them tinker with some very light hand weights, or test the treadmill – and I must stress, all within your arm’s reach supervision. If they’re too young, let them sit in the playpen and watch you. Doing so will only jumpstart their interest. 

{ MORE: Trying New Things to Keep Exercising Fun }

How did you deal with exercise and babies?

What do you think?

You Can Have a Baby and Exercise, Too. Here’s How.

Tom Konecny is a dad of four children and husband to wife, Erika. Tom currently serves as a private consultant in writing, communications and marketing. In 2013, Tom founded Dad Marketing, a site dedicated to exploring the world of marketing to dads. He previously worked in sports marketing, served as an associate editor and writer for several publications, and directed an award-winning corporate marketing department. His first book, "DADLY Dollar$" will be published this summer, and he is c ... More

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