Emotional Health · Parenting

Feeling depressed? Physical activity may help

I’m sure the last thing most new, sleep deprived parents are thinking about is squeezing exercise into an already busy schedule!  However, what if I told you that it can be done as part of your regular daily routine?

We all know it’s important to be active but did you know that physical activity:

  • releases chemicals in the body that make us feel happier
  • can be a ‘time out’ or break from daily stress or worries
  • helps us get out of the house and meet people so we don’t feel so alone
  • increases energy levels
  • helps improve sleep
  • boosts self-esteem
  • gives us healthier muscles, bones, and joints to reduce the risk of major diseases
  • is a good way to interact with your baby?

Physical activity doesn’t have to be hard or cost money, and it can be built into everyday routines.  Every little bit counts!

Tips to get your heart pumping and muscles working:

  • Go for walks with your baby, increasing the speed over time
  • Take the stairs when possible instead of an elevator
  • Join a postnatal fitness class at a local recreation centre (some centres offer free classes)
  • Use a pedometer to track your daily steps and try to increase it
  • Dance with your baby
  • Use your baby as a weight and do lunges and squats at home.
  • If you enjoy going to fitness clubs, find one that offers free childcare while you exercise
  • Remember to hydrate with water before, during, and after activity!

Always consult with your health care provider before starting to exercise to be sure it’s safe for you and your baby.

To learn more on how to feel better faster connect with our Public Health Nurse via eChat or call (416) 338-7600.

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