Do you think of exercise and immediately picture a fitness centre with complicated machines and impossibly hard, high tempo exercise classes? This can be scary for anyone, let alone a new parent who is isn’t sleeping well and adjusting to life with a new baby.
Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be built into everyday routines. Every little bit counts.
Ideas to add physical activity to your daily routine:
- take the stairs instead of the elevator
- go for walks with your baby, increasing the speed over time
- play actively with the children
- walk instead of driving for short trips
- work in the garden
- use your baby as a weight and do lunges and squats at home
Take some time to write down reasons why you haven’t started exercising, then come up with solutions to overcome these barriers.
Physical activity can help with depression by:
- releasing “feel good” chemicals
- increasing self-esteem and confidence
- it can be a distraction or “time-out” from daily stressors and worries
- gives time for social interaction, which will help if you’re feeling lonely
- improving sleep
- increasing energy levels
Physical activity can also help with infant attachment. Parents who are depressed may have a hard time interacting with their baby, being active with your baby can help.
Remember to start slow and set realistic goals for yourself!
Always check with you health care provider when returning to physical activity and drink lots of water to keep hydrated.