In one of my recent blogs I wrote about my goal to lose 10kg’s by the end of May 2016. I have been working on this goal since 8 January 2016 and am happy to report that I have lost 5.3kg since then! you can read my blog here.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes, five times a week and keep your calories under control, if you want to maintain a basic level of health and fitness and keep your weight down.
The following is one definition I found for the word “fit”:
‘In good health, especially because of regular physical exercise.”
Apart from exercise there are many other components to being healthy. For the purpose of this discussion I have to include diet and stress. We need to eat better and work on reducing our stress levels as well. Exercise on its own is not enough.
I am not an expert when it comes to exercise and I have no formal training or fitness qualification. I am a teacher by profession, with a keen interest in Health and Wellness, The Outdoors and Early Childhood Education. remaining healthy and fit, for as long as possible is very important to me so I make sure that I know what I need to do to enjoy quality of life.
My intention with writing this series of blogs is not to give you health and fitness advice but rather to share a solution to a problem I had, a problem I know many people have. All my knowledge is self-taught through reading, searching the internet and listening to seminars on my areas of interest.
Soon after my granddaughter, Kairo, was born and I started looking after her, I realised that it was going to be challenging finding time for exercise, let alone actually getting to the gym when caring for a baby most of the time. I like routine in my life but with Kairo’s parents having unpredictable schedules it was not easy for me to get into a set exercise routine.
What I want to share with you is how I solved a problem and made my situation work for me. This is for anyone who is serious about making a change and who wants to stop making excuses. I am writing this for people who are looking for solutions, not only for the new mom, who just had a baby.
I had my last child just over 23 years ago so I have no idea what being a new mom is about in this day and age. The only reason I am going to mention a baby is because I was looking after one, who took up most of my time and I had to become creative with getting my daily exercise done! … Oh and because she is adorable, lots of fun and I just love spending time with my beautiful granddaughter. the point I am trying to make is that you can do all of what I am sharing here with or without a baby.
My problem was finding 30 minutes, 5-6 days a week, at a fixed time, to exercise outdoors, while keeping Kairo entertained. I was faced with a challenge and this is how I became creative to find a solution for my problem.
I combined my passion for Health and Wellness, Early Childhood Education, the outdoors and my love for my granddaughter to tailor-make my own exercise program which provided the perfect solution for my time problem and the need to keep Kairo entertained.
I exercise for 30 minutes at home (on the patio, in the garden or indoors) 3 times per week and walk outdoors for 30-60 minutes in the neighbourhood 2 or 3 times per week, at a time that is convenient for me. I do all of this with Kairo and incorporate fun and educational activities into the routine to keep her interested, stimulated and happy.
I have used the internet to find ideas for exercising with a baby and have come up with a fun exercise program that suits my personal needs and at the same time keep Kairo stimulated and entertained. The exercises which I have selected provide a full body workout, requires no fancy equipment and can easily be done both outdoors or indoors even in bad weather.
I use Kairo’s baby equipment, toys and other items found around the house and pair different items with the same basic exercises, to make it interesting and to avoid the same routine day after day.
All you need to exercise outdoors is a pair of walking shoes. I always post pictures on social media of my walking shoes (I have only one pair which I use at the moment), you honestly only need one pair for a daily walk around the block. I post them on social media because for me it is a reminder that they are all I need to be active. If you are walking with a baby I suggest you invest in a stroller or a baby carrier, or both.
Find a stroller that has a fully reclining seat and is designed to lie flat for infants if you want to walk with your baby from birth. I am currently using the Stokke Xplory for walking with Kairo.
Choose a baby carrier that can be used both as a front and back carrier.
Babies love being close to you in the early months and you can cuddle and soothe them in a front carrier facing you. At a later stage, when their necks are stronger, you can have them face forward.
Kairo’s Stokke MyCarrier can be adjusted for carrying a baby in the front in a parent-facing and forward facing position as she grows. When she gets older we can also use it carry her on the back. I can’t wait to go hiking with her!
If you’re not into walking or hiking for exercise, carrying your baby in a baby carrier while you are busy with your daily activities, will burn calories too. If you don’t have a baby, just start moving more. Use the stairs, not the lift. Park in the furthest parking bay from the entrance when you go shopping. If you have stairs at home, make an effort to go up and down as many times as you can in a day. Walk on the spot when brushing your teeth, instead of standing still.
Before we get into my actual exercise program, which I will cover in my next blog, I want you to start thinking about the following:
EAT BETTER, MOVE MORE, STRESS LESS
In part 2 I will share with you a simple workout that will help you lose weight, tone muscles and have fun exercising with or without a baby!
Please join the discussion in the comments below and by using the hashtags #fitMOMents and #TheGlamWorkout on social media (Instagram and Twitter). Tag me and DJ Zinhle if you would like to be featured in one of our upcoming blogs where we will be sharing some of your fitness journey.
Life is Love