Having young children can often be seen as a barrier to becoming fit, especially if paying for childcare is not an option.
A bigger issue than finding the time to do it may actually be motivation, yet once you start your exercise programme, as long as you enjoy it and you see and feel the benefits, it generally becomes easier and easier to find the motivation to stick to it.
A way of overcoming time and childcare barriers may be to actually exercise with your children. It may already be your routine to go for a walk with the pram, and this is a very good opportunity to get in some challenging exercise. A good example is doing intervals of 5-10 squats straight into a 2 minute brisk walk or 5 burpees and then a one minute brisk hill walk or jog. Rest could be active by walking at a slower pace, and working at a work to rest ratio of 1:1 or 1:2. Squats and lunges – with good balance – are also possible with a baby in a sling, or both sling and pram!
If you were able to exercise before and during pregnancy it will be relatively easy to get back your pre pregnancy fitness. However if you were not doing regular exercise during pregnancy you may definitely notice your lack of fitness. However don’t let this deter you, use it as motivation for getting fit and strong and back into good shape. Set yourself realistic goals. For instance this could be to complete a 5km charity run, which could be broken into smaller goals along the way such as exercising 3 times a week for 20 minutes however intense it may be.
Another barrier could be self consciousness about doing exercise in a public space. A barrier I have come across myself but one that you can over come with time, generally getting fitter gives you more confidence and meeting up with friends or family to exercise will also make you feel more comfortable.
Some gyms may accept you taking your baby along. For example PFP in Marsh Barton, Exeter, owned by James Buckingham often have mothers in the gym with their pushchair and baby parked in the corner.
I realise that this is all easier said the done, but every one should feel that they have the possibility to exercise and become fit and healthier, and we should not have to sacrifice this. After all, the more fit and healthy we are the longer we will be around for our children, plus setting a very good example for them to follow.
For more advise please feel free to contact me, I would love to help.