Being a mum is a physically demanding job. So much so that you'd be surprised by just how much you move on a day to day basis. Christie Houghton explains how some daily 'mum movements' are actually functional exercises, and how you can make sure you are moving safely and effectively in your everyday life as a mum.
Being a mum is a physically demanding job. So much so that you'd be surprised by just how much you move on a day to day basis.
Early days with a little baby can see endless jiggling, shushing and swaying to settle. Combine this with getting up and down off the couch, picking things up off the floor, lifting, pushing the buggy, twisting and carrying the capsule – you are looking at an action-packed day! Not to mention performing many of these tasks single handedly while holding bubs (a weight that is only going to get heavier).
This may not seem like much, but these daily 'mum movements' are essential functional exercises that replicate those we would do in the gym. Take a moment now to reflect on all you do on a daily basis – list it first as the task and then the related gym exercise alongside.
You’ll notice squats, lunges, deadlifts, rotations as well as push and pull motions are listed and appear more than once as you find yourself repeating movements often. So why not start having fun with it?
Going from a kneeling position on the floor to standing is essentially a lunge. Repeating this as many times as you can fit into a minute and I promise you your legs will be feeling it – especially if holding bubs at the same time!
Try adding mini movement challenges such as these into your day:
- Add 10 sit-to-stands from the couch after every feed.
- Complete 2 x 10 elevated press-ups while standing at the change table.
- Add 10 walking lunges and a set of 15 tricep dips into your next walk.
Once again, checking in with how your body is feeling, identifying any contraindications and ensuring you are moving safely with exercises that fit your body's needs is essential.
This isn’t restricted to the early days either. As your baby gets older (and heavier) we start talking about a natural progressive overload. Movements you were easily doing with a 5kg baby are slightly more taxing with a 20kg toddler.
As mums we need to be match fit to be mum fit! Fit to run after our children, strong to lift them when they get tired, and fast to beat them at their own game. Ensuring you are moving safely and effectively in your everyday life as a mum and forming active daily habits is a great first step to ensuring you can do this with them in the later years also.
Christie runs Active Soul in Auckland, New Zealand. To find out more about her and get in touch, click here.
You can also find her on Instagram.