Walk this way: the best workouts for new mums
8 ways for new mums to get the best workout from walking
Ok, so it’s a busy time being a new mum and you might not have your exercise mojo back for getting to the gym right now. And that’s fine because there is a way you can stay fit and healthy and it costs absolutely nothing.
Walking is the best exercise for a new mum and one you can do as soon as you feel ready after having a baby. You can do it every day, it’s low impact, easy on the joints and it’s an activity that involves your baby so no need to worry about occupying them while you workout.
So if you’re serious about walking check out these steps to get the best out of your walk.
1. Start slow: It’s important to build your pace gradually, particularly as a new mum. You are much better to start off with short bursts of exercise and build it up. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure at the beginning, a 10 minute walk is a great place to start and you can increase the time as your fitness grows.
Concentrate on maintaining proper walking posture and avoid leaning either forward or backward. Walk tall and breathe in that lovely fresh air.
2. Speed up: Gradually increase your pace to get your heart beating faster. You’ll still be able to talk but may feel a bit breathless. By setting a brisk pace, you can burn up to 150 calories in 30 minutes. Who knows, you may even invest in a jogging buggy and take it the next level (or not, it’s totally up to you!)
3. Go uphill: Adding an incline will help your overall fitness and your legs, stomach and upper arms will benefit in particular. You’ll feel the burn though so do some stretches afterwards.
4. Safety in numbers: Enlist a friend or group of pals to come along. You’ll be so busy chatting that you’ll cover a greater distance without even noticing. Or join a mother and baby group and see if there is any interest in setting up a regular walking event. Don’t be shy, there are many mothers in the same boat and there’s no reason why you can’t all help each other.
5. Join a buggy fitness class: These classes are nationwide so you may find one nearby. Classes last up to an hour and include a three to five mile walk, with plenty of squats and push ups along the way. Plus there’s the benefit of company.
6. Track progress - and set goals: Get a pedometer or download a walking fitness app on your phone and see how much ground you are covering. It will spur you on to walk faster and further. If you walk briskly for 30 minutes a day and get to a total of 10,000 steps doing other stuff (well let’s face it it is pretty achievable in your ‘post baby life’ you’ll be burning 400-500 calories a day
7. Best foot forward: Invest in a decent pair of trainers. The last thing you want is sore feet, bunions or blisters from ill fitting footwear. It’s worth spending a little extra to get the right fit. Comfort is everything for walking to really make a difference.
8. Push yourself whenever you can: Park at the far end of the car park and walk and talk whenever you’re on the phone.