Most women will benefit from exercising with their baby. Not only does this help keep baby calm and content, you have the added benefit of carrying around a few extra pounds of weight which will improve your muscle endurance.
This exercise will help tone your arms. It is easy to perform and you can do it anytime anywhere! It comes in handy particularly when you aren't supposed to be lifting anything heavier than your newborn! Be careful you always pay attention to your baby's comfort. This exercise should be done when your baby has some head control.
* Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
* Place the baby face down on your chest.
* Hold your baby firmly under the arms to anchor them safely.
* Slowly and very gently raise the baby off your chest.
* Gently lower your baby back onto your chest.
Many women gain weight in their lower body, particularly in the legs during pregnancy. This exercise will help tone your lower quadrant.
* Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
* Place your toes facing slightly out.
* Hold baby against your body or in an infant carrier.
* Slowly squat half way down to the floor.
* Slowly raise back up.
Be sure when doing Baby squats that you do not lock your knees and keep your abdomen tight and tucked in at all times. You can gradually increase the number of squats that you do as you get stronger.
This is another great exercise for toning your lower body.
* Stand with a chair placed in front of you for balance.
* Hold your baby.
* Slowly raise one knee at a time, while balancing your baby on your thighs.
* Repeat as you can, slowly increasing the number of knee raises as you get stronger and acquire more balance.
This one is a fun exercise for toning the abdomen. It is simply a twist on the traditional crunch!
* Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat.
* Place baby comfortably in a lying or sitting position across your tummy or chest.
* Slowly and gently lift your body upwards toward the ceiling.
Remember to take abdominal exercises slowly. Also avoid using your neck and concentrate on using your abdominals when raising your body to the ceiling.
Remember that you don't necessarily have to be holding your baby to benefit from exercising together. Many babies will enjoy simply being close to mom as she works out. For this reason it may make sense for you to invest in a work out video or two that you can do while watching your little one.
Baby lunges will also help tone your lower body. You can do these while in front of the television or while dancing to some music.
* Place your baby against your chest while standing up straight, preferably in an infant carrier.
* Stand with your feet three to four inches apart, and you hands on your hips.
* Keep abdomen tight to support your back.
* Starting with the right leg, take a large step forward. Your toes and your knee should be pointed directly in front of your body.
* Bend the right knee slightly with your foot on the floor. Your left heel should raise slightly.
* Lower your body straight down from this position. Your front knee should be over the ankle.
* Lower your body until your pelvis is in line with your front knee.
* Raise your body again and bring your left leg in to return to the standing position.
* Repeat with opposite leg.
Another great way to exercise is to strap baby in an infant carrier and go for a walk. Even better, pop in your favorite CD and dance around the house a little bit (be very careful about dancing however if your baby has a full tummy, she is likely to spit up on you)!