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How to combine exercise and life with a baby?

Are you a mom for a newborn? Or maybe pregnant and thinking how to look after yourself once your little sweetie needs all your attention? Our guest writer, holistic health coach and personal trainer Jenna Toivakka-Penttilä, gives new moms some great tips about combining exercise and life with a baby.

How to find a balance between a busy everyday life with a baby and still look after yourself and feel good? Many moms think about this same question and from my own experience this topic worries many people. Us moms often feel guilty if we take me-time to do things that are important for us and make us feel good.

But for the whole family´s wellbeing it is extremely important that us moms take time for ourselves and for exercising. No one can deny the benefits of exercising and the great feeling that it brings.

For me, exercising is one of the most important ‘feel good’ factors in my everyday life, especially now after I´ve given birth to our baby. I´ve always loved being active, it has been in a big part in my life. I also didn´t want this to change after I´ve given birth. I didn´t think about it while I was pregnant but once my baby was born I realised how challenging it was taking time for exercising, and it really required planning my schedule.

workout with a baby

Now, I´m sharing my own tips from the previous year.

This is how I managed to look after myself and exercise during the first year of my baby:

  • Plan your weekly workouts. Write them down in your calendar. Even better, have a calendar that you share with your partner. Once your workouts are written down, it is easier to make them happen. Write down what you are going to do and when. Book all the possible group training and yoga classes beforehand. I tend to plan my weekly workouts on Sundays and I´ve figured this is the best way for our family. Well planned is already half done.
  • Don´t feel guilty about exercising. Mom´s own wellbeing is extremely important for the whole family. An hour a day for yourself is not much and you have definitely deserved it.
  • Do your workouts at home. This way you save some time from travelling from home to gym. Get a workout plan which you can do in the convenience of your own home, or follow workout videos that you can find from the Internet. In these days, you don´t need to go to gym or yoga studio anymore. All you need is a laptop and your own yoga mat.
  • I recommend to follow some sort of workout program. This way you get better results as your workouts are consistent. I´d recommend to ask help from a fitness professional.
  • Pram jogs! The best possible way to be active! Brisk walking, make few squats every now and then, do lunges when going uphill. You can actually do pretty hard workouts with prams with just small adjustments. Once you´ve recovered from delivery, pram jogs are probably the easiest way to start being active again. Jogging prams can be fairly inexpensive too, or you can buy second-hand if you´re on a budget and you feel like pram jogs would be your thing.
  • Remember to take into account your pelvic floor and the gap between your abs. Go and get it checked with a physio before you start heavy workouts, or for example running.
  • Everyday activities. Try to be active every time you can. Carry your baby and walk up the stairs. Walk as much as you can. Catch up with your friends for a walk. Carry shopping bags and clean your house. All the “tasks” and home duties become a bit more fun when you think they can be a great chance to move your body and maybe even get some me-time. 😊
  • All the group training classes with babies are great! Your baby gets used to being around other babies too, and you might get some new mommy friends.
  • Check out some workouts with your baby from Pinterest or Youtube. I can highly recommend them!
  • Babies also might enjoy watching their moms exercising. My own baby happily plays next to me while I´m doing reps with dumbbells. Remember to give some kisses and attention to your baby once in a while. You can also use her/him as a weight. 😉


//Jenna Toivakka-Penttilä

Jenna Toivakka-Penttilä is a mum of an active 1 year old toddler, holistic health coach and personal trainer for women who want to look and feel good from the inside and out. She wants to inspire women to live healthy and balanced life, sweat and move their bodies every day and lead a happy and grateful life. She loves to spend time with her family, cook and bake healthy treats, try new workouts and spend time with her friends. From her blog (in Finnish) you can read more about her wellness philosophy (which includes regular cinnamon buns& green juices) http://www.lily.fi/blogit/jennajuulia-wellness Follow Jenna on Instagram: @Jennajuulia





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Ihana Society is Ihana Wellness´ online community for holistic wellness. Ihana Society members share a message about healthy lifestyle, guidance for exercise and good nutrition together with Ihana Wellness.

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