Sport and baby: walk your way to fitness!

In today's world of social networks and the #Fitmum hashtag, do you see yourself joining the ranks of the sporty mothers? Follow our guide!

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During pregnancy

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Congratulations, a positive pregnancy test! Once the euphoria has died down, your head is sure to start filling up with questions.

The one we are most interested in here is whether or not it is a good idea to practise sport during your pregnancy. Well, I'm afraid to say that there's no universal answer. Each case is individual and depends on three main factors:

1. Which sport? Fitness walking is the ideal activity to do when you are pregnant. It is a gentle sport that allows you to keep your heart-rate steady, just like your breathing (you should never get out of breath).

2. How often? If, pre-pregnancy, you used to go swimming twice and walking once a week, you can carry on with this routine. It is especially important not to fall into the trap of increasing your physical activity during your pregnancy. Don't forget that you will have a few extra pounds to carry, which will increase the pressure you put on your body. If you are not used to this amount of exercise, you may end up with an injury.

3. Which recommendations should you follow? It's important to seek advice from your GP or midwife. They will know what is best for you.

Keeping active and on the move during your pregnancy will help your body release endorphins, which are beneficial for both you and your baby. Keeping active and on the move during your pregnancy will help you preserve muscle mass, which you will need when you are looking after your baby. Keeping active and on the move during your pregnancy means you will be tired, but not too busy yet... Really, you will see what I mean in a few months' time! ;).

 

After giving birth

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Congratulations, you are the proud mother of a precious bundle of joy!

You must feel on top of the world! Even with all the love you have for your baby, things are now getting a little more complicated because you are tired AND busy (and this is set to continue for a while yet...).

A good way for you to get some rest is to wear your baby out. No, this doesn't make you a bad mum, because if your baby is tired, it means that he/she has learnt a lot today thanks to you and your walking buggy! Buggy walking is very similar to running with a jogging buggy/stroller. It may seem like a simple enough concept to understand, but there are still some basic guidelines to follow:

1. For baby: Remember to keep baby wrapped up warm, as he/she will be sitting still. It is also important to get the go-ahead from your GP or paediatrician before you start doing this activity together. This is because your baby needs to be old enough to hold up his/her head independently while sitting (this sport is designed for pushchairs/strollers, and not prams). You will also need to choose a special jogging/walking buggy to ensure the activity is comfortable for both of you. And finally, as a doting mother, I'm sure you are already well acquainted with these recommendations (if not more!), and you must already be aware of the soothing powers of a moving pushchair (aka, your new best friend!). Now, all you have to do is pick the best time of day to go out, because if you need to eat and drink, you can be sure that your baby does too (except you don't cry when you're hungry...).

2. For you: to ensure your own well-being, it is advisable to wait until you have finished your post-partum re-education before you embark on this new adventure. It's also important to remember that pushing a buggy will require more effort than you happily skipping along by yourself. But it's a great way to make progress in fitness walking, while you watch your baby smiling at everyone you pass (if he/she isn't already dozing!).

Keeping active and on the move with baby will strengthen your bond and introduce him/her to new sights and sensations. Keeping active and on the move with baby will allow you to enjoy going out together, so you won't have to find a babysitter. Keeping active and on the move with baby means you will be both tired and very busy... just wait until they take their first steps!

 

Baby is growing up!

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Congratulations, your baby (who is growing up much too fast!) is ready to accompany you!

Now he/she is starting to get too heavy (and too active!) for the walking buggy, but you can still carry on fitness walking accompanied by your best buddy! You walking and your child cycling beside you: doesn't that sound wonderful? Don't worry about falls, it will be more traumatic for you than for them. See your child get up, covered in mud, with bruised knees and a toothy grin. The picture of happiness!

Going to the gym can also become part of your routine. More and more gyms allow children to accompany their parents now. Working out at home can be just as fun, because your child will love to imitate you. However, nothing could replace your full-time sporting activity: running around after your kid all the time!

Keeping active and on the move when your baby grows up means you can watch them discover your world and get to grips with it. Keeping active and on the move when your baby grows up means you will make loads of memories, and enjoy many a laughing fit together! You will still be tired, and even more busy. It's all a balancing act, ensuring you still make time for fitness walking... helping you to find fulfilment as a mother!

 

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