In these busy times, carving out time for yourself, for anything, really, requires a little creativity. Multi-tasking is not something I typically condone, neither is it something I have ever been any good at! But being a new mom has forced me to dabble in it more than ever before. Sometimes intentionally, often not; sometimes successfully, mostly not.
It is a work in progress, but one of my favourite and most successful multi-tasking combos to date has been rehabbing/working out while playing with my son. It’s a great way to make sure I actually do some rehab/strength during the day, provides endless opportunity for creativity, and he loves it! Here are some of our favourites:
Squats: Holding baby at your chest is a great challenge for your trunk posture (don’t let those ribs pop out). Back squats (baby on your shoulders) are also an option but usually open the door for a lot of hair pulling!
Roll Up: A great test for those abdominals-in-progress (don’t try this until six months post-partum). Try to roll up from the ground and then back down again one vertebra at a time. The load of your baby in your arms actually helps your body figure out how to get through those sticky spots!
Spine Stretch: Same idea as the roll up, but vertical - peel off the wall one vertebra at a time, then re-stack your spine back up the wall one vertebra at a time, all while keeping your sacrum vertical. It’s a great postural muscle activator, and makes baby feel like a king - “all hail baby!”
Knee Sways: Those all-important obliques should not be ignored! Holding your baby helps you to keep your chest and shoulders flat on the ground, while he “surfs” on your rotating pelvis.
Dead Bug: The classic – just switch out a physio ball for a baby!
Overhead Press: Raise baby up overhead without letting your rib cage pop out (imagine a wall behind you, or better yet - use a real wall!). Combine these with a squat for a squat thrust or - with a little extra oomph - the flying baby (my son’s personal favourite)!