6 Tips For Staying Fit With A Baby in Japan
I'm not a regular mom, I'm a #fitmom
As a new mom there is an enormous amount of pressure to get back in shape after your baby is born. You have very little free time, low energy, and are probably lacking in self-esteem. How can you balance a healthy lifestyle while caring for your baby? Read on for my tips to help you feel positive in your postnatal body.
1. Strengthen Your Abs Anywhere
The days of a lengthy home workout may be over, but don’t let that stop you squeezing in a few exercises when you get the chance. While your baby is playing on her activity mat or in her bouncy chair, you can blast out a few core exercises—better yet, let your baby join in on the fun! One exercise you can do almost anywhere (I’m talking even on the trains) is the “stomach vacuum“. An exercise that targets your internal abdominal muscles, specifically the transverse abdominus, this exercise is simple but powerful and helps to cinch you back to your pre-baby waist.
2. Power Walk It Out
Skip the trains and pull out the stroller. The long feeding sessions can take their toll on a new mom, so get out and about during nap time. To lull your little one off to sleep, put him or her in the stroller and begin your cardio by power walking around town. Not only will you work up a sweat, but you can use this time to explore all the hidden back streets of your local town, or visit baby-friendly cafes with the rest of your mom friends.
3. Prep Your Snacks
When it comes to snacking, planning and organization are key. On the weekends when your partner is on hand to help, make sure that you set yourself up for the week with healthy snacks. Wash and chop fruits and vegetables on Sunday evenings so that you have your healthy snacks on standby throughout the week. This saves you reaching for convenience foods when you only have a few minutes to spare! If you’re really craving something sweet though, opt for a healthier Japanese sweet that you can find at any local supermarket.
4. Join a Weekly Fitness Class
Ensure that you carve out time once a week to take a fitness class. If possible, leave your baby at home with a family member and attend a local lesson. This is much more effective than trying to do a DVD or online class at home, where you’ll be distracted by your baby. Every Saturday morning, my daughter bonds with her dad while I go to Pilates. It gets me out of the apartment for some much-needed “me time,” while also helping me to stay fit. Classes like Pilates and yoga are excellent for postnatal recovery and will help you to regain your core strength and alignment. There are plenty of studios across Tokyo that offer private and group classes in Japanese or English.
5. Evening Me-Time
When the day is done and your bundle of joy has finally gone to sleep, wind down with and destress. I opt for yoga in our bedroom so that I can keep an eye on my baby while I do some grounding yoga postures. After rushing around all day, I cherish these quiet moments to honor and close the day that has passed. If you’re not a yogi, there are other ways to destress at home like losing yourself in a book or slipping into a warm bubble bath. However you choose to relax after a long day, just remember to carve out this essential you-time.
6. And Finally…
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your body has been through an enormous shift and it needs to time to heal and repair itself. Choose your postnatal exercises wisely and don’t try to do too much. Little and often is the most effective use of your time and energy. Most of all, make sure you enjoy any opportunity you get to feel good in your body!
Do you have any helpful tips for staying fit with a baby in Japan? Share with us in the comments below!