Fitness and self-isolating with a baby

It may seem down the list of priorities at the moment but keeping healthy and fit when you’re out less than usual is so important. Here’s how to do it…

Self-isolating or following social distancing rules with a baby can be hard. Most of us rely on that weekly coffee date with our mum friends and the baby groups that are now closed down to keep us sane. Some of us have even started pining for soft play, and we never thought that would happen.

The rules around social distancing are changing though. If there is a fitness class or activity you enjoyed before, it might be worth finding out what's happening now. For example, on 11 July, team sports were allowed to start again with outdoor swimming pools and water parks also re-opening. From 25 July, sports facilities and venues, including indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios and indoor swimming pools will open, subject to evidence closer to the time. It is important to keep in mind continued guidance on social distancing though.

Here are some ways you can keep fit even if you’re self-isolating or social distancing with a baby.

Use apps

The good news about self-isolating in 2020 is that you're well covered for accessing all of your normal life (well, most of it) via a screen. There are myriad apps available to help you exercise like you did before. It may be a habit you keep up long after we come out of the other side of the coronavirus, in fact.

Running or cycling

If you have a partner that is currently working from home, make the most of their presence when your baby’s napping and head out for a solo run or a bike ride. The fresh air will feel incredible when you’ve been trapped inside and we all need a sense of freedom at the moment. Just remember to stay at a distance from other people.

Walks with your baby

Bundle your baby up in the pram, pull your trainers on and get a brisk walk around the block in. The government advice around self-isolating is that exercise is still fine so as long as you stay a safe distance away (six feet) from other people. You might have to swerve the coffee shop you normally grab a latté in en route...

Online classes

YouTube has a plethora of options so whether you’re a yoga girl, love your pilates or want a hardcore aerobic session, you'll find an option that suits. You could include your little one(s) or wait until they sleep and log on for an adult session instead.

Housework and gardening

Yep, there is definitely no getting out of that at the moment. But seriously, a bit of weeding or a vacuum of the stairs will get you moving, achieve some mindfulness in a difficult time and tick something off the to-do list. If you have a FitBit, keep track of what you do too for extra motivation.

Take a hike

Find your nearest big hill, put the baby in a rucksack or sling, get your walking shoes on and clear your head in the most effective way there is, by getting your body moving. It should be sparsely populated enough to tick the self-isolating box but if you do see anyone else, stay at least six feet away from them.

Home gyms

That exercise bike that’s been left untouched in the loft for years? Now’s probably the time to dig it out. If not, use what else you have: those extra tins in the cupboard would be perfect as handheld weights (and baby meals from the cupboard). And if you’re serious about getting fit indoors, you can pick up some new equipment like skipping ropes and yoga mats pretty cheaply and have it delivered to the door too.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

Interactive, engaging and social, our live online antenatal course is a great way for you to meet other local parents, and get essential unbiased information and knowledge about pregnancy, birth and early days with your baby.

Read the the NHS advice on what you should do when you’re self isolating to try and prevent passing on the virus to other people at home.Take a look at the latest public health guidance for pregnant women and parents.

Click on the following links for guidance on self-isolation and social distancing in Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, French, Gujarati, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh.

For more information about coronavirus in various languages see here.

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