This morning my son woke up at 5am, this is not unusual he usually wakes up between five and half six every morning. I tried half an hour of quiet ‘shushing’ in the hope that he would be soothed back to sleep. It didn’t work so we ended up having another early start. Not ideal but I have somewhat excepted that when it comes to sleep, Rafe is a challenging baby. Of course all babies are a challenge where sleep is concerned, but the majority become less of a challenge as they get older. Not Rafe. He is incredibly cute though so we let him off! Usually an early wake up means me shuffling around in my dressing gown for a good couple of hours, downing coffee and struggling to wake up, but today I decided I was going to make the most of being up at the crack of dawn and go for a walk. Now I am not the sort of gal that leaves the house without a full face of make-up (I’m not saying for a second that it’s a good thing, I am just quite an insecure person). So usually getting both myself and Rafe ready to go out is a bit of a mission, but seeing as it was so early in the morning and the sun was shining I decided to risk it and just don an oversized pair of sunglasses.
I’ve always done a lot of walking. It’s an ideal form of exercise to do on a rest day when your muscles are too sore for an intense workout and it is a great form of LISS. LISS stands for low intensity steady state cardio and it’s basically light cardio at 50-60% of your maximum heart rate. So on a scale of 1-10 you would need to feel like you are working at around a 3 or a 4, usually for longish durations. A 45 minute walk at a fairly brisk pace would be pretty ideal. I only managed half an hour with Rafe strapped to me in his BabyBjorn carrier this morning because, despite being gloriously sunny when we left it looked like it was going to rain so we headed home earlier than intended. It didn’t rain. Never mind. Walking is also a low impact exercise so there is less risk of damaging the joints and ligaments so it’s a good place to start if you have recently had a baby in order to ease your body back into exercise before building up to more vigorous workouts. I am intending on using this mornings walk as a warm up to a lower body weights workout that I will be doing later (if Rafe allows!)
Not only is walking good for fitness levels and cardiovascular health, it’s also amazing for stress. I feel so much better mentally after my early morning walk, despite having got some exercise in I am actually less tired than when I set off and the fresh air meant that Rafe went down for a nap as soon as we got home. We are quite fortunate that we live in a fairly rural area with plenty of beautiful countryside around us and I think that really helps, I don’t think I would be as de-stressed after a walk along a busy road. I would definitely recommend any new mums keen on getting fit to purchase a baby wearing carrier. I have the BabyBjorn one and I love it! It makes your choice of walking environment so much wider. With the carrier I can take Rafe to the beach and the forest without worrying about whether our pushchair wheels will cope with the terrain. Carrying a baby also adds a bit of resistance to the walk aswell and once they are over five months (this applies to our carrier others may be different) they can face outwards and see what’s going on around them which makes it more fun for them. I will do a full review on the BabyBjorn carrier in another post for anyone debating buying it.
I would really like to purchase a activity tracking watch, like a Fitbit but I’m not sure I want to spend that much money. I’m thinking of giving myself a target of 10,000 steps daily to fulfill just to improve my general fitness and because I think that it will motivate me to find the time to get out of the house a bit more. A lot of the people that I follow on instagram post about this and a lot of them are achieving well over 10,000 steps daily. My daily steps are a LOT lower than this although I do think I do more than the health app on my phone tells me because I don’t always carry my phone around with me when I’m cleaning/doing laundry etc and when I am out and about it’s usually in my changing bag attatched to the pram where it doesn’t register the steps I am taking. If anyone has any good, reasonably priced recommendations for an activity tracking watch please let me know.
So from now on I am intending on seeing my little mans early wake ups as a opportunity rather than a nuisance. Getting out and about in the fresh air early and getting a low intensity workout done is actually a good way to get set up for the day. And early mornings mean less people about so no need to worry about applying make up and looking presentable!
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