5 Ways A Baby Can Be Used For Exercise

Summer is nearly here (hopefully). With the sun comes the usual conversations of body confidence, exercise and diet. Hell, we’ve already seen something called the ‘dad bod’ make a large, fat bloke-esque splash into the pool that is the mainstream media.

It always astounds me what people will do to look good. There’s some pretty bat-shit crazy ways of trying to lose weight and get into shape. Be it things like the Atkins diet, Zone diet and Raw Food diet to the downright weird such as Fletcherism (chewing food to get the goodness out, prior to spitting out the ‘waste’) or swallowing tapeworms in the hope that they’ll eat the food inside your stomach.

As ‘fun’ as most of these things sound, I reckon I’ve actually come up with a pretty foolproof way of getting fit. So throw away those Spanx, stop counting those Weight Watchers points and cancel your gym membership. The only thing you need is a baby (preferably yours).

I can sense that you don’t fully believe me, after all, why have you never seen Shaun T or Jillian Michaels with a sprog in their exercise DVDs? But all I ask is for you to bear with me and give me five minutes of your time…

For that, I’ll show you how you can revolutionise your fitness regime and get the body you want for summer. And I’m offering you all of this for the special price of $19.99. But wait. That’s not all. I’m also going to throw in…oh, wait. Sorry, I got caught up in my marketing spiel for the infomercial I’m filming at the moment. Back to this post…

If you don’t believe me that babies are the best form of exercise ever, then check out the five points below:

Diet

Having a well-balanced diet is critical to being healthy, looking good and feeling confident – this means, among other things, eating right and controlling your portions. Fortunately, babies are really useful at reducing the amount of food and drink that you consume. As a newborn, you’ll be lucky to have three meals every day, and will be even more fortunate for any of these to still be warm. This means less calories!

Things only get worse when your sprog starts weaning though, as they again impact your calorie intake. Babies will ‘helpfully’ eat a good proportion of your food and attempt to steal your drinks, which thoughtfully means that you’ll be taking in less.

Looking forward to that sandwich? Then be prepared to only eat three-quarters of it. Salivating over that Wispa Gold? The best you’ll get is the chewed-up, melted leftovers of that once fine bar of chocolate. So considerate of them to think about your diet so much.

baby stealing pint of beer

Fancy a pint? Then be prepared to share it with the beer-stealing little thief.

Cardio

Moving around, increasing your heart-rate and getting sweaty are key to getting in shape. That often means you’ll need to put on your dusty trainers and do a bit of cardiovascular exercise. Whilst some people may go for a jog, get on their bike or jump on the cross trainer, I reckon they’re all missing a trick. Just have a baby.

A mobile baby burns more fat and calories than any other exercise known to man. If you reckon you sweat a lot doing Bikram Yoga, then you’ve obviously never spent the majority of your day chasing a nine-month old baby around your living room. The little buggers just don’t stay still, which means that you are constantly on your feet.

By the end of the day when the little one has popped off to the Land of Nod, you’ve probably done the equivalent of three full marathons. And Eddie Izzard thought he had it tough with 43 marathons in 51 days!

 

Arms

You’re unlikely to ever have the arms of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t sell tickets to your very own gun show. Rather than use the machines at the gym or a set of dumbbells, the best thing for those flabby arms is a baby.

As babies are lazy, they spend the first year and a bit of their lives on their back, front or arse. This means that you’re forced to hold, carry and pick up your little bundle of joy, which does wonders for your biceps and triceps.

Babies are also the perfect size and weight to start building those arm muscles and eliminating those bingo wings – with a good, solid grip of your little one, you can do plenty of different arm exercises including bicep curls, bench press and shoulder press, both in the home and when you’re out and about. If you’re lucky enough to have twins, then you can even do both arms at the same time!

baby lifted in the air

Using the baby to build up the guns prior to going into the swimming pool.

Legs

We may not all possess legs as sexy as Cameron Diaz or as muscley as David Beckham, but that doesn’t mean that you can skip ‘leg day’. Luckily, having a baby means that ‘leg day’ can be every day. Owning a sprog means you are continually on your feet using those pins of yours. Even when your baby is asleep, you’ll find that you’re still standing up as you try to do all of the jobs you were unable to do with a sprog clinging to your person.

Similarly to the arms, a baby can be used as a substitute dumbbell – or mumbell (yes I just went there) – for working your legs. Whilst holding the baby, you can easily do squats or lunges to build bigger and stronger quads. Your calf muscles also get a pretty generous workout too – you’ll find that you walk further, move quicker and bounce higher as you try every possible method to soothe a crying baby.

If you want to mix things up and have a proper workout, just strap your baby to you with a baby carrier and attempt to walk up a hill. Man, those legs will burn! Within only a few weeks of this, your cankles will soon return to ankles.

Abs

Everyone wants the perfect six-pack. Unfortunately though, getting a ripped stomach is pretty difficult. Until now, that is – simply have a baby and you’ll have a midriff that looks like the offspring produced if Jessica Ennis’ abs and Taylor Lautner’s abs had sex.

A baby means that you will continually be getting up. Babies are pretty crap at communicating, so will cry at anything and everything. Hungry? Tired? Bored? Lonely? Needs changing? Who the hell knows! That means that whenever your baby begins to wail, you’ll be forced to get up from your comfy sofa or soft bed in order to try and figure out what the hell is up with them. Although all of this getting up may be a royal pain in the arse, it is pretty great for the abs.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve got up from a sitting or laying down position more times in the last 10 months than I did in the previous 10 years of my existence. It’s therefore no coincidence that whenever I have my shirt off people mistake me for Channing Tatum. [Hayley’s edit: More like Jonah Hill]

 

There we have it, The DADventurer’s five-step fitness programme making use of the tiny human(s) in your life. I told you it was revolutionary. Now I’m not suggesting that you have a baby *just* to stay in shape. After all, the act of making a baby can also have it’s fitness benefits!

How has your body been affected by having a baby? Are you in better or worse shape since becoming a parent? How do you try to balance exercise with family life? Let me know below!

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  • Larry

    That money you save from the gym membership can go to diapers!

    • Definitely! Either way the baby would probably end up with it being spent on her!

  • Hello Archie • blog

    Haha so true! I burn off fat burning the minute lately. Love the pic of swimming, so cute! #brillblogposts

  • So true butt!! Ha!!! And let’s not forget the excessive lunging to pick up thrown food, dirty clothes and all the feckin Lego that has been lobbed all over the place! I have the legs of Van Damme as a result.
    And PS. if my baby had his mitts on my beer then I would be distraught. You need to step up the discipline with your little minx. It’s unacceptable to mess with another person’s beverage.
    Grab her milk and knock it down infront of her. That’ll show her!!
    #brilliantblogposts

    • Very true – to be fair, I think I only touched the surface of how useful they can be fitness wise. Ha, she’s going to be great at slipping the date rape drugs into people’s pints when she’s older.

  • Merlinda Little

    Goodness! Tapeworms?

    Thats so extreme. I started getting healthy few weeks ago and I would like to think that its working but I am falling off the wagon again sadly =(

    #pocolo

    • Yeah, supposedly tapeworks were a thing in the past! That’s ok, we all fall of the wagon 🙂

  • Great idea! #BabyDumBells! My mummy was a great fan of wearing me in a sling for fitness too #BrilliantBlogPosts #PoCoLo

    • Yep, slings and baby carriers definitely help – I get pretty knackered lugging a 16lb baby around on my front these days.

  • This is so true! My two tag team to help my diet – the baby refuses to allow me any opportunity to eat &, should any food get past her & find its way to mummy, the toddler eats most of it! #FridayFrolics

  • Charlotte Pearson

    Lol – I squat whilst my baby is in the baby carrier and i’m ironing – enough said ! #FridayFrolics #PoCoLo @MummyFever

    • That’s impressive! Both the squatting and ironing. We stopped ironing years ago! 🙂

  • Jessie

    tapeworms aren’t normal? lol fun post! #fridayfrolics

  • Tas D

    I really felt it on my arms once I had Z and realised how unfit I was. They used to ache just holding him for ages as I never wanted to put him down 🙂

    • Haha bless. Luckily Baby L isn’t the heaviest of babies (16lb at 10 months) so we’ve got off pretty light in the weight department.

  • Clueless Mum

    I think I need to pay more attention to my baby’s concern for my diet. Most of the time I end up sharing my lunch with baby resulting in an extra secret meal at nap time. Hopefully all of the chasing after a crawling baby and getting up and down will balance out the effects. #thelist

    • Ooooh I like the idea of an extra secret meal, I might have to steal your idea. Yeah, I think that’s what we should tell ourselves, whether it’s right or not 🙂

  • Mums The Law

    We’re getting married three months after having our baby, so it’s a relief to know I won’t have any trouble getting into the dress once he’s here! #PoCoLo

    • Haha, awesome, good luck. Fingers crossed, although don’t blame me if the fitness plan isn’t as foolproof as I may have made out…

  • Very true. You need some kind of disclaimer though. I recently stepped on one of the babies toys, whilst chasing said baby and have torn ligaments in my foot. ;( I wouldn’t want you to get sued or anything 😉 Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    • Really? Ouch! Thanks for looking out for me, although it does sound a bit like this is user error ha 🙂

  • The great thing is that this effect need not go away as the children get bigger. You have to set an example by not keeping chocolate in the house, and the peer pressure of having small, thin, energetic people bounding around you all the time is immense. Plus they expect you to chase around with them/ play football/ wrestle/ go swimming and so on. And finally, they are quite happy to matter of factly point out in a totally non-judgmental way that you are fat. It’s great. I’ve lost two whole dress sizes.

    • Haha – great points – that sounds like an entirely separate blog post for when the kids are older. I’ll remember to save those points for 3 years time 🙂

  • Mama MKDPR

    Too true. I changed shape a little after a 9lb baby lived inside me but I weight less. I can only attribute that to the reasons you’ve mentioned as I sure am not dragging my exhausted butt to the gym…ever.

  • Rosie @ Little Fish

    Ha ha! Yes, so true! My little one went through a phase of ONLY sleeping whilst in the baby carrier – attached to me. Bloody knackering, since he was a hefty weight even as a newborn – but it was a great way of keeping fit! Now he’s a toddler my best strategy for exercising is to say to The Hubster “I’m off to the gym!” and leave him in charge whilst I swan off for a work out. Failing that I stick toddler in the jogger and go for a run – he loves it and I keep fit. Win win!

    • Ooooh, that would be painful on the neck and back, but sounds like it had the desired results! Babywearing has so many hidden benefits 🙂

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    Ha ha! Yes they certainly can be a great work out. Baby’s fav is waiting until I am weighted down with shopping bags and changing bag, then decide she can’t possibly walk the 50 yards to the front door and MUST be carried. That reminds me must try to find a World’s Strongest Mum competition! Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

    • Haha, kids eh?! They know how to choose the perfect time. I’m sure she’s thinking just of you and not of herself at all 🙂

  • nomeatbarefeet

    This is brilliant! For almost 2 months after H was born I did the “carousel” trying to get her to sleep: moving her in a circle motion out in front of me…for 1, then 5, then 10 minutes! (just go to bed!!!!) Ok, so it felt like 10 minutes, but doing then 3-4 times a week was insane on my arms. I agree with your revolutionary approach: you just need to rethink “working out” and incorporate your kid (whether they, or you, what to or not) into all of your normal daily activities.

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