The Secret Mum Code for Opportunities to Exercise

A baby’s ‘routine’ changes all the time.  Maybe you had an awesome week then when you try to repeat the exact process again nothing works!

It can be really hard for new Mums to find time to exercise because each day is unpredictable – you never really know how long baby is going to sleep, if they are going to fight going to sleep, if they are going to start teething today, or just be extra clingy all day long.

I know how good I feel after I exercise.  I’m more energetic, clear headed and simply feel strong.  I have discovered the secret method that works for our family to ensure health and fitness stay a priority in our lives.

I would like to share my discovery with you and this means never again will you have to miss a ‘workout’ because your baby overslept, would not sleep, is having a bad day, or, which sometimes happens, is unwell or ‘off colour’.

So, start looking at every face your baby pulls, every mood or emotion they experience, every situation you are in, as an opportunity to move your body.  It may not be a dedicated 30 minute bout of exercise, but if you can sneak in several 5 minute sessions across the day, trust me, they will add up and you will multitask your way to better health.

Are you up for challenge?

A guest post from Philippa Bowman, Nurtured Fitness

Here is how it works.  You can start moving regardless of where you are or what you are wearing.  Yes, you can be sweating it out in your pyjamas with messy hair or looking fancy in your Cadenshae nursing activewear.

Yes!  I can exercise even though my baby is still sleeping just when I was planning on going to the gym.

  • Situation One:  Baby is asleep in the cot.  Start a mini circuit in your lounge room.  Move quickly from one exercise to the other to keep your heart rate high.
  • Situation Two:  Baby is asleep on you and you are too scared to move.  Start with your pelvic floor and abdominal bracing exercises … then enjoy a sneaky little sleep, because you probably deserve it.
  • Situation Three:  Baby is asleep in a baby carrier. Time to get dancing.  Make sure the floor is clear of obstacle and toys, and bust out your smooth moves around the kitchen. If you are lucky you could knock out a fun 45 minute dance workout right here.
  • Situation Four:  Baby is asleep in the car.  I always transfer my baby from the car (because I live in Cairns and it is stinking hot) straight into a baby carrier. Manduca are my carrier of choice.  Sometimes she might stir a little bit, but my gentle rocking dance moves quickly lull her back to sleep.

Yes! I can exercise even though I am playing and having fun with my baby

If you are having a beautiful time with your baby on the floor and he/she is giggling away and you think I couldn’t possibly stop now to exercise!  Sure you can!

  • Enjoy some core exercises while your baby is having tummy time.
  • Play ‘peek a boo’ while doing some back extensions.
  • Try some vestibular movements (gently swinging), like a ‘Squat & Baby Press’. These are great for your body and great for your baby’s brain development.
  • Have some crawling races with your baby, but opt for your knees just off the ground instead.


Yes! I can exercise even though my baby is super clingy, sick or teething.

Babywearing will be your saviour on the days that baby just doesn’t want to be put down.  They will love the comfort of being in your arms and movement helps them to sleep. Sometimes there is no consoling a sick baby, they will cry for a number of reasons.  Babywearing means you are hands free, maintaining good posture and are in constant contact with them until they get through it.

  • Bring on the dance moves again. Knee lifts, butt kicks, step touches and lunges. Keep your movements smooth, controlled and gentle.
  • Squat it out with a cuddle.  I wonder how many squats it will take to get her back to sleep?
  • Just start walking around the house or the block.

Yes! I can exercise even though my baby is having a melt down.

It doesn’t matter whether they fell over or are struggling to deal with their emotions, a hug will often make it better.

  • Pick them up (Yes, now we are using them as a dumbbell for extra resistance) and ‘can can’ your way to happiness.
  • Maybe your performance of the chicken dance will distract them enough to start giggling at you instead.
  • When they are feeling better, set up a fun little obstacle course and older babies can do it with you.

There are lots of way you can be playful and active with your baby.  They will love your tone-deaf singing and goofy dancing.  If you exaggerate all the movements, you will be sure to get your heart racing and their faces smiling.

They don’t need to know that a dinosaur stomp is actually a lunge to give you a stronger butt.

Some days you will just be completely knackered and the best thing you can do for yourself is rest.  If, however, you are just feeling a bit ‘blah’, start moving.  The happy endorphins from exercise will instantly lift your mood and reset your day in the the right direction.

For more great ways get moving at home WITH your baby or toddler, CLICK HERE to get my free guide for 5 Things You Can Do Everyday to start your fitness journey.

Philippa Bowman

Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert and Founder of Nurtured Fitness

About Lauren Jackman (161 Articles)
Lauren Jackman is the author of Canberra Mummy. A self-confessed perfectionist, Lauren writes about the truth about pregnancy and parenting for perfectionist mummies. Lauren is a mum, wife, author, runner and a not a bad cook