Lifting Children and Helpful Techniques to Reduce Chance of Injury
First, it is so important to understand how to properly use your legs! Ever notice how women typically have great lower body strength in comparison to upper body strength? Well, use that your advantage, ladies! The muscles in your thighs are big for a reason. When you lift, lift with your legs. This means getting closer to the ground in a squatting position to lift and never bending at the waist. Bending at the waist puts tremendous pressure on your back and makes you work harder, because you are using smaller muscles.
Using a Baby Wear Carrier
Secondly, for moms out there that carry your children all day, I recommend baby wearing. You should never carry your baby on your hip for long periods of time. I know this is so common and hard not to do, but invest in a baby carrier that will not only allow you to be hands free, but allows for your baby’s weight to be distributed evenly. The benefits of baby wearing are huge, and go far beyond biomechanics. For the times when you are carrying your baby on your hip, or your 30 pound diaper bag on your shoulder, or both, make sure you are alternating sides to maintain as much balance as possible.
Exercise and Stretching
Exercise is important, but so is stretching! I recommend stretching for at least 5 minutes in the morning and at least another 5 minutes at night before bed. As far as exercises, I recommend at least a few very basics exercises once/day. Start with simple things you can do in a short amount of time and/or while your little ones play. Focus on your core, and if you are weight training, focus on strengthening your back.
Do Exercises That You Love
My favorite exercise is to go for a run with my son in the jogging stroller. At my half way point, I stop and do a high-intensity 4 minute workout that really creates a burn!
The routine is:
1. Jump Squats 20 seconds
2. Rest 10 seconds
3. High-Knees 20 seconds
4. Rest 10 seconds
5. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds
6. Rest 10 seconds
7. Jumping Jacks 20 seconds
8. Rest 10 seconds
Complete steps 1-8 and then repeat one time. I like this routine because although it is short, it is a decent full-body workout and it’s easy to do literally anywhere. I have done this in the yard, on a track, in my living room, and even by the pool! Have fun with it, and of course, get adjusted to be sure your nervous system is always functioning at its best!
Live. Life. Better.
-Dr. Megan Wilson