Workout Wednesday # who cares – Grab a baby

by DavalosMcCormack on June 3, 2009

Lately Shirley and I have been fortunate enough to be able to babysit grand daughter Emma Danger. It’s a lot of fun, she’s quite a precocious kid. She speaks three languages, can juggle, sings beautifully, and has designed her own robot and built it. And she’s only five months old.

But one of the most interesting things about taking care of a baby is how physically tiring it is. Now I’m not talking about lack of sleep – though believe me I could certainly talk about lack of sleep – no, I’m talking about what a great workout having a baby around is!

Emma weighs 14lbs, which isn’t a lot. Shirley and I both workout and lift much heavier weights than that all the time. But those weights don’t squiggle and squirm and move and twist.

Nor do those weights need to be bounced, swung, danced with, cradled, lifted up and down at odd angles in car seats etc.

The end result is that after a day or so of taking care of Emma D both of us are finding that our arms and shoulders are really tired.

In a way it’s fun. You discover that muscles that you thought were in good shape are only in good shape for certain movements and exercises. But when it comes to everyday stuff, like carrying a baby or cradling her, those muscles quickly get tired.

It’s a reminder that an important part of fitness is variety. Not just because it prevents you getting bored but also because it prevents your muscles getting worked out the same way all the time.

Now, not everyone has a baby to swing around and use as a living, breathing, giggling weight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t replicate that experience by using weights in different ways, different exercises.

So instead of just doing arm curls and shoulder presses try moving the weights in different directions at the same time, try holding them cradled in your arms and swinging them back and forth as if you were trying to rock them to sleep. Obviously some of these are best done in the quiet of your own home to prevent embarrassment at the gym!

And of course if you do happen to have access to a baby then that’s even better. You get all the fun of working out and listening to your portable gym laugh and giggle and have a great time.

How cool is that!

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