New Mom's Springing Back into Shape
With spring arriving, many mothers are sighing with relief and excited to get outdoors. The days battling with snowsuits and winter boots are almost over and it is a great time to get back into a fitness routine.
Weather you have had one or five babies, your body has gone through a lot and for most moms gone are the days when you can go to the gym whenever you want and stay as long as you like. Having a baby or babies at home can make fitness challenging, but it’s important to take care of yourself so you can be a better mother. Remember that it took at least nine months to get your body to where it was when you delivered, so expect slow changes and focus on feeling healthy, good and staying active.
When can you start? Usually by the six-week postnatal check up most moms are good to exercise. Some sooner, but the trick is to start slowly and listen to your body.10-30 minute walks are a good place to start, try to do something active every day and build from there.
How do you fit exercise in to your new life? The best thing to do is make a plan. If it is your first baby, you can get away with walks but if you have older children, and/or a toddler and/or a new baby this might not be as easy so planning is essential. At the beginning of each week, look at your schedule and commit yourself to two or three exercise sessions. Classes or a session with a trainer are great ways to commit and be accountable to exercise. If babysitting is an issue, try to find a like-minded friend who you can swap kids with allowing you both to fit in exercise.
Good exercises? Any exercise is good exercise and even ten minutes of exercise is better than nothing. Find what you enjoy and what you can fit in. Here are a few of my mom favourites:
Pilates: With a focus on posture and core, it is an excellent way to regain your abs after birth.
Cardiovascular exercise: Biking, jogging, speed walking.
Yoga: Take some deep breaths, calm your mind and stretch your body.
Home exercises with baby: Peek-a-boo sit ups with baby on your stomach, squats or lunges while holding your baby, push-ups over the baby, lifting baby overhead for the shoulders.
Housework workout: dD some extra stairs, push-ups and sit-ups in between your chores to get you sweating!
Gym workout: Weights help rebalance the wacky postures moms put themselves into especially when pushing strollers, breastfeeding or carrying children. It is also one of the easier ways to have a full, uninterrupted exercise session.
How do you start? Just do it! Make a plan and start slowly. Remember that even if you are exhausted, exercise will help with your mental well-being and try to stay consistent. Taking baby steps makes it easier to keep the routine, and slowly turn baby weight conversations towards your baby and not you.
Try not to forget to stay hydrated and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, which becomes increasingly challenging the less sleep you get. Take it one day at a time and keep reminding yourself that if you stay active, eat well and feel good you are well on your way to being a fit momma! See you at the park!