New Mums and your post partum body
Becoming a mum is the most exciting moment in your life when your entire world changes in an instant. Although you’ve had nine months to prepare for it, you’re never quite ready for what awaits once you have your baby.
The same can be said for your “new” body. A post-partum body rarely seems anything like it was before and for most mums, it’s important to get in shape as soon as possible. Shedding the unwanted pounds and toning the body just isn’t as simple and quick as it was before the baby.
However, once your doctor has cleared and you have the need to start exercising again, the reality will be that you’ll need some more thought and planning to squeeze those sessions in your new daily routine that now includes taking care of a new person in your life and doing the laundry, cleaning, cooking and trying to catch a nap.
The solution is seeing all this not as an obstacle but a motivator to find a system that brings it all together. Here are 5 tips that may help you do exactly that.
Look for guidance
It’s typical for new mums to feel exhausted, both physically and mentally, so coming up with workout ideas can be overwhelming. On some days, you’ll be able to do a ton of stuff while on others, your brain will simply refuse to focus. Luckily, there are smart ways you can find guidance. One way to go is by using exercise apps that guide you through personalised exercises in 5 minutes where you do stretches, cardio and strength virtually in any part of your home.
Another way is to find post-pregnancy exercise DVDs that offer myriads of efficient exercises for different needs that will get your heart rate up, burning calories and toning your body.
Schedule your exercise time
Good planning and organisation is the key to any successful project so you need to come up with a schedule that fits your exercises into your daily routine. Most moms tend to push workouts out of their daily lives, but if you make it one of your priorities, you’ll be able to create consistency.
Too often people think that exercise has to last at least an hour, but it’s equally effective to do more, shorter sessions of 10 minutes spread throughout your day. Whenever you have some time to spare, perform planks, lunges, squats or push-ups. Once your baby starts napping longer or is old enough to play for 15 to 20 minutes straight, throw in some weights to make your exercises more intense.
Even as you walk to your nearest grocery store, use that time to run. With the right equipment, such as puffer jackets, even below zero temperatures can’t dissuade you. Being lightweight and fast-drying, with excellent moisture management and layering insulation, they’re crucial for cooler climates as they maintain your optimal body heat.
Create a home gym
It’s very practical to have your own gym at home if you prefer staying at home and squeezing in your workout sessions into your daily home routine. What is more, it doesn’t have to have an elaborate gym with the latest equipment. All you need are some basic pieces, such as a few resistance bands, a kettlebell, a pair of medium to heavy dumbbells and a Pilates ball. All of these are very versatile and quite easy to use, just make sure you stick to your daily workout plan.
Include the kids
If it proves too hard to get any alone time for your workout, include your kids in the sessions. As much as you need your “me”, every mum knows things don’t go as planned much more often than they do. Instead of giving up on your workout when things get a bit hectic, get the stroller ready and the two of you can head out together. You can walk faster or even run, you can do squats, lunges and push-up and once you arrive at your favourite park, use the benches for some arm workout. And when your kids grow a bit, going for park workout can be your routine that will keep everyone active in the fresh air.
Find your workout tribe
Working out with a fellow new mum or in a group of ladies who are going through the same process as you can be very helpful in staying motivated to keep pushing on. Having a partner keeps you accountable and you can even agree to sign up for a 5k race so you have a goal to work towards. You also get a lot of support, encouragement and understanding and quite often, new friendships are born this way that may last for a lifetime!
Getting back to your pre-baby body and weight may seem like a far-fetched dream, but it only takes patience, persistence and consistency. However slow it progresses, keep at it and don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process: eat well, sleep enough and give yourself a break!