Whether you just gave birth three months ago, or it’s been a couple years since your little one greeted the world, you may not be into a fitness routine just yet. Us moms focus so intently on ensuring our kids are healthy, that our own health is shifted to the back-burner.
Though there are many different forms of health—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—here, I am specifically talking about getting back into your physical health.
One of the best ways to stay physically healthy is by sticking to a routine. If you frequent this blog, you likely had a stellar routine that you enjoyed. But, after you added Mom to your job description, your fitness routine is anything but routine.
Here is a quick round-up of my best tips to get back into a fitness routine that doesn’t stress you out!
Get Yourself Gear You’re Excited About
One of the hardest aspects for a lot of postpartum women, is that they lose confidence in their bodies. Pregnancy takes a toll—albeit beautiful—on the body, and that can impact your confidence when start back. Your body looks different, and feels different when you move it.
When you’re getting back into the routine, choose items that help build your confidence and are the best workout clothes for what you’re doing. Invest in key pieces for each layer: sports bra (you will most likely need a new size, especially if breastfeeding), tank, top, short, and capri. You want to feel comfortable when you workout, and, let’s face it, you deserve some nice gear!
Start Small and Build Up
A mistake a lot of people make when getting back into a workout routine is starting where they were pre-pregnancy. It’s imperative, especially for new moms, that you start small with your movement and exercise and build back up.
Around 6 weeks postpartum, you’ll meet with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re ready to exercise, and I always recommend meeting with a pelvic floor specialist as well.
Start with basic core exercises – yogalates is great for this! – add in strength training with bodyweight exercises, and build up your endurance with cardio once your core and muscles are feeling good.
Find What Motivates You
What once motivated you may not be the same anymore. It’s normal to have priorities that shift as a new mom—give yourself time and flexibility to find a new rhythm for yourself. What used to give you that rush of endorphins may have changed.
For me, I stopped gravitating to cardio, and made strength training and yoga my highest priority. Going to yoga class and immersing myself in a calm and quiet hour for me became much more coveted than it was before I had my son.
Get Creative with the Logistics
This is one of the most difficult things about being an active mother—figuring out how to fit exercise in! The key here is being flexible. Before kids, you maybe only had a Plan A. It is now crucial to have a back up plan, and be able to seize the moment.
A few ideas and tips:
- Short workout before your child is up
- Break it up throughout the day – before your kid is up, during naps or independent play, after they go to bed
- Take advantage of gym childcare – the Y is highly affordable
- Fit4Mom – workout and bring your baby
- Partner with other mom(s) – moms workout, kids play
- Commute to work as workout
- Hold your baby or incorporate high fives, tickles, and singing into your routine (they are like a Shake Weight!)
- Workout at a playground
- Have a dance party
Recognize That This Time Is Important
If you really want to get back into a fitness routine, then you need to recognize that this time of you working on your fitness is just as important as other times of the day. It’s just as important as making sure your child takes their naps, and that the rest of the family gets their dinner. Your health is important—don’t discount that!
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of feeling exercise – or taking any time for yourself – is selfish. Taking time to exercise is so important for your mental and physical health. You don’t have to take hours a day, or even a week, to get the benefit, and it makes you a better mom!
I work with women from preconception through early motherhood, when exercise has a way of falling by the wayside. If you could use outside accountability, schedule your free 20 minute Discovery Call we can decide if you’re a fit for health coaching!