Stepping into motherhood brings about significant changes, both physically and mentally. Amidst the newfound responsibilities it can be challenging to prioritize self-care and exercise. However, incorporating physical activity into your routine can help you regain your strength, boost your energy levels, and uplift your mood. Here are five essential tips to help new moms incorporate exercise into their busy routines and reap the amazing benefits of postnatal exercise.
- Prioritize Self-Care
As a new mom, it’s natural to put your baby’s needs before your own. While your baby’s well-being is undoubtedly important, neglecting your own self-care can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Prioritizing self-care, including exercise, is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Carving out time for yourself doesn’t make you a selfish mom; it makes you a healthier and happier one.
Begin by setting realistic expectations. You might not be able to commit to a regular workout routine right away, and that’s perfectly okay. Start with small steps, such as taking short walks around the neighborhood or doing gentle stretches at home. Remember, every little bit counts. Enlist the help of a partner, family members, or friends to watch the baby/kids while you take some time for yourself. As your baby grows and settles into a routine, you’ll find more opportunities to dedicate to your exercise regimen.
- Embrace Quick and Efficient Workouts
Time is a precious commodity for new moms. Embracing quick and efficient workouts is a great tool to fit exercise into your busy schedule and help make the most of the time you do have. Consider incorporating bodyweight exercises that require minimal equipment and can be done at home. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks can all be done at home without the need for a gym membership or specialized equipment. If you’re not sure where to start, try an evidence-based postpartum workout program that can help get you on track.
- Make It a Family Affair
Finding time to exercise can be challenging as a new mom, but involving your baby can make the experience more enjoyable and feasible. Take your baby for walks in the park or around your neighbourhood. Not only does this provide you with a chance to get some fresh air and exercise, but it also exposes your baby to new sights and sounds. Another great strategy to consider is babywearing during your workouts. These are specially designed carriers that allow you to strap your baby to your chest or back while you exercise. This closeness can be soothing for your baby, and the added weight provides additional resistance in your workouts.
- Listen to Your Body
Pregnancy and childbirth bring about significant changes in your body. It’s important to listen to your body and give it the time it needs to heal properly. Before starting any postpartum exercise routine, consult your healthcare provider to ensure you’re medically cleared for physical activity.
As you begin exercising, pay attention to any discomfort or pain. Your body may not be ready for certain movements immediately, and that’s okay. Focus on rebuilding your core strength, which plays a crucial role in maintaining overall stability. Gentle pelvic floor exercises and diaphragmatic breathing can aid in this process. Remember, the goal is gradual progress, not immediate perfection.
- Be Kind to Yourself
Consistency is key when it comes to any fitness journey, especially for new moms. However, it’s equally important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that some days or weeks will be more challenging than others. There will be times when your baby’s needs take precedence, and your workout might need to be postponed or shortened.
Celebrate small victories and milestones along the way. Whether it’s completing a workout session or simply finding time for yourself, every step counts. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, and/or other moms who understand the challenges you’re facing. Sharing experiences, tips, and encouragement can make the journey smoother and more enjoyable.
As a new mom, incorporating exercise into your routine might seem daunting, but it’s an investment in your well-being that pays off in more ways than one. Prioritizing self-care, embracing efficient workouts, involving your baby, listening to your body, and being kind to yourself can help you to exercise as a new mom. By incorporating these strategies you’ll be well on your way to embracing fitness in a sustainable and fulfilling way.
Note: This post is for educational purposes only and does not replace medical advice or treatment from your healthcare provider. Always follow the advice of your primary care provider when making decisions about your health and well-being.