Are you itching to get back into the gym? Dreaming about going back to your yoga class? Eager to recognise your body? Do not worry new mama, here is a simple breakdown of the top 10 fitness tips for new mums to help you navigate the world of health and fitness alongside your new bundle of joy.
Before we dig into the top ten tips, let’s take a moment to reflect on your current situation. Whether you gave birth one day ago, six weeks ago, or six months ago, take this time to reflect on what your body has done for you as a new mother and for your new baby. Your body is beautiful and it has created the most magical gift. This is the time to honour how remarkable you are and not punish yourself with too much exercise and not enough food. Your body and your baby need you to feel good.
The fact that you have created, carried and given birth to another human being is the most powerful and intense workout. Now is the time to reconnect with your body and be realistic about what you can do whilst being mummy.
Focusing on your health is important post-partum to keep your wellbeing in check, no matter if you’re new to exercise, want to set a good example to your family, or need to get back into a fitness routine, check out these top 10 fitness tips for new mums.
- Be kind to yourself
Before you start a new routine post-birth take a moment to check in with yourself. Your body has experienced many physical changes during pregnancy, labour and birth, and it is important to keep in mind your birth experience. Whether it was a natural birth, caesarean, epidural, forceps delivery, or physical tears in your lady bits, all of this is important to determine how your body moves with exercise. You might not be able to get straight back into running or lifting weights, but you will be able to one day. We all have to start somewhere, so be kind to yourself as you get started with your new routine.
- Listen to your body
Now is the time to honour your body, listen to its needs and respond with nourishing love to what your body requires. Whether you breastfeed or not, sleep next to your baby or not, carry your baby in a carrier or not, your baby sleeps all night or not, and again depending on your pregnancy and birth, your body needs to be nurtured. When you start exercising post baby, pay attention to how you feel. If you are exhausted, slow down. If you have energy, do what feels good. If your body hurts, stop. Listen and respond with motherly love.
- Be consistent
At first it may be difficult to have a set schedule for your workout routine as you adjust to life alongside your baby. The best advice
is to be consistent. Prepare to exercise every week and build that solid foundation every week to create that habit of doing exercise. Each week may vary in how any times you exercise, that does not matter, the most important part is you create consistency for your health and fitness.
- Be flexible
If you are used to having a set workout routine pre-baby then this may be a challenge at first, however being consistent with weekly exercise will help you build a new routine that fits with mum life. Having the flexibility to adapt to new workouts will help to set you up for fitness success in the long term. Some days you may fit in a 15 minute workout, other days 30 minutes. Some weeks you may do yoga, other times a bodyweight workout. Start somewhere and create a new fitness plan that suits your body, lifestyle and baby.
- Prioritise you
You are important, mama. Yes, your baby is a huge priority, and so are you! Always prioritise your needs, no matter the age of your new baby. This may look different to what you did before having a baby, but remember to check in with yourself and honour what you need. Do you need support and regular social gatherings with friends? Do you need sleep? Are you hungry? Do you need a hug and kiss? Do you need to slow down? Do you need a creative project to keep your mind happy whilst being mummy? Do you, for you, and your family.
- Move with love
Whatever exercise you choose to do after having a baby, learn to move your body with love. When you pay attention to your body each day you will feel in alignment with yourself and remain happy, calm and at peace with your new journey as a mum. You can still exercise with a new baby, it might be a bit different than what you are used to.
Yes ladies, you need to rest! No matter how you parent your child, it is a huge part of your life that uses a lot of energy. As a first time mum this is completely new to your mind and body, and it may be a shock to the system to learn to slow down. When baby sleeps, rest with your baby. This is not the time to do all the house errands and do an intense workout. Bond with baby and enjoy the peaceful moment of resting together.
- Core & Pelvic Floor
No matter what experience you had during pregnancy, labour and birth, your body has still carried a baby, therefore your body has gone through major physical changes. Prioritise daily exercises to build strength in your core and pelvic floor muscles to avoid issues later in life. We don’t want to pee when we laugh ladies!
One of the best ways to enjoy exercise with baby is to go for a walk. Even better put your baby in a baby carrier to enjoy the closeness, kiss baby on the head, and build strength in your body. Avoid staying indoors all the time and get fresh air, your mind will feel happy, your body will feel energised, and your baby will love the outdoors too.
- Include your child
Make it easier on yourself by including your baby when you exercise. Go for a walk as mentioned above, do yoga at home with baby next to you, go to a mummy and baby fitness class or sit your baby in a baby chair whilst you follow a fitness video. When you include your baby it will make it easier for you to be consistent with the exercise and it will help to build healthy habits for your child as they see mummy prioritising their health.
Which top fitness tip will you do today?