If you just had a baby, first off let me say congratulations and let’s just take a moment to appreciate how amazing you are. You actually created a human being, what could be more wonderful that that? The very first thing you should do now fitness wise if you just had a baby is absolutely nothing. Take this time in your life to revel in that new baby smell and adjust to life with your precious little family member. This time with your little one is fleeting and the last thing you need to worry about is getting back into the gym. That being said, if you’re itching to lace up those gym shoes like I was and you’ve been cleared by your doctor, here are some tips to get back into the fitness game:
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do post baby to slowly build back your cardio base. Plus the vitamin D and fresh air is wonderful prevention for those post baby blues. Put your baby in a carrier or stroller and start small with five to ten minute walks around the neighborhood and slowly add a few more minutes every day. Once you feel comfortable aim for 30-60 minutes a day or as long as you like.
Strength Your Pelvic Floor
Your pelvic floor, the muscles that support your pubic bone and keep your bladder closed, had a lot of pressure put on it during pregnancy and just like any muscle, needs conditioning to strengthen it back up after birth. Do Kegel exercises every other day, as well as bridges and light abdominal exercises, such as laying on your back and drawing your belly button in for 10 breaths before releasing. Start slow with ab exercises to ensure your abs are healed and any potential separation has healed.
Join a Mom Group
A great way to get back into fitness and make some new friends in a similar stage of life is to join a fitness Mom group in your area. Look for a local mommy and me fitness group. Better yet? When you’re ready to pick up the pace, hook up with Stroller Warriors®!
Join a Gym
Once your baby is old enough, look for a local gym with childcare. This can be a great way for your baby to socialize and for you to get some likely much needed alone time while working up a sweat.
Last but not least, be patient with yourself. Maybe you were a cross-fitter or an avid runner before you got pregnant, but even if you kept up a grueling routine throughout pregnancy you will likely find that your body has been thrown the biggest fitness curve-ball it will ever go through, birth. I exercised all the way up until the day I went into labor and was surprised to find a twenty minute walk felt exhausting postpartum. Your body is healing and you are likely sleep deprived, (am i right?!), so start small and be patient with your body.
Do YOU have any tricks of the trade to getting back to your pre-baby self? Comment and let us know what worked for you!