It is amazing what your body can do: you carried your baby for nine months and then gave birth. Understandably, your body may look and feel a bit different now. You may be thinking about returning to your pre-pregnancy form, getting back into your fitness routine or losing any weight you may have gained. Why not? Exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel great.
Slow and steady wins the race
Most doctors don’t recommend exercising for the first six to eight weeks after birth. You will need to discuss this and get the all-clear from your healthcare professional before you start exercising. Set reasonable, sensible and measurable goals and run these, along with your planned routine, past your doctor first.
If you want to lose weight, your chances of achieving a steady and gradual weight loss are best if you stick to a healthy diet. Include plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains and good fats in your diet, as well as lean protein. If you are breastfeeding, your body needs the right amount of energy to establish a good supply of milk. Breastfeeding can use up 500 extra calories per day, so don’t scrimp on them.
It is important to acknowledge that our bodies are unique. Comparing yourself to other mothers won’t help. This is your journey. If you were already pretty fit before pregnancy, getting back to your former level of fitness may be easier than if you weren’t. How quickly you achieve your goals will also depend on how much weight you gained during pregnancy.
Finding the time to exercise can be challenging for a new mom, especially if you are working too. But it is worth the effort.
You could consider joining an exercise class for new moms or incorporate your baby into your workout. Go for a walk or a run with your baby in the stroller or pop on an exercise DVD while your little one naps. There are endless yoga, pilates and Tabata videos available online, too. Short bursts of physical activity a few times a day can really add up.
Postpartum fit tips
Check your body is ready. Always get your doctor’s approval before starting a postpartum exercise routine.
Try to sit down and enjoy your meals. Rushing through your meals can leave you feeling unsatisfied and reaching for snacks.
Drink plenty of water. Sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger.
Make fitness a priority. Feeling your best helps you to be a better mommy.
Focus on being positive and patient. You have a beautiful baby who does not care how fast you can run or what your scales may say. Enjoy this time, keep working towards your goals and cut yourself a little slack.
Remember, you are incredible
Seeing images of other women, celebrities or social media influencers postpartum may make you feel pressured to look a certain way. But don’t. You are you. You are an incredible woman, regardless of how you look. The more important thing to focus on is how you feel. Take your goals, focus on them and make good, healthy choices. We know you will achieve them in your own good time.
Written by Mary Ann DePietro @writerlady34
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