New Moms Only: Post Partum Fitness 101
All right. Let’s get real for all you Mamas out there. Getting back to working out after you’ve taken a break can be tough but when that break is 9 or 10 months, it can feel pretty impossible.
At this point, you’ve experienced pretty drastic changes to your body and your emotions; basically your whole life. Getting back into your fitness groove is usually much harder than it sounds. There are a lot of things to keep in mind before returning to exercise, and it’s important to do it safely! If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five tips for working your way back to your pre-pregnancy bod or *gasp* BETTER!
Just Get Moving
According to many health care professionals, most women’s bodies aren’t ready for serious exercise until at least six weeks after giving birth- even more if they’ve had a cesarean section. According to Marianne Ryan, a physical therapist in New York City, “Clinically I have seen that it takes an average of three months after delivery or three months after the mother weans her child for the connective tissue to regain the same tension and holding power they had before pregnancy.” Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! You’ve got plenty of time and for those first six weeks, just focus on healing that amazing body of yours. You just had a BABY! Ease into it and give yourself time.
For the first six weeks, start by walking around the block and taking time to stretch every day. Burn some calories by taking your baby out in the stroller for one or two miles, and do some kegels to re-strengthen your pelvic floor.
Whatever it is you do, be gentle and listen to your body. Don’t overdo it. Doing too much too soon can result in tension, tightness, and even injury. Be sure to have your six week checkup and get your doctor’s clearance before getting into a solid fitness routine. But until then.. just get moving!
All right, we’re all guilty of boredom eating. And when you’re at home with that perfect little baby of yours, it might be easy to eat whatever’s close by. But as the saying goes, you are what you eat! Now’s the time to (sensibly) pay attention to your diet.
Do your best to fill your day with nutrient rich meals. Shoot for meals and snacks containing fresh fruits and vegetables, lowfat dairy products, whole grains, and lean protein.
If you’re breastfeeding, this is extra important because your breast milk transmits the flavors and nutrients from your diet to your baby! Breastfeeding can also be a huge factor in postpartum weight loss, helping you lose between 300-500 calories a day, according to this article by Zahra Barnes.
Weight Training and Cardio: Get Strong
Weight training is important, but let us re-emphasize: don’t push yourself too much! Be sure to consult with your doctor at your six week appointment and ensure that weight training and cardio are safe activities for your body. Take it slow and give yourself time to work up to activities you were involved in pre-pregnancy.
With that being said, where do you start? It may sound intimidating and downright scary to jump right back into finding a workout routine. Kubex is the perfect option for you. First of all, there’s the STYKU scan. In a quick 10 minute appointment you can get multiple pages of information on your body. In complete privacy you stand on a turntable that spins you in a full circle while our state of the art computer system takes multiple images and scans of your body. You track your progress over time in 3D. You’ll also have access to brand new Kubex Nutrition Guide and Daily tracker.
When it comes to weight training and cardio, Kubex has you covered yet again. No need to worry about what you are going to do when you get to the gym, or who is going to be watching you. Kubex animations guide you through your workout kubes of challenging fun, and engaging exercises, all in complete privacy. In addition to our kube workouts, our extensive cardio room* is available to get your heart rate up!
Don’t Compare Yourself
This one is important, Ladies. Even though you might be cleared to exercise again, your body and your routine will most definitely feel different than they did before. Be careful not to compare “old self” to your new self. That might be easier said than done, but hear us out. If you’re busy saying, “I used to be able to do X and now I’m struggling to do X.” …
Before you find yourself going down this dark and twisty path, cut yourself some slack! First of all, you haven’t been working out at your previous fitness level for the past 10+ months, so of COURSE you’re going to be a little rusty. Your body was busy making a baby! So celebrate that and be kind to yourself.
The more obvious comparison to avoid is comparing yourself to anyone else. The fitness game is a mental one, maybe even more than physical and being too focused on how much it appears others are bouncing back may only impede your own progress. Pay attention to your own successes rather than the perceived progress of others. You got this!
Don’t Go it Alone
Working out is statistically more successful when you involve someone else! So join a running club, attend a yoga class, and bring a friend to Kubex’s Workout Wednesday! Whatever it is you do, don’t do it by yourself. Find your new groove, get out of the house, and get to releasing those beautiful endorphins.
Working out and getting fit may feel like a nearly impossible task at this point in your postpartum journey BUT… Remember that your body can do incredible, amazing things. It grew a baby, so why can’t it bounce back afterwards with a little hard work and TLC?
Don’t give up. You got this, Mama!
*Only in select locations