Getting back into exercise post baby is rather daunting, and with so much information out there it can be hard to know where to start. In this article we’ll share our top five tips to kick-start your post-baby weight loss journey and get some exercise back into your life.
Don’t rush back into exercise
Having a baby is a big deal! You have really put your body through the ringer and it needs time to recover from a nine-month transformational (and totally incredible) journey.
In the first few weeks/months postpartum, your body is working hard to do so many things. The uterus needs time to contract into its pre-pregnancy size, and organs, such as your stomach, intestines and bladder, need to move back to their original locations, having been pushed out of the way for your little miracle to grow. Adding to this, your hormones are completely out of whack!
It’s a delicate time for the body; you’re simply not meant to pop out a baby and be back working out the following day. Everyone returns to exercise at different times – there is no right or wrong time, and the key is to start when YOU feel ready.
Focus on your nutrition
The last thing a new mum should be doing is dieting. However, we do believe that every new mum should focus on their nutrition (for weight loss, yes) but more than anything, for energy.
We can’t emphasise enough how important a quality diet is in the early months of motherhood.
Mum life is a tough gig, but it’s even harder if you don’t fuel your body. Do your best to choose real food –fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and quality meat. These are the foods that will give you the energy you need to get through the long nights, midnight explosions and the challenges that mum life brings.
Take it slow
Once you have decided you’re ready to get back into exercise, we recommend getting clearance from a medical professional before starting. When you get the all clear be sure to take it slow. A big mistake many mums make is to assume they’ll be able to start right back where they left off. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way and you need to really ease back into things.
We suggest starting with walking, and when you feel ready, add in 1-2 short home workouts per week. Don’t expect too much from yourself and don’t be disheartened if you feel like you’re starting from ground zero. Take it one walk and one workout at a time.
When it comes to achieving weight loss post baby, consistency is the absolute KEY. Consistent, steady exercise is what gets results in the long term.
We encourage you to embrace the ‘something is better than nothing’approach and fit in little bits of exercise here and there. A little bit each day counts.
Once you have a baby, gone are the days of spending an hour working out. But just because you don’t have as much time doesn’t mean you can’t get results – you TOTALLY can!
Once you feel up to it, we recommend trading long, slower paced workouts for quicker, higher intensity sessions (HITT). The beauty of these workouts is they leave your body burning fat for hours post workout, and believe it or not, they can be done in just 15 minutes! You’ll be amazed at how quickly your fitness will improve with just a few of these short workouts every week.
It took nine months for your tummy muscles to stretch to accommodate a full-term baby. So, it makes sense that losing the extra weight will take time too. For sustainable weight loss to be achieved, it’s necessary to be patient, and accept that long-lasting results won’t happen overnight. Take it day by day, one nourishing meal and one workout at a time. Be kind to yourself and the results will come.
About the authors
Renee Norman & Jenna Smith are qualified Personal Trainers, Wellness Coaches and Mums. Renee and Jenna help busy women (particularly mums) achieve their health and fitness goals from the comfort of their living room through the online platform, Real Health NZ.
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