It’s been almost 5 months since having my second son. Having a baby is always a long journey, but getting back into shape seems even longer. It’s hard to be patient and take it slow. I’ve had to swallow my pride and forget my past running “personal records”. I know I can’t go out and run 3 miles in 30 minutes anymore. That’s ok though. It’s about moving and getting out there again, instead of speed and strength. It’s hard to switch to that new mindset, but I think it’s important that postpartum Moms ease back into exercise. These 6 Simple Tips to Get Fit After a Baby is what’s worked for me in the past and what I’m doing again this time around.
6 Simple Tips to Get Fit After a Baby
Get Moving On Your Own Terms
We all know that exercise is important for optimum health, but postpartum moms easily burn out. With lack of sleep, it’s easy to overdue and quit when you don’t see fast results. You need to start slow instead of pushing yourself. You can aim for a daily step goal, take your newborn for walks or join a local mom’s workout group that includes other postpartum moms.
Eat The Rainbow
Strict dieting is the exact opposite of what new moms need. It’s important to eat nutrient dense foods that will provide you energy and nourish your baby. For me, that means eating colorful and natural foods. Try to fill your plate with colorful fresh produce and foods that come straight from Earth. Trust me, you’ll feel better if you just do this alone.
Hydrate All Day Long
When you’re exhausted, I know the last thing you want to remember doing is to drink water. It’s essential though for mental clarity, breastfeeding moms and reducing bloat. I aim for drinking half of my body weight, in ounces, of water. If you aren’t a fan of flat water, try to add fresh citrus or cucumber and mint. I drink before and after meals to get my daily intake and stay hydrated.
Find Your Tribe
It’s easy to be a hermit and stay inside after having a baby. I’ve been there too. It’s so important to reach out to your friends during this time. Find your tribe, of other women, who you can chat with. When your spirits are lifted and you’re surrounded by friends who support you, you’ll feel happier. That translates into more energy and a better outlook.
Stretch Daily and Focus on Your Core
Your body is going through changes just as quickly as when you were pregnant, but in reverse. Breastfeeding can cause back pain and your weak core doesn’t help. Try some simple yoga stretches, like Cat-Cow Pose, to prevent a tight back. Focusing on strengthening your core again will also alleviate any back pain. Pilates is a great postpartum light impact workout to strengthen your core. Doing both will help as your body goes through rapid changes.
Go Meatless One Day a Week
I like to be a vegetarian one day a week. I try to participate in a “Meatless Monday”. It helps me push fruits and vegetables and I reset from any weekend indulges. Meat can feel so heavy during the digestion phase, so it’s nice to eliminate it from your diet for a bit.
I hope these tips help you on your postpartum journey. Just remember that it doesn’t happen overnight and every pregnancy is different. My second delivery has been much harder to recover from than my first. Breaking the process into small steps, like these, will help make it easier in the long run. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling stronger and have more energy!